The One Thing an Esthetician Told Me That Changed My Skin

As beauty editors, we get bombarded with a ton of new products every day (we know—tough life). Reviewed is a series where we report on some of the best products we've tried. Whether it's a drugstore lipstick that lasted all day or a hand cream that saved us this winter, you'll find all our favorites in this column. Enjoy!

On a sensitivity scale of 0 to 100, my skin would easily slide in around 120. It's severely temperamental and has to be treated with the utmost care, or else my it'll let me have it. Because I break out from practically everything, I'm always side-eyeing new skincare products in fear that they'll break my skin's fragile, fragile heart. We're in a committed relationship, after all, and I need to look out for it. So, as you can probably presume, I'm reluctant to add new products to the mix, in fear that my dearly beloved face will end up with unsightly pimples a few days afterward—one of those products being fancy, rich moisturizers.

Look, I know how imperative moisturizers are, but my skin was broken up with them for a while. I won't name names, but even creamy moisturizers with raving reviews did my skin so, so dirty. I tried bottle after bottle and found that after a week, I'd wake up with unsightly pimples. Many day creams and night creams just overwhelmed my pores, and I couldn't figure out why. After a while, I gave up and swapped out moisturizers for face oils instead—but then my latest facial appointment happened.

Instead of relaxing during a facial, as one does, I take the time to interview the expert working on my face about my skin—because I want answers. During this particular appointment, I lucked out with an extremely knowledgeable expert who answered all my questions and more. I shared my tumultuous testimony dealing with cream-based moisturizers with her, and just like that, she changed my skin's game for good. After taking a look at my skin underneath a microscope, she confirmed that I have abnormally small pores, so cream-based moisturizers were actually clogging my pores—hence the pimples. Dense creams were essentially suffocating my skin, and I needed a chiller option. Enter gel-based moisturizers.