Iwould take skincare advice from Sean Garrette, no matter his qualifications. He has some of the best skin I’ve ever seen, it’s somehow at once both luminous and velvet-like, free of texture and full of glow. But he also just so happens to have the chops to back it up: He’s a licensed esthetician, posts some of the most aesthetically pleasing and educational skincare content on the internet, and hot off a role at a little brand called Fenty Skin, he’s currently Dior Beauty‘s US Skincare Expert—no big deal.
While Garrette’s resume may be intimidating, his skincare philosophy is very much grounded in reality. He’s all about simple skincare you can actually stick to, with an emphasis on hydration, barrier repair, and hydration. While we may not be blessed with his genetics, it makes you feel like achieving skin like his is actually within your grasp—it helps that he’s always down to offer up a product recommendation.
So when I had the chance to chat with him, I knew I would come away with a new tip or two, and I was not disappointed. Below, read eight beauty lessons I learned from Sean Garrette.
Yes, You Can Reapply SPF Over Makeup
“I mean, it’s kind of complicated. I love a sunscreen mist, Supergoop does one, I really liked that one, I even use it on my body. If you’re not wearing like, heavy, heavy makeup, you can do… my friend Hanna showed me this trick where she uses a Beauty Blender and sunscreen. I think when you apply over makeup, you’re definitely not going to get the same amount of protection as you would reapplying without makeup. But it’s better to do something, especially if you’re someone who’s sensitive to sun and you’re trying to combat things like hyperpigmentation.”
Adjust You Routine to the Weather
“For me, and I think for most people, moisturizers are pretty much the biggest thing that we swap out. I have dry skin, so I love a thick, rich, creamy moisturizer. And I still use them in the summer at night. But during the day, I definitely look for moisturizers that have lighter textures, and have more hydrating properties that are still gonna give me that hydrating and moisturizing effects, but aren’t going to be as heavy on the skin—especially since I’m going to be outside, I’m going to be sweating, I’m going to be applying and reapplying my sunscreen.
“Specifically, I love the Dior Hydra Life Intense Sorbet Crème ($75). We have a normal one which is the fresh light, and then we have the intense version. I love the intense because it’s perfect if you have like dry skin, but it will give you that lightweight texture, and it has that hyaluronic acid, so it gives you hydration but isn’t super, super heavy.”
TikTok With Caution
“To be honest, I love TikTok, but I don’t really pay attention to a lot of TikTok trends when it comes to beauty. Because for me, as an esthetician and a skincare professional, skincare really is not a trend. I think it’s more important for you to find a sustainable skincare routine that works for your concerns and your needs than to follow all of these trends because they really can throw you off, and have you doing things that aren’t typically right for your skin.
“When it comes to ‘jello skin’ and ‘glazed skin,’ I definitely have seen those trends. My friend Ava talks about jello skin all the time, I think she started that trend. And I like Ava’s approach to it because she talks about inside wellness, as well as outside. And I really do like the jello skin and glazed skin, because usually those are just focusing on hydration and nourishing your skin barrier. So those I love, but when it kind of comes to more intense things, I want to stick away from it.
“You really just want to find products that you can afford, and you can have access to consistently, and things that are really targeting your skincare concerns, so you can have a sustainable and consistent skincare routine, because I think the trends kind of have us using this product from this, and that it really confuses what you should be doing for your skin and it kind of creates more issues.”
Hydration Is Key—Even In the Summer
“Everyone at this point knows I’m a stickler for SPF, especially during the summer season. But I would say even past SPF, I would focus even further on hydration and skin barrier protection. Again when we’re outside, the sun is very drying and dehydrating. And so we don’t only want to focus on the hydration internally like intaking water, we also want to focus that topically on our skin.
“So looking for a lighter-weight hydrating serum that has like hyaluronic acid, beta-glucan, niacinamide, all of those good hydrating, skin barrier-strengthening ingredients. I will really focus on those, because then when you find a serum that kind of has like antioxidants, hydration, skin barrier ingredients, you can use that one serum in the morning, use a moisturizer, and your SPF, so you’re cutting down the amount of products you’re applying, but also getting that hydration and protecting your skin throughout the day.”
Don’t Stress About Your Cleanser
“When it comes to cleansers, my best advice is really to keep it simple. I think people really overthink their cleansing process—do they need to double cleanse, single cleanse, a gel cleanser, an oil cleanser? But you really need to just keep it simple. Cleansing is a process that already disrupts your skin barrier, it’s something that disrupts your pH, and changes the function of the skin to cleanse all those impurities out. So you want to make sure that you’re using something gentle and not stripping to the skin.
“No matter if you have oily skin, combination, or dry, a gentle gel cleanser works for everyone. Even something that’s like a little foamy, but you want to make sure that it has skincare ingredients, which is why I love the Dior La Mousse Off/On Foaming Cleanser ($47) so much. I have dry skin, I can use it, and my oily skin clients love it. It has soothing ingredients like corn flour, water, and then nymphaea, which is the water lily extract that we use. So it’s very calming, it’s gentle, it’s antioxidant-packed, and it’s going to cleanse all of those impurities but keep your skin barrier intact, which is a big thing for Dior. We’re all about the skin barrier, all about antioxidants, and all about nourishing those moisture cells in the skin. So I think when you’re looking for a cleanser, just look for something that’s gentle, non-stripping, and it doesn’t have to exfoliate. It doesn’t need to be a brightening cleanser. Look for something simple, soothing, and gentle.”
When in Doubt, Keep it Simple
“I think with TikTok and Instagram, and like me, who creates beauty content and talks about a lot of products, it can be very overwhelming figuring out what you should be using in your routine. The thing I always tell my clients is, keep it simple. If you’re starting from ground zero, get a great gentle cleanser, a great hydrating product, whether it be a serum or a toner, and a great moisturizer and SPF. Start with those basic products. Then, as you kind of get into the routine of that, and you kind of know how to use those and how they’re working for you, then we can start addressing your individual concerns. So if you have acne, we can add in maybe some peels, or a salicylic acid exfoliant. If you have hyperpigmentation, we’ll add in a hyperpigmentation serum that has maybe Kojic acid, niacinamide tranexamic acid, and things like that. So start with a basic routine, and then address your concerns.”
The Products He’s Loving Right Now
“I would definitely say the Dior Mousse Off/On Cleanser. That’s been my go-to cleanser for the last maybe three-four months. Sachi Skin Ursolic Acid & Retinal Overnight Reform ($85), I love that. It’s kind of like a small, more indie brand, it’s a woman in the UK. They have amazing retinol.
“Summer Fridays ShadeDrops Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Milk Sunscreen ($36). So good. It’s been the first mineral SPF I’ve ever been able to use, which I’m obsessed with. It doesn’t feel chalky, it glides onto the skin. The texture is insane. I saw Marianna [Hewitt, the brand’s founder] a couple of weeks ago. and I was like, ‘I don’t know how you did this, but you deserve a pat on the back.
“I would say a serum that I’m loving is definitely the Dieux Skin Deliverance Serum ($69). It has CBD and cannabinoids, it has water lily extract, it has peptides, it’s a good calming but plumping serum, it’s a really, really good one. And then the new moisturizer from Ole Henrikson. I’ve tried so many things from them that didn’t really vibe with me, but this moisturizer is really, really good. If I want a simple routine, I’ll use that with the Dior Super Potent Serum. It’s like the perfect night routine for me.”