My Facialist Friend Said These Random Finds Would Change My Skin—She Was Right

The first time I met Dakota Katt (now one of my closest friends in L.A.), I was lying face-up on a table at Vanessa Hernandez Skincare in Brentwood with a face full of acne. It was sometime around 2018, and I had been struggling with stubborn, cyclical hormonal breakouts for years. At the time, I had pretty much given up all hope of ever having the clear, radiant skin of my dreams. But after meeting Vanessa Hernandez and receiving a customized facial protocol (I was to come in every few weeks for a "BootCamp" of sorts), I was intrigued.

After my initial appointment with Hernandez, Katt became the esthetician I saw for all my follow-up appointments. And slowly but surely, my skin started to improve. Every session with Katt felt more like a date with a friend. (For context, I'm pretty sure I once started crying on the table when I was having a particularly bad week—embarrassing, but true.) Eventually, we started hanging out outside of my scheduled facial appointments until we became fast friends.


(Image credit: @erin_jahns)

As an esthetician who cares for the faces of A-list clients every week, it's no surprise Katt has a plethora of skincare knowledge and A+ product recommendations up her sleeve. In fact, I credit the drastic improvement in my skin to the product suggestions she's foisted on me over the years. These days, I might get a pimple or two the week before I get my period, but other than that, my skin stays pretty darn clear. I even get compliments on my "glowing" complexion, regardless of whether or not I'm wearing makeup. Below, I'm sharing 12 under-the-radar hero products that I'm convinced have completely transformed my skin. Keep scrolling—you're going to want to add each and every one of these to your cart. 

Up next, My Friends Told Me Their GOAT Beauty Products—I'm Obsessed With Their Answers

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.