The 11 Products that Shay Mitchell's Esthetician Swears By for Healthy Skin
Shani Darden, who also works with Kelly Rowland and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, shares her skincare essentials.
Cleanse, moisturize, sleep, repeat—or not. From the 18-product maximalists to the one-and-done movers and shakers, everybody’s skin care routine differs. In A.M. to P.M., we explore the morning and evening routines of people with different skin care concerns, from targeting acne to embracing vegan beauty.
Skin type: Normal to oily
Skin concerns: Melasma, oily T-zone
My skin is fairly balanced, but I do struggle with melasma and an oily T-zone. From my years as an esthetician, I know that one of the most important things you can do for your skin is to figure out exactly what works great for it. What works for someone else may not work for you! I’ve used so many products throughout the years, and I’ve been able to narrow down what works best with my skin to keep it balanced and glowing. Here are the skincare products, devices, and supplements I use in my daily routine.
I start most mornings with one or both of my daughters coming to cuddle with me. They’re my favorite people, so I cherish these moments with them. Once I’m out of bed, I’ll spray a little palo santo spray and take my supplements. I’ve been taking Dr. Nigma’s Healthy Flora supplements, which help to keep the healthy bacteria in your gut intact. A healthy gut equals healthy skin, so this is an essential step in my morning routine.
I love a gentle yet effective cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin. My brand’s Cleansing Serum has hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which draw moisture to the skin and help hold onto it. I use wet cotton gauze while cleansing for a deeper cleanse and also to remove the cleanser. It helps to gently exfoliate my skin and make sure all traces of the cleanser are removed.
After cleansing, to start my day lifted and glowing, I use my newly launched Facial Sculpting Wand. It’s a vibration therapy device that uses acoustic soundwaves to target wrinkles and reduce puffiness. I love how sculpted my face is afterwards!
Following my quick Wand treatment, I apply iS Clinical’s Pro-Heal Serum for antioxidant protection. It’s an amazing vitamin C serum that helps to offset the effects of environmental stressors like pollution and UV exposure. It can also help reverse the signs of sun damage by brightening skin and boosting collagen.
Next up is eye cream. I’ve been loving the Cosmedix Opti-Crystal Eye Serum, which has a copper complex and liquid crystals to brighten, hydrate, and firm the skin. It’s an iridescent color, which helps to brighten and mask dark circles. As a mom of two kids, I always need that!
Wearing sunscreen every single day is the most important thing you can do for your skin. I love one that is lightweight yet hydrating. Garnier’s new Pinea-C Serum Cream is a serum, moisturizer, and SPF in one; I’ve been using it a lot lately and loving it. I never leave the house without applying sunscreen, and this serum-cream is great for those days when I’m running behind and want to quickly hydrate and protect my skin.
Depending on where my daily meetings with my team land, I love to go for a walk. A strenuous uphill walk really helps to boost circulation, which gives you that post-exercise glow. It’s always an essential step for my mental health, so I can’t live without my daily walks.
I’m diligent about washing my face thoroughly every single night. I start with Garnier’s Brightening Micellar Water to remove makeup and impurities from the day. It’s a great gentle formula that isn’t harsh on the skin. The second step of my cleansing routine is to use my Cleansing Serum. It’s gentle and won’t strip the skin, but it’s an essential step for me to keep my skin clear and glowing. If skin isn’t cleansed thoroughly, your treatment products won’t be able to properly absorb. Your skin is in repair mode at night, so to get the most out of it, you have to start with a clean canvas to ensure your treatment products can get to work.
Next up in my nighttime routine is my Retinol Reform. It combines lactic acid and retinol to speed up cellular turnover to bring fresh skin to the surface as well as boost collagen, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, reduce hyperpigmentation, and help keep skin clear. The best part is that it’s not going to cause dryness or flaking. I can’t live without it! To treat my melasma, sometimes I’ll use a prescription hydroquinone/tretinoin mix that I get from my doctor.
One to two times a week, I use the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads to exfoliate instead of Retinol Reform. Exfoliation is necessary to remove the dead layer of skin on the surface so that your treatment products can do their job! I’ve used these pads for years since they combine both AHAs and BHAs to exfoliate and clear out congestion in your pores. They’re easy to use and very effective.
If I need extra hydration, I’ll add in iS Clinical’s Hydra-Cool Serum, a hyaluronic acid serum, to deeply hydrate and plump up the skin. It’s also great for soothing the skin as well. Finally, finding a great moisturizer that works well for your skin type is so important. I have more normal to oily skin, so I love a lightweight moisturizer like my Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer, which doesn’t cause any congestion in the pores. It uses hyaluronic acid and hydrolyzed collagen to hydrate the skin and keep it smooth and supple.