I’ve got dry skin. And I don’t say this to you as if I’m casually remarking on the weather or the spinach salad I’m getting for lunch. I’m saying this in a way that only someone with truly dry, sensitive, angry skin can say it, in the most hopelessly resigned of ways, because my skin quite truly hates me. Like, if my skin were a person, it would be the unruly pre-teen on Jerry Springer, cursing out its mother (me) who’s sitting in the corner crying. And I genuinely thought I would be resigned to ruddy-faced dryness for the rest of my life, until I stumbled upon a moisturizer that truly changed my entire face: SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2.
And by stumbled upon, I mean a dermatologist friend, Mona Gohara, Yale School of Medicine’s coolest doctor, told me to try it, after I sent her yet another complain-y email, ranting about the bumpy keratosis pilaris on my cheeks—which most humans only have on the backs of their arms; lucky me!—the constant dryness and itchiness on my face, and my skin’s affinity for breaking out from any of the thick-ass creams I do slather onto my sin.
Get yourself some of this Triple Lipid moisturizer, said Gohara, probably sighing as she responded to my email, explaining how it would change my life, more or less, thanks to the fact that it’s filled with all of the insanely effective ingredients that quite literally heal your skin barrier. “In a biologically identical way, the moisturizer fortifies your barrier with lipids, replacing exactly what you lose through daily life and during the aging process,” she says.
Basically, lipids are the good fats in your skin that give it a happy, plump, youthful glow, and as you lose them, whether through naturally dry skin or aging, your skin gets duller, drier, and more-wrinkled. So how do you fix it? Add a shit ton of fat back into your skin, ideally through a combination of ceramides and cholesterol (both of which plump fine lines and heal your skin barrier) and fatty acids (which helps increase lipid production in your skin). All of which are found in this moisturizer, thus, you know, its name.
So I tried it, fully expecting my temperamental skin to break out after one night. The cream, which comes in a jar with a little spatula to ward off bacteria (which is a nice gesture, but it’s still a jar, and bacteria can still get in, especially if you’re dipping your fingers in it), is thick and creamy, with no discernable scent. I slathered it on my clean skin, went to bed, and when I woke up, and I swear to you that my skin was legitimately glowier. No, it wasn’t magically repaired, and my bumps weren’t gone, but my entire face just looked…better. Healthier. More vibrant.
So I continued applying it every single night for a few weeks—never once breaking out—and slowly, my bumps started fading, my skin tone evened out, and my drier-than-death skin finally felt hydrated. It was like I had given penicillin to an infection that had been ignored for too long. After a month, I even started using it in the morning under my makeup, too, to essentially seal my face in moisture, 24/7 (I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you have insanely dry skin like me, though, because it will definitely give you a shiny T-zone by noon, and it can also make some foundations and tinted moisturizers look patchy—a fact I’m totally willing to live with for the sake of awesome-looking skin).
My only gripe? It’s pretty damn expensive, ringing in at $125 a jar. If you use it nightly, you’ll get about four months out of it, and if you use it twice and day, like me, well, expect to shell out money every other month. So no, this isn’t a super-cheap drugstore option, but sometimes really effective, potent ingredients come at a cost. And seeing how fantastic my skin currently looks and feels after just a few months of use, I’m totally willing to throw all of my money at this moisturizer to keep the unruly skin-child at bay.