By Marissa DeSantis
Emily DiDonato‘s career has included everything from walking the runway for iconic fashion houses like Chanel and Givenchy to serving as the face of Maybelline for more than a decade, and more recently, creating content across social media for her two million-plus followers. But up until recently, the model confessed she was completely confused when it came to skincare.
Overwhelmed by all of the products on the market and unsure of what ingredients she should be using and what order they should be applied, DiDonato sought to simplify her routine—and others’, too.
I was inspired to create this easy, effective, compatible routine that people would want to keep returning to.
DiDonato says of her Covey Skincare line, which she co-founded earlier this year alongside friend and Google executive, Christina Uribe.
Turning to comments and questions from her own social media community as well as researching best-selling skincare products from established brands, DiDonato and Uribe landed on a three-step routine that amps up the actives while cutting out common irritants like fragrances, sulfates, dyes, silicones, gluten, and essential oils. “Less can be more when you’re using the right products with effective ingredients that work together,” she explains of their decision.
Ahead, DiDonato shares her entire skincare routine, from her Covey must-haves and the sheet masks she buys in bulk to her post-workout smoothie.
“I would definitely consider my skin sensitive. If I’m layering on too many products or too many actives, or if I’m not really nourishing my skin, I have dryness, irritation, and flaking—especially with my job.”
“I usually workout in the mornings, and I don’t do my skincare routine before that. When I get back, I start with our First Of All Cleanser, which really does a great job of removing the sweat and dirt without stripping or drying your skin. Then, I always do our Next Up Vitamin C Serum, which uses a different form of vitamin C, THD ascorbate.
It’s actually 50 times more powerful that the L-ascorbic acid that’s commonly used, and it’s also more gentle and more stable.
It has this milky consistency I love, and we have grape seed extract and vitamin E in it to boost the vitamin C benefits. And then I always put on our Last But Not Least Moisturize, which is super-hydrating and plays so well under makeup. While we were creating it, I was testing it at work, and I would ask makeup artists, ‘How does my skin look under the makeup?’ I always use an SPF, and right now, it’s Pipette Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50. And then I always do some sort of lip balm—usually either Aquaphor or the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Balm.
I take vitamin C and vitamin D every single day, and I have a big green smoothie every morning that I make myself post-workout. I usually do two really big handfuls of spinach, some sort of protein like Isopure’s chocolate protein, half a banana, almond milk, and mixed berries. Occasionally, I’ll throw some oats in there if I’ve done a big workout that day and I need it to sustain me for a while.”
“I’ll use Weleda’s Skin Food as hand cream throughout the day, and I’ll do a lip balm. I really like the Skin Laundry masks. I buy them in bulk so I have them when I feel like I need the self-care, or for when I’m watching a movie with a friend, or if my mom comes into town. Otherwise, I’m not a big treatment person—I don’t like going and sitting there because I’m so impatient.”
“In the evenings, I always take magnesium because it really helps me relax and it helps my digestive system. On my skin, I use our First Of All Cleanser, and I even use our vitamin C serum in the evening. A lot of people are surprised by that, but your skin goes into repair mode at night, which allows the vitamin C serum to produce that collagen, help with dark spots, and really get active in the skin. Then, I use our Last But Not Least Moisturizer.
And occasionally, I have been getting into gua sha.
It went viral on TikTok, and I was like, ‘Okay, I really want to get into this.’ I’ll use some kind of skin oil on top of all my other skincare, and I’ll gua sha after sometimes. I literally have to go to a YouTube tutorial every time because I don’t have it down yet. There’s this woman, Sandra Lanshin Chiu, she goes through the whole process—even teaching you how to do it around your neck and the back of your neck. The number one thing that I notice is I feel calmer after I do it. I grind my teeth during the day and I hold so much tension in my face, especially while staring at screens all day, so I feel like gua sha helps relax me.
“When Christina Uribe and I created Covey, we partnered with our dermatologist, Dr. Julie Russak, and she helped us to understand that one of the foundations of having great skin is using the same products day and night and really sticking with those products to give your skin time to get used to and benefit from them. When you’re mixing and matching too much, layering on too many different products and actives, or integrating new products constantly, it really puts your skin into overdrive and doesn’t allow it to reap the benefits of the ingredients you’re using.
Before Covey, I thought I was doing all of the right things by using every expensive product that was ever recommended to me, but my skin was dry and flaky and irritated. I had shared my full skincare routine on the Harper’s Bazaar Go To Bed With Me series, and people came for me in the comments, saying things like, ‘Your skincare routine is so wack’ and ‘You can’t use those two products together.’ I realized I didn’t know what my skincare routine should be, and that inspired me to create this simple, effective routine that people could use day and night.”