Drop the Routine

Pro Race Car Driver Samantha Tan Drops Her Skin-Care Routine

The champion shares the drugstore product that helps her eczema.
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Victor Chadarov

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Samantha Tan considers herself a beauty lover, but the professional race car driver’s introduction to skin care was less than enjoyable. 

“One of my most vivid memories from childhood, unfortunately, was when I was in kindergarten and my eczema used to be terrible,” Tan tells me over the phone. “It was all over my face, and the skin above my lips used to always be raw. The other kids used to think I was contagious, even though obviously eczema is not contagious. It’s something that stayed with me for a long time. I would always wear long-sleeve clothes and long pants. I never wanted to show my skin. Even up until now, I’m still learning how to accept my scars.”

She adds, cheerily, “It’s part of me, and I got to learn to love it.” That same infectious optimism shines through when Tan discusses her successful career. In 2021, Samantha Tan Racing made history by becoming the first Canadian team to win the renowned 24H Dubai; she also became the first Asian woman to win a major endurance racing series championship in the world.

“I think representation is just so, so important,” she says of the win. “It’s so monumental. It’s so important for people to people of color to see that their stories and voices are heard, and for me to be the first one is amazing, but I also don’t want to be the last one.”

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Tan is so passionate about encouraging others to follow in her footsteps, in fact, that she even agreed to share the secret to her skin care. Read on for Glamour’s latest Drop the Routine

My cleansers

To take off my makeup, I use a micellar water. Even if you’re drunk and tired, you’ve just got to do it. And that’s funny because every time, somehow, when I get home—blackout drunk sometimes—I’m able to still take off my makeup. [Laughs.] I use the Bioderma one, which was recommended to me by my aunt, and then I’ll go in with the CeraVe, which I definitely found because of TikTok. I also use the Foreo Luna Mini.

If I have more time, I will do the double cleanse and do the Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil and the CeraVe cleanser. It’s a form of self-care. I feel like it’s so nice to be able to take my makeup off at the end of the day and have the whole process as part of me time. Because I’ve struggled with eczema my whole life, skin care has become a habit for me.

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water

My toner and exfoliator

I’m a big Paula’s Choice fan. I watch a lot of beauty-influencer videos. A couple of years ago, I was watching one of SACHEU’s videos and I think she recommended Paula’s Choice. I ended up trying a bunch of their other products and really liked them. I use their Skin Recovery Calming Toner. I also use their 2% BHA exfoliant, which I know a lot of people use as well. It’s so good. I don’t necessarily do that every day, but maybe every other day.

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Calming Toner

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

My essence

I go in with the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence because my skin is dry and sensitive.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

My serum

I also use a vitamin-C serum, which is also by Paula’s Choice. It’s the C15 Super Booster. It makes my skin a little more glowy. 

Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster

My moisturizer

I just use a regular Aveeno Daily Moisturizer with SPF. I’ve used Aveeno forever—ever since I was a kid. It’s the brand that has stuck with me over time because it’s nonirritating and the oats are very good for my skin.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Facial Moisturizer With SPF 30

My lip balm

I really like the Laneige lip mask. It’s so good.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

My tools

I tried to get into the gua sha, but I just kept forgetting. [Laughs.] It’s really like when I have a little bit more time and I have that kind of self-care night where I’m able to do the full skin-care routine, do a face mask, do the gua sha, and steam my face.

Avioandy Gua Sha Tool

My face mask

If I know I’m going on a plane, I won’t put any makeup on. I use the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask

My body moisturizer

I don’t really get eczema bad on my face. It’s mostly my body. I do get flare-ups from time to time, normally when the seasons change, so it’s been an ongoing struggle of trying to find the right products. I have been using Vaseline ever since I was a kid. I just use the unscented Advanced Repair Lotion. As a kid, I actually had to use petroleum jelly because my skin was so bad—literally all over my body. They used to call me Vaseline baby. 

Vaseline Intensive Care Unscented Advanced Repair Lotion

Paulina Jayne Isaac is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. Follow her @paulinajayne15.