5 inspiring creatives reveal their skincare secrets and favorite products for glowing skin

January 27, 2023

In the spirit of International Creativity Month, we called on some of our favorite creative thinkers—from an art curator to a cake designer to the stars—to talk about the ways their creative processes influence their skincare routines.

Beloved author and chef Claire Saffitz

Just like with ingredients for a recipe, Claire sees the silver lining in running out of routine staples when it comes to skincare. “When I find a product that works well for me, I like to stick with it, so I am constantly refining my routine. I have really learned that skincare is all about finding exactly what works for your particular skin, so it’s lots of trial and error.” 

For Claire, writing cookbooks and developing recipes is a practice that’s just like any other artistic endeavor. She finds inspiration in the repetition of the work. “It helps me problem solve and come up with new ideas. It also helps me explore the nuances of what I do, which fuels my creativity.” Her process begins with the simple spark of an idea—an ingredient or flavor combination or even visual inspiration. “I get inspiration for these ideas from a lot of different places — from visiting local farmers markets, to traveling, to dining out, to scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing the work of cooks and bakers who inspire me,” she shares.  

Some of Claire’s skincare staples? Chemical exfoliator, Vitamin C balm and mineral sunscreen

Cake designer and baker Alana Jones-Mann

This Los Angeles-based cake designer who creates edible works of art finds herself drawn to simplicity in her skincare routine. “I’m always open to trying new products but often find myself returning to my simplistic routine once I’ve finished the new product.”  

Routine guides Alana’s everyday life—even when she’s not baking. She finds that sticking to a daily routine helps her to find time for self-care rituals alongside her work. “With creative work in particular, I notice when I take the time to brainstorm or play around with new ideas, that time spent always yields much more creativity. It is so important and necessary for me to have that time for play worked into my routine,” she shares.

Alana loves oil formulas for cleansing and moisturizing, as well as hyaluronic acids for extra hydration. And in the winter, when skin needs a little more love, she reaches for Benton Snail Bee High Content masks.

The first step in her creative processes is getting inspired. “I’ll typically have a vague idea in my head and then spend an hour or a few days flushing out the idea, looking at images of textures, pattern references or palettes that will serve as the inspiration.” 

Celebrity makeup artist Kirin Bhatty

This makeup artist for A-listers loves to get creative with new products for herself and her  kit. “It gives me a chance to test the new greatest technology or trend in color cosmetics, and it’s why I tend to reach for skincare brands that are doctor-based.”  

When it comes to Kirin’s professional work, ritual has always reigned supreme. Making time to focus on skincare before applying makeup is part of how Kirin maintains her signature light touch that allows her clients’ natural beauty to take center stage. She sees skincare as a chance to center oneself—through facial massage, cleansing and moisturizing.

“Murad has been a brand that you discover early on through one product then take a journey through the whole line,” she shares. Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence is one of her favorites, especially for clients with sensitive skin or lots of air travel.  

And when it comes to her creative process, collaboration is Kirin’s first step. “It isn’t a solo process, but a fully interactive collaborative process.” When working with clients to create red carpet looks, she draws inspiration from their onscreen personas for a look that works in tandem.

Brand strategy and marketing consultant Shanika Hillocks

Creative consultancy requires being flexible, agile and open to receiving and giving feedback. This NYC-based creative practices that same open-mindedness with her skincare routine. “One of the biggest components of my routine are regular visits with my dermatologist to share feedback about recommended routines and prescription efficacy,” she shares.  

Her best takeaway? “Be cognizant of the seasons and adjust your routine as needed.” That means wintertime is a change to integrate a more nourishing moisturizer and a gentler exfoliant. 

Art consultant Liz Lidgett

Founder of Liz Lidgett Gallery + Design, credits seasonal switch-ups to keeping her skin happy, even during Iowa winters. As “a creative type A person,” she thrives within a routine while still itching for (scheduled) moments of spontaneity for inspiration.

“I schedule a couple of trips each year to go somewhere I have never been before so that I can soak up new visual adventures. When I am at home and need to be creative I do best with the routine setup of a comfortable spot at home with a cozy blanket, good lighting and a Diet Coke. That seems to be the magic equation.”

Maintaining a high/low skincare routine means pairing cleanser from the drugstore along with a high ticket moisturizer. Plus, she loves using Murad’s Vitamin C Glycolic Brightening Serum. “It brightens my skin and makes me look like I have slept even though I’m a business owner and the mom of two toddlers. It does wonders!”

After a client meeting, Liz starts by taking in as much artwork as possible. “I try to look at it through the lens of the client — their likes and dislikes, what they love to do, how they’ll use the space, how they want to feel in the room — and the art starts to reveal itself. It’s the art version of walking in someone else’s shoes.”

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Murad, and are for informational purposes only, even if the advice of physicians and medical practitioners are included. This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not be considered specific medical advice. 

About the Author

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Erika Veurink is a writer based in Brooklyn with MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Bennington College. She contributes to outlets such as The Cut, Vogue, AD, Coveteur, and more.