I’d been one of those lucky/unlucky women. I didn’t struggle with acne during my junior high and high school years, but once I hit my 20’s, Mother Nature came at my face with the full force of everything she’d been holding back previously. 

Since then, I’ve found products that helped manage my acne, newly large pores and redness. I’ve tried top skin care brands recommended by Kendall Jenner, Selena Gomez and my pseudo-friends at the Gloss Angeles Podcast. But nothing ever seemed to stick from one breakout to the next. I worried about developing too much of a skin care routine because it felt like the more products I added, the more whiteheads I got. 

Then, during pregnancy and postpartum, it was like I had entirely new skin to learn and manage. My skin completely changed (hello, rosacea, broken capillaries, sudden on-set wrinkles and eye bags so dark they could be seen in the, well, dark) and, therefore, my skin care needed to change, but I had no idea where to start.

Related: This genius skincare tool is changing self-care for busy mothers

When Fig.1 reached out to have me test their personalized skin care line, I couldn’t have emailed back faster. Having a skin care routine customized to my personal needs felt like a weight off my postpartum-ridden shoulders.

Fig.1 is a team of health experts, founded by Dr. Courtney Rubin, a board-certified dermatologist, Lizzy Trelstad, a cosmetic chemist, and Kimmy Scotti, a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist (fun note: Kimmy is also a Motherly investor!) Each of their products are expertly-developed and clinically-proven. Not to mention, before falling too in love with their products, I made sure they were affordable. And none of their products cost more than $42, but their refillable packaging system allows users to save even further and be more eco-friendly. And not only is their packaging sustainable, but their products are also cruelty-free, gluten-free, fragrance-free and clinically proven, making their line sustainable and making healthy skin achievable for a variety of consumers. 

After trying Fig.1’s personalized skin care routine for 3 straight weeks, here are my thoughts: 

Step 1: Complete the consultation quiz

Admittedly, I could have taken a much better selfie to help their dermatologists really understand my skin. 

The questions were very comprehensive–asking my current skin care routine, my current issues with my face, my skin sensitivity and my skin care goals. 

After the quiz, I was emailed within 24 hours with my customized skin care routine developed by esthetician Gina Stamatis. In the email, she explained why she chose the products she did for me, and how to use them. And she made herself available for any more questions I had once I started using the products. It felt like I was working with a dermatologist, but virtually. That’s the dream. 

Step 2: Try the products

The five products recommended for my sensitive, mostly dry and uneven skin were:

Micellar Oil Cleanser

Fig.1

$19

1. Micellar Oil Cleanser

My esthetician recommended I use this as my new daily cleanser, or supplement with my cleanser in order to ensure any dirt, leftover sunscreen or residue is completely stripped of my face. In the beginning, I switched from my daily cleanser to this product. But by week 2, I started double-cleansing my face with my former cleanser and using this after, because I noticed this was not taking my eye makeup off completely.

I was nervous to use an oil-based cleanser on my face, fearing breakouts. But that was never an issue! This cleanser turns to a light foam as you rub it into your face and truly gets deep in those pores. I had so few blackheads, it felt like I could see my pores disappearing.

Ceramide Moisturizer

Fig.1

$28

2. Ceramide Moisturizer

Moisturizers are a sticky subject for me. Out of any product, moisturizers have the strongest ability to break me out. I had recently found a moisturizer that seemed to do the trick of treating my new, postpartum dry skin without breaking me out, and I was scared to ruin that. But to get the full Fig.1 experience, I did try the Ceramide Moisturizer and loved it! I did not experience any breakouts, and a little bit of this product goes a very long way. Which is great because the bottle is HUGE.

Niacinamide Treatment

Fig.1

$28

3. Niacinamide Treatment

I had read a lot about Niacinamide and why everyone should be including it in their routine. This product applied like a creamy moisturizer, and may have been the most effective product in my lineup. I felt like I saw the redness in my face just disappear over time.

Retinol Night Cream No. 1

Fig.1

$38

4. Retinol Night Cream No. 1

Having read many stories about people adding retinol into their skin care routine, I was really apprehensive to use this product. My esthetician recommended that if I was nervous, but wanted to try, to slowly ease this into my process by only using it 1-2 times/week in the beginning.

The first week, I used this product twice, on Mondays and Fridays. Not seeing much redness, peeling or sensitivity, I bumped it up to 3 nights/week the second week. Finally, I was using it every other night by the third week. This retinol formula is mild and so easy to ease into your skin care routine, no redness or peeling necessary. I did notice that I broke out a bit more using the retinol more, but the other Fig.1 products helped clear breakouts quickly.

Skin Radiance Complex

Fig.1

$29

5. Skin Radiance Complex

Because I had started taking birth control again, I chose to not also add this pill into my skin care routine without first talking to my doctor. But the product promises to support the skin barrier and promote visibly even skintone.

Step 3: Refill your products

All of Fig.1’s products are packaged in glass bottles (sustainability!) with cartridges you can refill when you’ve run out of any product. And to refill is not only more sustainable than buying new products, it’s also more affordable than buying a brand new packaging system. 

Overall, I loved the Fig.1 line. The products didn't prevent breakouts for me, but it did help clear them up much faster than my previous two-step process. I also noticed complete healing from breakouts using these products–no scarring and no residual redness. Plus, you can see how much brighter and less red my skintone became over the course of just three weeks. I’m really eager to continue using the products to see just how much more my skintone continues to improve. My goal every summer is to just use a tinted moisturizer instead of a full to medium-coverage foundation, and dare I say this might be my year?

I did not have full confidence in myself to stick to a routine. But I found the 5-minutes it took to complete the 3 steps prescribed to me actually felt like self-care in the morning and at night. And with a baby, I needed that time and better skin to feel more like myself again.