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My Mom Has Worked In Skincare For 15 Years And Here Are Her Holy Grail Tips

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

My mom, Stacey Gotskind, has worked in skincare and beauty for over 15 years. Firstly, she started working at Bath & Body Works as a Sales Associate for 2 years. Then she got a job at Sephora. Between Chicago and Kansas City, she has worked in stores for over a decade and in retail overall since the 80s. She specifically studied fragrance. However, she found that her biggest passion is skincare. After that, she got a job as a freelance brand representative for Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare. Now, she has the same job but instead with the brand CAUDALIE, which is a favorite of recent beauty mogul and entertainer Selena Gomez. CAUDALIE is also one of the #1 skincare brands in French pharmacies. 

Without a good skincare routine, your makeup will not look the best it can be. For example, imagine your face is your canvas, and your makeup is your paint. You need to prep your canvas, so your painting can look its best. Therefore, your skincare is your prep step. Think of skincare as the basis of self-care. As the ultimate treat for yourself. 

My mom’s routine is simple. Firstly, use your cleanser, and apply it with her holy grail Foreo applicator (the perfect holiday or birthday gift). Then use your treatments, which are usually some kind of serum that works for your skin type. Then use eye treatments/creams. My mom suggests starting to use eye treatments as early as your twenties as that can help with aging in the long run. Then apply your moisturizers, which, depending on how dry or oily your skin type is, is different for everyone. The only difference between a daytime and a nighttime moisturizer is putting your SPF moisturizer as the last step. The only difference between daytime and nighttime routine is using some sort of cell turnover treatment at night. My mom recommends using Retinol (many products with Retinol are linked below).

Here are her product recommendations:


1. Vanacream 

This is great for sensitive skin and is sold at drugstores for an affordable price.

2. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Cleansing Gel 

It works for all skin types, so perfect for combination skin. It is also a match made in heaven with the Foreo brush. 

3. Caudalie Foaming Cleanser 

This is also for all skin types and is fairly priced at Sephora.

4. SkinFix Foaming Cleansing Oil 

This is for all skin types, but especially sensitive skin. 

5. Caudalie Vinopure Cleansing Gel 

This is perfect for acne-prone skin types, like combination and oily. It can be used for the face and body (chest and back) as well!


1. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel pads 

These are available in three versions — one for every skin type, and let me say they are worth the money!

2. Caudalie Vinopure Serum 

This is for oily, combination skin or for occasional blemishes. It can be used for the face, body, or as a spot treatment.

3. Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol Texture Renewal serum 

Retinol is something my mom highly recommends. This product works for all skin types. It’s for smoothing skin and blurring imperfections.

4. Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum

This also works for all skin types and different kinds of dark spots, and it is a brightening Vitamin C alternative for your skin. 

5. Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra SOS Serum 

This is for all skin types because it’s oil-free and very hydrating. 

Eye Treatments:

1. Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Cream 

This eye cream is very moisturizing & smoothing. This is a great eye cream for the nighttime!

2. Dr. Dennis Gross Dew It Right Eye Gel 

It’s lightweight & hydrating. It addresses puffiness and dark circles. It’s also lightweight under concealer.

3. Biossance Squalane & Peptide Eye Gel 

It’s lightweight & smoothing. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free. 

4. Farmacy Very Cherry Eye Cream 

It’s lightweight & brightening. It’s also a cruelty-free product.

5. Sephora Collection Brightening Eye Cream 

It’s for brightening & hydrating. It also has caffeine, which makes it perfect for when you pretend to be in a Vogue Beauty Secrets video during your morning routine.


1. Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra SOS Sorbet or Intense Moisturizer 

Both are suitable for dry skin. They boost your hydration, are silicon-free, and are also vegan. 

2. Caudalie Vinopure Oil-Free Mattifying Moisturizer 

This is good for combatting pores, blemishes, and excess oil. It’s also made with clean ingredients. 

3. Dr. Dennis Gross oil free Moisture Cushion

This is good for combating dryness and blemishes. This is recommended for normal and combination skin. 

4. Dr Dennis Gross Daily Essential Moisturizer

This is good for combating dryness and uneven texture. It’s also for normal and combination skin. 

5. Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve moisturizer

This is an Allure magazine 2021 Best of Beauty Award Winner. It’s for dry, normal, and combination skin. It gives you a great dose of antioxidants too!


