If I'm being completely honest, it's a miracle I still have skin, considering the utter hell I used to put — and, occasionally, still put — it through. I've slept in makeup. I've drank more Diet Coke than I have water. I've rubbed and scrubbed my face until it's raw. And while I've improved a ton when it comes to taking care of my skin, I'm 1) not perfect and 2) still dealing with skin issues such as dryness and rosacea. Recently, when I tried Rodan + Fields' new RECHARGE Regimen, I noticed that my dehydrated, red, and sometimes-tired-looking skin essentially did a 180. Even better, the regimen is only three steps. Why yes, I do stan quick, easy skincare solutions, thank you very much!
Having slathered on hundreds and hundreds of products over the years in attempt to find my ride-or-die skincare products, I've learned a couple things. First, I'm not cut out for routines with 8,452,938,432 steps. It's just not me. In the morning, I'm lucky if I have more than seven minutes to get ready, and at night, I'm trying to go to bed the minute I walk in the door, you feel me? Second, I'm pretty skeptical about most skincare products' often over-the-top claims of totally reducing redness or giving you an immediate glow. Like, sounds fake, but OK. That said, I'm always pleasantly surprised when I feel excited to use a new product more than, say, two times.
When I first learned about Rodan + Fields' newest RECHARGE Regimen, a three-step skincare routine designed to combat the emotional, physical, and environmental stressors young people face when it comes to their skin health, I'll admit I went through my skeptic phase. The line comes with the Super Cleanser, the Ultra Boost Moisturizing Treatment, and the Protect + Blur Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (all types of products I've used before), and it claims to be a prime choice for young people's skincare concerns — a claim I sometimes feel is code for "this packaging is fun and punchy!"
However, a closer look at the product lineup reveals carefully considered ingredients designed to target an array of skincare concerns that I, a young person, actually have: dehydration, redness, dullness, and stress-related effects. "Taking care of your skin in your late teens and early 20s is crucial, and hydration and protection are key to keeping skin healthy," Sumita Butani, vice president of Product Development for Rodan + Fields, tells Elite Daily. "This age group often doesn’t have one major skin concern but a lot of little concerns as they notice their skin start to change and look tired, blotchy, dull, and dehydrated."
Thankfully, the regimen doesn't only address one or two of the myriad of skincare concerns I mentioned that may start to arise in your 20s. According to Butani, each product in the regimen contains ingredients such as antioxidants to combat signs of stress and protect against environmental stressors (like free radicals and pollution), electrolytes to maintain sufficient moisture in the skin, peptides to help with redness and inflammation, in addition to prebiotics and superfruit. This concoction is what Rodan + Fields refers to as its Electri5 Complex. It mirrors the effects of an antioxidant known as glutathione, which your skin creates naturally in response to signs of aging. In your 20s, glutathione levels begin to decrease — because how could we ever have nice things? — so the environment can begin to really wreak havoc on your skin (rude).
In addition to the Electri5 Complex, the other ingredients in each of the products in the regimen boast a plethora of good-for-you effects that, honestly, you may not think too much about when it comes to skincare — but you should. The Super Cleanser, for example, features Australian Lime Pearl Extract, which acts as an exfoliator that's gentle enough to use every day, and a Second Skin Shield, which allows your skin to feel soft instead of dry and stripped after washing.
After using the cleanser for the first time, I was surprised with how well its exfoliating properties worked to buff off my dry skin patches, which are typically pretty stubborn. I also immediately noticed the effects of the Second Skin Shield, simply by touching my face. (Spoiler: It was really freaking soft!!!) It's worth noting, though, that this "shield" doesn't prevent the remainder of your products from sinking into your skin.
The Ultra Boost Moisturizing Treatment was also surprising to me. As someone who normally needs a thick (like, really thick) moisturizer to hydrate my Sahara Desert-adjacent skin, I was a little unsure that the regimen's lightweight gel moisturizer would give my skin the all-day hydration it needs. Consider me surprised, again, though! While I still do prefer thicker moisturizers, this moisturizing treatment is fast-absorbing, so it doesn't sit on your skin as long as a heavier moisturizer might. And I did feel the effects on my skin — it was soft to the touch, bouncy, and supple — for a good bit after I applied it.
Then, there's the SPF, a need, not a want. The mineral-based, zinc-containing product doubles as a makeup primer, contains SPF 30 UVA and UVB protection, and, my favorite part, blurs pores and reduces redness. Although I typically prefer a higher SPF (the sun and I are literally at war every day, help), the immediate blurring effect I noticed on my skin was pretty dope. Even better, the product felt lightweight and not at all greasy like a typical sunscreen. Perhaps this is how we finally convince the masses to wear SPF every day, or so help me god?
OK, OK, OK. Now that the technically stuff is out of the way, let me give you guys what you really want: what my skin looked like one night before and after using the products, which Rodan + Fields was so kind to give me a preview of. For context, the night I first used these products, I put my skin through the ringer. After a full nine hours of work (not to mention, I walk to work, so my skin was sweaty and ew), my girlfriend and I stuffed our faces with enough pasta and wine to feed a small village. Then we went to a Broadway show (where there was also wine), and finally decided to go home to have — wait for it — more wine. By the time we got ready for bed, my skin was dry, red, a little blotchy, and a lot tired-looking:
Considering Butani says the line is targeted toward "anyone concerned with skin fatigue and stress that causes skin to look tired, dull, blotchy and dehydrated," I was ready to feel Changed™. As you can see in the after shot on the right above, after using the cleanser and moisturizer (it was nighttime, so the SPF comes later), my dry, red skin was noticeably brighter in some areas. Although it was still a little red in some places, you can't expect redness to disappear in five minutes, unfortunately. Still, my skin felt soft, hydrated, and, quite frankly, didn't look as if I just guzzled wine all night. God bless.
After a couple uses of all three products together, I noticed all the same benefits of brighter, soft, hydrated skin, but my skin texture and tone overall had changed for the better, too. Both had evened out significantly, and I noticed fewer dry patches popping up after a long day.
If you're wondering how just three products are able to rival the effects of a consistent 12-step skincare routine, well, I was, too. However, Butani says it's all in the strategic pairing of ingredients in skincare products, rather than the amount of products in your routine. "The key to maintaining healthy-looking skin is using the right ingredients for your skin, in the right formulations, applied in the right order," she says. "Some ingredients are most effective combined in a single product, while others should be applied in a specific order." I am not a dermatologist — not even close. So TBH, having steps laid out for me is clutch.
I totally understand if you're skeptical of a rando on the internet's thoughts about these products. But, after clinical trials, almost 90% of participants who used the regimen instantly experienced either less oily or fresher skin, 95% saw bouncier skin after four weeks of use, and almost 90% noticed overall more radiant skin after eight weeks of use.
If you are a young person who puts their skin through the ringer like I do mine (don't lie, I know you're out there), you won't have to wait long to snag this regimen. On Oct. 1, Rodan + Fields' RECHARGE Regimen will retail for $134 and be available for purchase at rodanandfields.com. Now, I'm gonna go forth and continue having fun nights with my one true love (wine) and not stress about my skin.