Olivia Culpo Skips Cleanser and Retinol—But Swears By This Moisturizer

The self-described "product fanatic" shares her faves.

All skin is good skin, which is why good skincare is more of a journey than a destination. We all love a one-off tip—but, at Byrdie, we’re more interested in how our skin evolves over time. The product we've used for a decade, the ingredient cocktail that made us glow, the step we never skip, and all the advice in between. This is the stuff that makes a real difference. With What I Put on My Face, we’re bringing you the rituals, recommendations, and failed experiments (we’ve all had them) straight from celebrities, founders, and influencers who’ve gone through it themselves.

After winning Miss Universe in 2012 and amassing nearly 5 million avid followers on social media, it's pretty clear that Olivia Culpo knows a thing or two (or three) about beauty. And, while some people gatekeep beauty tips and tricks from the pros, Culpo is precisely the opposite, freely sharing her skincare secrets and most-loved products. She's also not afraid to get deep: The model recently opened up about her health journey battling Endometriosis, a condition that affects more than 10% of women.1

When Culpo relaunched her More Than A Mask Initiative, she wanted to give back to those who need period resources and support most. "This was inspired by my health journey battling Endometriosis, which opened my eyes to the difficulties women, girls, and individuals face across the world when it comes to access to proper healthcare and resources," she shared.

Ahead, Culpo breaks down her skincare routine, lists the products she can't live without, and shares the best skincare advice she's ever received.

Olivia Culpo


About Her Skin

The condition of my skin has always changed based on my age, stress levels, and hormones. It's been interesting to see what helps and hurts my skin. Overall, I have realized the most important thing for my skin, no matter what, is hydration, sleep, and sun protection.

How She Got Into Skincare

I wouldn’t say there is one specific thing that got me hooked, but I have always been interested in skincare... and I consider myself a product fanatic! I remember as a kid stealing my mom and older sister’s products and testing them all out to see what I loved or hated. I love how we are constantly advancing in our knowledge of skincare. Just when I think I know the latest and greatest, something new comes out.

Her Night Vs. Morning Routine

I spend quite a bit of time at night on my skincare routine, and in the morning, I just apply an SPF. I am always trying out new products, so what I gravitate toward is often changing. At night, I usually use an oil and a serum. Right now, I love the Clarins Double Serum ($90). In the morning, I use a Vitamin C serum and an SPF, and, typically, I just rinse my skin with warm water instead of using a cleanser. It is something I swear by—it allows for the oils on my skin from sleeping to absorb naturally.  

The Step She Never Skips

I love a mask. Good Janes Face Gift Papaya Mask ($32) is truly an entire facial in one.  

Olivia Culpo


How Her Routine Has Changed Over Time

I am always making changes depending on where my skin is at. For example, I’ve recently stopped using retinol. Unfortunately, I love the sun so much and find it hard to completely protect my face from it. I’ve decided to forego some of those more intense facial products for more mild options, especially in the sunny summer months. 

The Ingredient That Made the Biggest Difference

I have noticed a huge difference in my skin with vitamin C and E. I Iove the Good Janes H2OMyGod Moisturizer ($48)—it's sort of an all-in-one moisturizer that has vitamin C and collagen peptides. As for vitamin E, I actually just purchase the oil from the drugstore. It is super cheap and great to put on any red marks I may get from an occasional breakout. The healing process is so much quicker when I am using Vitamin E oil. 

The Best Skincare Advice She Ever Received

My great aunt used to tell me to rub Vaseline all over my face as a moisturizer. I have to say, she looks really good!

Her Skincare Pet Peeve

I think everyone can relate to the ugly pimple staring back at you in the mirror. It's so hard not to pick. But we all know—and have probably learned the hard way—it's always better to leave it to a professional for extractions 

Olivia Culpo


The Product She Uses the Most

My most-used product is my Déesse Pro LED Face Mask. It is so relaxing and truly makes a difference. I also love the Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum ($300), which sometimes I apply before using the LED mask.  

The Product That She's Been Using the Longest

I love my Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes ($7), especially now that they are officially compostable. They are a tried-and-true staple that I can’t live without.

The Product She Loves Right Now

I am a huge fan of water-based creams and the Good Janes H2OMyGod is exactly what I have been needing.  

Her Biggest Skincare Struggle

I do get that once-a-month breakout that is just relentless. One thing I swear by for fighting those stubborn breakouts is a LED light mask on the blue setting. I travel with mine everywhere. 

Why Skincare Is Self-Care

The past year put so much into perspective for me and really forced me to slow down. Beauty truly starts from within, and implementing meditation and journaling in my daily routine has truly changed my life. I find that when I am my most centered, my entire body is at ease, including my skin.