Julian Addo is a firm believer in products that work. It’s a simple thing to ask, but in today’s beauty landscape it’s hard to find quality over frills. This, paired with the fact that she didn’t feel there was truly a brand that understood natural hair, is what drove Addo to launch her brand Adwoa Beauty in 2017. With over ten years of experience in the hair industry—as a stylist, salon owner and as a blogger, plus a career in banking—Addo was armed with the knowledge needed to create a brand that properly cares for not only curls, but all hair types. The line combines the best of nature and science to enhance customers’ unique textures, and the straightforward line is easy to use—each product has a clear purpose and place in your routine.
When it comes to skin care, Addo tries to keep a similarly streamlined POV. “I honestly try to keep it as simple as possible,” she tells Glamour. “Skin care can be a really confusing and cluttered space with regards to a product and all of the things on the market. The acids and all different ingredients can really damage your skin if you don’t know what you’re doing. So I’ve been using a lot of the same products since I was 16. I stick to the basics.”
For Addo however, the basics don’t just mean cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF. She’s a major fan of exfoliation—she uses a chemical exfoliant twice a day— and anything that promises to brighten. “My skin is prone to hyperpigmentation,” she says. “Obviously, I’m more melanated and if I get a pimple, if I don’t touch it and it just goes away on it’s own it still leaves a scar. So I’m always trying to brighten something on my face.”
So what exactly does she swear by? Read on for the exfoliators Addo’s been using for years, the best sheet mask on the market, and the moisturizer that makes her look like a shining star in another installment of Glamour’s Drop the Routine.
For cleansers, I cleanse day and night. I have super oily skin. In the daytime, I’ll just use something very gentle. I like the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, it does the job of just getting the night off of my skin, but not really stripping my skin, and helps it feel really moisturized. And then in the night time I’ll switch to something that gives me a little bit more work. I like The Inkey List salicylic acid cleanser. And then I always follow with the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant—I have a lot of scarring that I’m trying to get rid of, so anything that brightens and exfoliates and removes scars, that’s what I’m going to buy.
fresh Soy Makeup Removing Face Wash
For toner I’ve been really loving [One Thing], it’s a Korean brand. It’s kind of like K-beauty’s version of The Ordinary, because it’s a great price point, and this is a very simple one ingredient product. I found it on Instagram a couple years ago and I used the Centella Asiatica Extract, it helps, again, to fade scars. So after I cleanse my face, I’ll just add a little bit on the cotton ball and just kind of wipe it all over my face day and night. And that’s the only thing that I do for a toner.
My face mask
I don’t really use essence a lot unless I’m doing a face mask. If I’m doing one, I love Too Cool for School, it’s another K-beauty brand. I think their Egg Cream Mask is the best mask on the market. There’s no sheet mask that is superior in my opinion. They give you so much essence in the packet, and I’ll do that twice a week and I’ll put the essence all over my face and I’ll over my neck. You don’t want to forget your neck!
I like the Rose Ingleton MD Complexion Brightening Booster Serum. It helps with brightening your complexion and scarring.
A staple in my routine for forever is these two liquid exfoliators. One is uber popular Paula’s Choice 2% BHA. I love that in the daytime, it gives me a dewy glow. And then another cult favorite that I use at nighttime, which is a similar product, a little bit different, is the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50v 1970. I use both everyday, which I know surprises everyone! My skin can take a lot. I don’t really use anything specific for spot treatments, but that P50 really helps, I’ll put it on my skin if I have a breakout, and when I wake up in the morning the breakout is no longer protruding.
I use that P50 at night, so my skin is getting a lot of exfoliating. So I like to go in at night with something super, super heavy. And for the last several years I’ve been loving the Weleda Skin Food. I go to bed looking like a shining star. I’ll plaster it all over my face, under my eyes, everywhere. And I’ll go to bed with that.
For day moisturizers I’m currently loving Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream. I alternate that and the Rose Ingleton MD Signature Moisturizer. I really love her moisturizer as well. I always use something lighter in the day, because I use that heavy Weleda Skin Food at night. So I just go for a light, light finish in the daytime. But I do pair it with the Flora + Bast Age Adapting Facial Serum with CBD. It says serum, but it’s an oil. I’ll put that on first, and then my moisturizer is last.
My eye cream
I really haven’t found an eye cream that I love. I was playing around with the Tatcha Peony Eye Cream, but I don’t know. I haven’t really found anything that I noticed a difference. I have dark sunken in under eyes—I don’t have the puffiness. Mine is sunken in and it’s hereditary. So I was told there’s nothing I can do about it besides Botox. I just make sure that that area is moisturized since it’s so thin. I’ll use the Weleda at night, to be honest.
I love the Unseen Sunscreen from Supergoop. I love the brand and I’ll use that daily because most days I’m not wearing any makeup. And then on some days that I want something a little bit more, I like the Tower 28 Beauty SunnyDays SPF tinted sunscreen, I really love that. If I just want to look a little bit more put-together that day, I’ll use that.
My lip balm
I’m obsessed over the Lanolips salves. All flavors—coconut, strawberry, I have them all! I do like the Laneige lip mask, and there’s also a lip mask by [One Thing], that K-beauty brand that I use at night. Got to keep the lips moisturized!
I have started going to an aesthetician for a lot of chemical peels and facials. Just something a little bit more and faster than all these products can do.
This story was edited and condensed for clarity.
Bella Cacciatore is the beauty writer at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.