All skin is good skin, which is why good skincare is more of a journey than a destination. We all love a one-off tip—but, at Byrdie, we’re more interested in how our skin evolves over time. The product we've used for a decade, the ingredient cocktail that made us glow, the step we never skip, and all the advice in between. This is the stuff that makes a real difference. With What I Put on My Face, we’re bringing you the rituals, recommendations, and failed experiments (we’ve all had them) straight from celebrities, founders, and influencers who’ve gone through it themselves.
I've wondered about Nyadak "Duckie" Thot's skincare routine since the moment her Australia's Next Top Model photos floated down my Tumblr dashboard back in 2013. Deep, radiant, and ever-dewy, the model's luminous visage and singular beauty earned her plenty of fans. After countless runways, A-lister fans (Kanye West cast Thot in her first runway show), and luxe campaigns, this model has more than her fair share of high-profile projects under her belt.
These days, her schedule is stuffed with commitments reserved for a global top model: Victoria's Secret, L'Oréal, Fenty Beauty, and, this year, a buzzy feature spread in the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. But despite her impressive stature (both in the literal and career sense), Thot's the proverbial girl next door. A passionate advocate for inclusion in the fashion and beauty industries, she's the type to take younger rookie models under her wing. Even her warm Australian accent is so disarmingly friendly, it's easy to imagine Thot as a therapist or even a talk show host had she not been born a generation-defining beauty icon instead.
Chatting to Duckie Thot about her skincare routine was as fun as it sounds, and her recommendations are as solid as your bestie's. Her enthusiasm for describing on-the-go facial sprays and the trials and tribulations of teenage skin was contagious, and I even found myself building a mental shopping list as she spoke. Below, explore Duckie Thot's complete skincare routine, along with the best tips, tricks, and advice she's learned through her years in the modeling industry.
How She Got Into Skincare
The general state of my skin is quite glowy because I keep it hydrated a lot. I do struggle with a little bit of hyperpigmentation that I used to color-correct, but generally, I have pretty good skin which I'm very fortunate about.
Even when I was younger, I was always really into skincare. It's been a massive part of my life growing up, and I think it only just developed and grew as my career grew as well. So I just have always been into skincare. I wasn't much of a makeup wearer when I was younger, but skincare has always been something I've been interested in.
Her Hydrating Routine
For my routines, I always want to make sure that I am cleaning off the skin—even if I didn't wear any makeup that day. I think it's really important to go in with a wipe. Again, make sure that you don't have any dirt on your skin, or you're taking excess dirt that you got on your skin from the day off. You would be really surprised; some people think just because they're not wearing makeup they don't need to go over it with a nice wipe. I do that, and then I always try and pump some moisturizer on just depending on where I am, the climate, and what my skin is needing that day. But, I think overall, you want to make sure that your skin is moist and hydrated and get all of the nice, good ingredients you would want.
What I love about the cosmetics industry right now is that there are so many new brands. That's really exciting—I haven't been able to try so many brands before, so this is really cool. I love to make sure that everything's moisturized so one cleanser that I do love a lot is Dermalogica. I just love their products because they're super hydrating. You want to make sure everything's, you know, still staying in—you don't want to strip off any natural oils. I'll go in was a good cleanser, and then, of course, I am a massive skin junkie so I will go in with one of those cleansing tools. I use it quite lightly because you never want to be too rough on the skin; it's so sensitive. I always try to be cautious as well whenever using masks or scrubs—you don't want to strip anything away. I also like a face steamer. I use it maybe twice a week.
How She Preps for a Big Project
I do step it up when preparing for a shoot. I love to use 111 Skin masks ($135), I think there's so great to use whether it be the night before a shoot or the morning of the shoot. I normally take some masks with me and most of the time makeup artists have them but you prep your scanner for a while to make sure you've got all your bases covered. I'll go in with a serum and undereye serum so I don't have bags—I'll use a thick one depending on what my skin needs and what the shoot is.
The Product She's Used Forever
Sometimes when you're sitting in the makeup chair, taking on and off makeup, it can be a bit sensitive on the skin. So, I try and keep it as fresh as possible. One of the creams that I absolutely love and has been in my skincare routine for ages is the Charlotte Tilbury Night Cream ($145). I think it's amazing and I think everyone needs it—it does wonders for me.
The One Step She Never Skips
I would say my serums: my oil serums and vitamin C serums. And my under eye cream—there's something nice about making sure that you've got a great undereye cream. I love the Retrouvé Revitalizing Eye Concentrate ($215). I love the packaging, I think it's super cute and simple, but I also love the thickness of the cream. You literally feel it seeping into your skin straight away, which I love. I swear by this product, so I think this is also going to be a longtime staple in my routine.
How Her Routines Have Evolved
It's changed over time because I got more curious about skincare. When I was younger, of course, I would do my best with the little that I had, but I didn't really know much about it. When I hit my teenage years, I was kind of trying any product. Some products, I realized, had some bad ingredients, and it was drying out my skin, which was something that I hadn't experienced before. I started doing more research on ingredients, what goes in it, and what I shouldn't be putting on my skin. That became a hobby as time went on.
I made another adjustment when I started modeling and wearing makeup a lot more than I ever had before in my life. I was putting on a bunch of products, taking a bunch of them off constantly, and wanted to make sure that what I was using was gentle to my skin. It's just trial and error. If you find something that you love, stick with it. It's about doing your research. Everybody's skin is different, and I think people have to remember it is an organ. You have to be really cautious with what you put on your skin—on your face, but on your body as well.
Her Take-Everywhere Skincare Favorite
The Caudalie Beauty Elixir Face Mist ($49). That's probably one of my all-time favorite little things in my skincare routine because I feel like it keeps your face nice and fresh. I personally have it with me always, whether it be the smaller one or the bigger one. I always travel with one. It just kind of brings my skin back to life.
Her Most-Used Product
What's my most used, honestly, is the Charlotte Tilbury Night Cream. I swear by that one, all the time. It's so dewy and the texture is just so nice. When I wake up in the morning, my skin already feels good from it the night before. I've had to do like less of my skincare routine when using that, which has been really cool.
Her Newest Obsession
I recently have been using Vida Glow, a collagen—they're Australian. I really love it and what it's been doing for my skin recently. It just promotes good, glowing skin. By taking [the supplements], I felt the biggest difference. I started taking it last year and I think it's made a massive difference in my skin overall.