Is Sticking To One Skincare Brand The Key To A Perfect Complexion?


To me, the success of any brand in 2019 comes down to how good they are at story-telling and community-building. Industry mavericks like Outdoor Voices, Glossier, The Wing, and Drunk Elephant have all used story-telling to curate bonds with their consumers, and in turn they’re able to launch just about any product and have legions of fans who are willing to pay for it – no questions asked. It’s kind of a like a less controversial version of a pyramid scheme, except instead of making money you get a new sticker for your laptop.

But when it comes to skincare, is your loyalty to a brand’s social-media-sorority deterring you from meeting your skincare goals? Potentially.

There’s an assumption that using products from the same brand means that those products work synergistically and thus produce better results for your skin. But in my opinion, being a single-brand loyalist isn’t necessary for most women, instead you’re better off building a routine that targets your unique skin concerns. In the same way you wouldn’t go to your dentist if you had the flu and you wouldn’t go to your optometrist for a root canal, no skincare brand is going to solve every problem. In fact, almost all leading skincare brand have become famous for a single product or patented ingredient that solves a specific problem: La Mer is known for their “Miracle Broth” –  a fermented, nutrient-rich, sea kelp which serves as a potent anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory, Paula’s Choice is known for their no-frills approach to acne solutions, Shani Darden is the Queen of anti-aging, and Vintner’s Daughter is known exclusively for their potent, plant-derived serum (the founder waited five whole years before launching a second product in 2019).

But notice I said “most“. As with all the advice I dish out in my corner of the Internet, there will always be an exception to the rule. And in the case of foregoing brand loyalty, there are actually two exceptions. The first is anyone who suffers from really sensitive skin; you girls will almost always benefit from staying the course and curating your routine around a single brand. Luckily there are so many leaders in this space now: Drunk Elephant, Ren Clean Skincare (always underrated but so good!), Pai Skincare (apparently their Camellia and Rose Hydrating Cleanser is really good), and CeraVe to name a few. If you’re prone to redness, itchiness, scaling or burning, you want to avoid anything that contains fragrance and all of these brands meet the mark. It’s also just not worth “experimenting” with a multitude of brands when conditions like eczema are on the line. The other group of people who would benefit from sticking to one skincare brand are those who don’t know what they’re doing. If you’re not someone who reads the labels on your products, if you’re not aware that you shouldn’t double up on retinol and acids, and if you didn’t know that you should never use an acid without pairing it with something hydrating, then it’s safer for you to stick with one brand that has taken care to ensure the ingredients of one formula won’t interfere with the effectiveness of another.

But for what it’s worth, I currently have seven brands in my winter rotation. I just counted.

Header image by Holly Burgess for The Twenties Club