Skin is the body’s largest organ. So naturally, there’s a lot to learn about it.
During the pandemic, Katherine “scottie.” Lea—the founder of Alter Planning Co., a local company that specializes in functional planners and journals—began to do just that.
After following estheticians on Twitter, she noticed a trend of people discussing how they were struggling with different skin issues. So, she decided to create a tool to help herself and others understand their unique skin.
In 2022, Alter Planning Co. released CMPLXN, an educational skin care journal that includes a skin assessment, a breakdown of different skin types, a glossary of ingredients commonly found in products, a daily morning and evening routine log, and an educational guide to skin, skin care and skin care components.
“Skin is confidence,” scottie. says. “Tracking your skin is cool. But (CMPLXN is) also something you can use as a reference when you notice your skin isn’t doing what you want it to do.”
She has combination skin—sometimes oily, sometimes dry. In CMPLXN, she addresses skin issues she, her family members, friends and people in her online community have struggled with, such as acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, oily skin and dark eye circles.
She worked alongside three estheticians from across the U.S. for over a year to develop CMPLXN—fact checking, studying products and reading scientific skin studies. Contributing skin specialists included Nayamka Roberts-Smith of GoldenRx and Labeautyologist, Starasia Abraham of Melapop Skin Clinic and Sabrena Experience Labs, and Eden Gilliam of Eve Milan New York.
Her hope is that the journal will help its users uncover the mysteries of their skin and understand what products are helping or hurting it.
“I hated going shopping for skin care before making this journal,” scottie. says. “I couldn’t trust skin care products to do what they said they were going to do. This is my way of helping people to not feel that. Let’s make educated decisions, not (ones) just on pretty packaging.”
Scottie’s Skin Care Regime
In the morning, I try to keep it simple. Usually, I use a hydrating cleanser and then a hydrating toner. Right now, I’m using rose water. I am obsessed with the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. It’s thick and has hyaluronic acid in it, and it’s super moisturizing.
One of the estheticians I worked with is also a chemist and a formulator. She made a hydrating repair cream that I’ve been using as a moisturizer. It’s super lightweight. It also has oatmeal and rice bran oil, so it’s great, especially for the (heat and) humidity.
Then I also use sunscreen. Through this research, I have come to understand just how important sunscreen is. Most skin care concerns can be helped by wearing sunscreen. I really like Supergoop!’s Unseen Sunscreen. It’s a chemical sunscreen with no cast. It’s not a lotion. It feels more like a gel. I don’t feel like I’m weighing my skin down, which is key.
Some nights I will use a salicylic acid, specifically on my T-zone and where I get oily. And then I’ll do a hydrating cleanser on my whole face.
Occasionally, I’ll do a mask. Another one of the estheticians I worked with, Eden, has a skin care brand, Eve Milan New York. In 2021, it won Allure’s Best of Beauty for its brightening vitamin C sheet mask. So occasionally, I’ll do that.
Then, I’ll do a toner (that COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence I mentioned, because I’m obsessed). Farmacy has a Honeymoon Glow night serum, and I’ll use that one to two times a week. I follow that with Melapop Co.’s hydrating repair cream.
On the shelf
Some of scottie’s favorite skincare products that she says keep her skin healthy and glowing:
- CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser, $10-18. cerave.com
- The Seaweed Bath Co. Active Defense SPF 50 Sport, $17. seaweedbathco.com
- Eve Milan New York Brightening Vitamin C + CoQ10 Sheet Mask, $15. evemilanny.com
- Mad Hippie Jelly Cleanser, $18. madhippie.com
- Heritage Store Rosewater and Glycerin hydrating facial mist, $11. heritagestore.com
- Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum, $39. peachandlily.com
- Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum, $60. farmacybeauty.com
- COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in one Cream, $26. cosrx.com
Shop the journal
Learn more or buy a copy of the CMPLXN skin care journal at alterplanningco.com.
Skin Deep is a 225 series on how locals approach skin care, beauty and wellness. All insight shared is the subject’s opinion, and 225 is not endorsing their regimens. Please talk to your doctor or esthetician before trying a new product.
This article was originally published in the October 2022 issue of 225 magazine.