First, she brought us hope that a woman could actually take on the White House, when she became the youngest to ever serve in the US Congress. Then, she showed us how to dance through life (and sidestep sorry attempts to shame her), by refusing to be embarrassed by a video of her throwing shapes at college. And now, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has bestowed on us another gift – her skincare routine.
Self-confessed skincare nerd AOC shared the goss on her Instagram Stories, when a follower asked for it, saying: “Skincare is a straight-up hobby of mine… I truly enjoy the science of it, reading about compounds and studies, etc”. Me too, bbz!
So, what’s responsible for the glow? Turns out, there are no miracles, but a K-beauty style multi-step routine, with a few little surprises. She’s not averse to a facewipe (makes sense, which damn busy woman is?). She loves a toner. And, while sadly she stopped short of naming brands, lest she be accused of being too “product-placementy”, she also had a few classy words for someone who said she didn’t care about her skincare routine and would rather hear about how she writes a speech. “That’s OK. We all have different interests.” And doesn’t that say it all. Some of us like politics. Some of us like skincare. And, shock and horror, some of us like both. Imagine!
1 Double cleanse
AOC: “If you wear make-up – esp foundation – you should double cleanse. Cleanse w/ a balm or oil to melt off the makeup and then use a usual soapy cleanser to wash your skin.”
Done and done, madame! Clinique's Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm is the gold standard, and we’ve tried dozens. And, if you’re going to use a foaming cleanser, which can be drying, this Caudalie one is gentle enough not to make your face feel tighter than a drum.
1 (b) FaceWipes at a pinch
AOC: “Sometimes, I just use a nice facewipe before bed… NO ALCOHOL in your wipes (or any skincare product).”
Good shout, Al. Denatured alcohol and isopropyl alcohol are both drying to skin. But no need to steer away from fatty alcohols, labelled as alcohol cetyl or stearyl, which are actually good for skin. We love Boots' Simple Kind To Skin Facial Cleansing Wipes.
AOC: “It should feel like water, but more nourishing.” Probiotic toners are all the rage, and we’re all about the Gallinée Face Vinegar, which adds good bacteria to the skin to balance and nourish.
3 Actives – i.e. serums!
AOC: “Actives are basically serums w/ active compounds… They should be in the layer closest to your skin after toner.”
Alexandria cites vitamin C and retinol as favourite ingredients. We reckon this affordable La Roche-Posay Redermic-R retinol, which is excellent for anti-ageing, could feature in her shelfie. And The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension is a great budget buy.
AOC: “Use a moisturiser that works with your skin… it’s like finding jeans that fit.”
YES! Moisturiser basically just provides comfort, so we love this ethos – pick one you like and don’t let anyone tell you it’s no good.
5 Sunscreen every day
AOC: “SUNSCREEN! The most important thing. I’ve been using daily sunscreen since I was 19. I’ve been bad about it lately and can tell the difference.”
Sunscreen is the only thing that is guaranteed to defend your skin against wrinkles. Fact. You’ll need to find a broad-spectrum factor 30+ you like – i.e. you don’t feel too greasy and your make-up, if you wear it, goes nicely over the top. Our deputy fashion and beauty editor, Hannah Banks-Walker, is obsessed with this from the Body Shop.