1. Farmacy Green Screen SPF 30

This is for all skin types and is the one my mom gave me. I have used it for years. This also helps protect you from blue light that comes from technology.

2. Biossance Sheer Squalane Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

This has Zinc in it and is made with clean ingredients. This also has blue light protection.

3. Dr. Dennis Gross Lightweight Wrinkle Defense sunscreen SPF 30

This is great for all skin types. It’s good for dryness and redness. This is also great for blue light protection and can also be used as a primer.

4. Supergoop Mineral SheerScreen SPF 30

This is good for combination skin. It helps combat oiliness and gives a natural finish.

5. Lancôme UV Expert Defense SPF 50 primer & moisturizer

It’s long-wearing. It’s also best for dry and combination skin. 

Her tips for college girls:

Use What Influencers Say With A Grain Of Salt

While some influencers are credible, others aren’t, so do your homework. What works for one person might not work for someone else. It’s most important to use what works for your skin. Skin isn’t like fashion, what’s trendy isn’t always what’s effective. If a product does pique your interest, do some research. If the product is sold at Sephora, ask for their skincare expert and ask them about the product and if it will work for your skin. If it doesn’t, they could recommend an alternative. Some influencers she recommends are Janet Sui on TikTok, who is a cosmetic chemist who breaks down and explains ingredients in skincare products really well, and Gothamista’s videos on Youtube are really easy to understand. She also recommends looking at Sephora’s Youtube channel for their Beauty Editors. Also, follow them on social media. She recommends following brands more than specific influencers themselves because they provide education for their products. The brands she recommends to follow are Caudalie, Dr. Dennis Gross, Tower 28, Ouai, Vegamour, Tarte, Drunk Elephant and Rare Beauty. Alley Gage is a friend of my mom, and she worked at the Sephora in Overland Park, Kansas for years. She has modeled for Sephora and worked with the brand on the national level, makes Facebook videos, and has a popular Instagram account. Gage also has a studio in Kansas City where she does facials, sells some retail products and gives makeup and skincare tutorials. It’s called Alley Gage Beauty and locals should definitely check it out and schedule an appointment.

Use Facial Massagers, Jade Rollers and Gua Shas

They are a great way to wake up your skin in the morning and a great way to relax and unwind at the end of the day. My mom sits on the couch and uses her vibrating facial massager while watching that day’s episode of General Hospital. I put my jade roller and gua sha in the refrigerator for morning use. You don’t need to be like Cassie in Euphoria and have 20 different rollers and massagers, but one or two that do different things could help. They are sold almost everywhere you can find beauty products and with a wide range of prices. She says for the most part all stone rollers and gua shas are the same, so don’t break the bank for them. She loves her Caudalie vibrating two-pronged roller (which I have proof of, since she uses it every night while watching Only Murders In The Building).

No Matter What, Use SPF

If you wake up late, need to take your dog out, or are running late to class, and only have time to use one product in the morning, make sure it’s your SPF moisturizer. SPF is the simplest and most important thing you can do for your skin in the morning. 

No Matter How Tired You Are, Take Your Makeup Off

Whether you are coming home late from the library or after a night of drinking and partying, before you climb into bed, take your makeup off. My mom suggested the Caudalie Almond Milk Makeup Remover or Dr. Dennis Gross’ satisfying meltaway remover. Just do it. Even keep it by your bed with a box of tissues for easy access. Your 50-year-old self will thank you.

Use Face Masks

When you are watching your favorite comfort show or doing your homework until you go to bed, you can easily put on a face mask. My mom gave me the Caudalie detox mask, First Aid Beauty rescue mask, Summer Fridays jet lag mask, and Sephora water gel mask

Hello! My name is Sami Gotskind! I'm from Chicago and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Acting and Journalism. I also working on getting a certificate in Fashion Styling from the Fashion Institute of Technology. I was a writer for Her Campus KU from 2020 to 2022 and for Her Campus Nationals since 2021. I was also the Writing Director for Her Campus KU in 2022. I love film, TV, fashion, pop culture, history, music, and feminism. My friends describe me as an old soul, an avid Euphoria fan, a fashion icon, a Swiftie, an Audrey Hepburn-Blair Waldorf fanatic, a future New Yorker, and a Gossip Girl historian. Look out for me on your TV screens in the near future! Thank you for reading my articles!