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NOW READING AOC Goes K-Beauty: Decoding the Skincare Routine of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
February 20, 2019

AOC Goes K-Beauty: Decoding the Skincare Routine of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

When New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, at 29 the youngest woman elected to Congress, posted her multi-step skincare routine on Instagram, the beauty community went wild. And while she wouldn’t name-drop, we think she’s definitely a K-beauty girl. So here, we take a stab at guessing what’s in the skincare routine of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (And AOC, if you happen to be reading this, we’ve got some great product recommendations for you — because nothing helps you reach across the aisle like a good oil cleanser reco!)


Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and if you are, I totally don’t blame you tbh), you’ve read that our millennial queen Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  dropped her skincare routine on Instagram. No lie, when I saw it on Twitter, I stopped my whole life to read it. Being a congresswoman is not on my list of things to do, so I’m not going to say that she’s goals, BUT I do admire and love her steadfastness in the face of all the nonsense happening politically. She’s a hero, and I’m not ashamed to say I stan.



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It all started when she opened up the floor on her Instagram stories to answer questions. Someone asked, “How do you stay so stress free and how do you keep your skin so clear?!”


Her response? Classic AOC realness:


“I do NOT stay stress-free. I am stressed pretty much every day, a lot of the time. What I *am* able to do when I’m stressed is to boil things down to their most important questions: ‘What is this really about?’ ‘Is this truly important in the larger scheme of things?’”

Points were definitely made.


Skincare Routine of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


She continued to talk about her skincare routine:


“As for skin: skincare is a straight up hobby of mine. I’m a science nerd and I truly enjoy the science of it, reading about compounds and studies, etc. … I have a multi-step skincare routine. I do indulge on this a little since I don’t buy a lot of makeup beyond my staples.”




Of course, after that, people went nuts and wanted her to drop her entire routine, which is detailed below:


Skincare Routine of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Skincare Routine of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


So we’ve got some classic K-beauty going on here, with some double cleansing action, hydrating, pH balancing toners, face masks, eye patches, SUNSCREEN (SEE EVEN SHE USES SUNSCREEN OK). But in the interest of being fair, she didn’t give out any names of the products she uses. I get it! So I decided to take out my magnifying glass and guess what products she uses. DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!


Step 1: Double cleansing


AOC removes her makeup with a balm or oil cleanser, followed by a foaming cleanser. Some hints I’m working with here: She’s 29. She used to be a bartender. She is from the Bronx. She likes science. She helped write the Green New Deal so she’s all about the planet. …


I don’t know why, but I’m totally getting balm vibes from her. I feel like she doesn’t like the fussiness of an oil because she’s here to get sh-t done. I’m also 100% sure she’s about that low pH cleanser life, too, because she’s a science bae. So I’m gonna go with some cult classics: the Banila Co Clean it Zero Original Cleansing Balm in that millennial pink packaging, and the COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser. They are both practical and they get sh-t done, just like her!


dull skin Skincare Routine of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


Step 2: Toner & Actives


So we know she’s into alcohol-free, hydrating toners. She also likes a thin, watery consistency. She and I are twins in this way — I LIVE for a good watery, hydrating toner. I feel like she’d want something with a little extra oomph in there in the form of some centella. We know homegirl is stressssssed and could use something that would calm her skin down, with ingredients that have been proven to work. I’m gonna say she’s all about the Purito Centella Green Level Calming Toner. It’s alcohol-free, and thanks to centella as the second ingredient, it’s an effective toner for both hydrating and calming the skin.


Skincare Routine of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


I love that she’s a serum girl. She’s about to enter her 30s, the time when anti-aging gets real. She mentioned both vitamin C and retinol being in her arsenal. I totally feel like she gets a Curology subscription for her retinol, or she is going to a dermatologist for prescription strength. I feel like anyone who can clap back at a moment’s notice like she can isn’t messing around with some drugstore stuff.


Step 3: Moisturizer & Sunscreen


Throughout this whole thing, she never mentions her skin type, only that the moisturizer she chooses is a personal thing that works for her, which is an extremely important rule to live by. For some reason though, she gives me a lightweight cream vibe — like she’s not a super heavy cream girl, but she likes that velvety skin feeling. I feel that on a spiritual level.


Skincare Routine of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


I also feel like she’s been in the skincare game for a minute and she knows all about the fabled Banila Co Miss Flower and Mr. Honey Cream. Remember when it was discontinued and we all nearly died? Well, it’s back, and I feel like she was definitely hoarding it and is now elated that Banila Co got their life together. Maybe she wrote them a sternly worded letter to let them know how she really felt. In my mind, she’s responsible and we should all send her a fruit basket or something.


Skincare Routine of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


And last, but certainly not least: SUNSCREEN. AOC knows that your whole routine is garbage if you don’t use sunscreen (because yes, it is actually trash, don’t debate me). I feel like she DEFINITELY uses an Asian beauty sunscreen because homegirl has done her research and has thorough receipts and is a stan of facts. I feel like she definitely went through the Bioré phase with all of us, but now, she’s all about something with less or no alcohol, something like the Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel or the Missha Soft Finish Sun Milk, perfect under makeup and great for long days in Congress.


Based on her policies and what you know of her, what do you think is in the skincare routine of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Let’s all guess together in the comments!



Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.




She's so beautiful and strong, I love her! It's exciting to hear that she follows a K-beauty skincare! Maybe (hopefully!!) one day she'll drop the products she uses~


She's so great and the fact that she probably uses K-beauty or follows a K-beauty routine makes me love her even more!