I Traded in My 12-Step Skincare Routine for These 3 Products—and My Complexion Has Never Looked Better
This story originally appeared on InStyle.com.
I know I'm not the only one who fell for the 12-step skincare routines that were glorified a few years ago. In 2018, I wasted too much time and money slathering on multiple products that promised clearer, brighter, and younger-looking skin. The cleaners, toners, serums, retinols, moisturizers, tonics, masks, etc. never seemed to do much, but I was religious about my routine until about three months ago, when I was introduced to Covey.
Created by model Emily DiDonato and her best friend, Christina Garcia, Covey is a simplified and streamlined skincare line. (Fun fact: The word "covey" means a "small flock of birds that protect and care for each other"—which mirrors the brand's mission of unity and harmony). The two were sick of wasting time putting on product after product and decided to create their own line of essentials that gave the same desired results without requiring 10-plus minutes for application. They worked for three years with dermatologists to create an effective and uncomplicated routine that could be used morning and night and finally landed on, well, The Routine, a three-step system that includes a cleanser, a vitamin C serum, and a moisturizer.
Shop it! $137, coveyskin.com
Remember double cleansing? You won't need to suds up twice with Covey's one-step First of All Cleanser. It so effectively removes all my makeup in one go that I stopped buying makeup-removing wipes altogether. I used to only use oil-based cleansers on my combination skin, but this gel formula is so hydrating—thanks to babassu oil and aloe leaf juice—that my skin never feels tight or stripped after washing. I use it twice daily and swear I have fewer blackheads on my nose and chin.
Shop it! $29, coveyskin.com
Next up (literally) is the Next Up Vitamin C serum. I have hyperpigmentation and dark spots from too many years of tanning, so this was the product I was most skeptical about. But the formula contains 15 percent stabilized vitamin C THD ascorbate, which is 50 times more powerful than other similar products on shelves, according to the brand. Plus, it's non-acidic, so it's gentler on the skin.
The serum also has vitamin E and antioxidant-filled grape seed extracts for a further brightening boost. It has a milky consistency that feels really hydrating, and my skin looks plumper every time I apply it. After three months, the serum has helped to fade some old acne scars on my forehead and some sun damage-induced freckles on my nose. I'm kicking myself for how much I used to spend on vitamin C serums that didn't deliver.
Shop it! $59, coveyskin.com
The final product in The Routine is the Last But Not Least Moisturizer. It has this incredible whipped texture that's super hydrating but also lightweight because it's both water- and oil-based. The cream contains plumping sodium hyaluronate, antioxidant-filled squalane, and hydrating glycerin for a nourishing formula that keeps flakes at bay. It's July and really muggy where I live, so I normally wouldn't reach for a super rich cream, but this formula melts into my skin and never makes me look greasy—it just makes my skin look plump and dewy.
Shop it! $49, coveyskin.com
The one crucial step Covey is missing is sunscreen, so I also apply my favorite one after the moisturizer in the morning. I hope the brand releases one in the future, because I'll be buying it (hint hint, Covey).
If you're ready to streamline your skincare routine, I highly recommend Covey's The Routine.