I Wanted Smoother Skin in 2022—These 26 Products (Already) Freaking Did It

I had smooth, clear, practically pimple-proof skin all through middle school and high school. And while my complexion did start to experience more turbulence in college, I still considered myself pretty lucky in the skin-health department. But once I hit my mid-20s and began to deal with some hormone imbalances, everything went haywire.

On and off for years, I've been dealing with stubborn bouts of acne (plus, a random perioral dermatitis flare-up just to keep me on my toes), but by early 2022, things had calmed down, and my skin was staying relatively clear. So I decided to dig a little deeper and zero in on the texture of my skin since whiteheads, acne scars, dryness, milia, and even some new little wrinkles were still very much a thing, and they were annoying me more than I'd like to admit. 


(Image credit: @erin_jahns)

I started to call upon all of the advice and product recommendations the best skin experts in the world have been extolling to me for the past five years and put them into effect. I became more diligent about chemical and physical exfoliation (making sure not to over-exfoliate, which will damage the skin barrier), I dusted off my skin-boosting tools and devices, I reached for lightweight hydrating and plumping products, and I rearranged my makeup routine. My end goal? To have smoother, softer skin by the end of the year. The plot twist? The products and routines I implemented were so effective my face has done a 180 in nearly half of the projected time, so I thought I'd share. Below, you'll find 26 products I've been using this year to get the baby-smooth skin I've always wanted. Keep scrolling!

The exfoliating secret weapons:

The skin-smoothing gadgets + gizmos:

The skin-plumping heroes:

The makeup marvels:

Up next, I Only Wear Glitter Eye Shadow, But It Can't Look Tacky—15 That Pass the Test

Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.