Monday, January 31, 2011
Maria asked me to talk about my skincare routine, and I’m very happy to oblige! My skin is the sort that is very sensitive and easily irritated, and I struggled with it in my teens and early 20s. I began using cold cream at that time, and my skin loved it—it cleared right up, in fact. I was a loyal user of Pond’s from that point forward until about two years ago, when it seemed that cold cream no longer agreed with my skin. It was back the drawing board then, though I never really found a suitable replacement for my beloved cold cream. A few months back I read that Pond’s had changed the formula of their classic cold cream, and had added a number of potentially irritating ingredients. Apparently, the store brand cold cream (CVS or Walgreen’s) continued to be made using the original formula. Intrigued by this bit of information, I picked up a tub and tried it out—and the skin issues I’d been dealing with (mostly excessive oiliness) disappeared in just a few weeks, and my skin is back to normal once more. So, I wholeheartedly recommend trying cold cream—for anyone who tried Pond’s and didn’t like the results, you might try the store brand and see if that works for you!
My routine is fairly simple: morning and night I apply cold cream to dry skin, massage it in, and then remove it with a warm, damp washcloth. In the mornings, I follow cleansing with a light moisturizer and sunscreen—my morning routine is quite simple, which is a good thing as I am usually running behind (I wouldn’t describe myself as a morning person.) In the evenings, I follow cleansing by exfoliating with an BHA product, and then apply moisturizer and a retinol cream. That’s it—my skin stays smooth and clear and I’m quite happy with the results.
I adore Arcona’s Magic White Ice serum; this lightweight moisturizer is wonderful for normal to oily skin types. It applies easily and absorbs quickly, and it smells delicious too (like grape Nehi—I love the scent, as does my Sweetie.) It’s the perfect base under makeup, and I like to mix it with any treatment products I apply in the evening, to buffer the active ingredients. I’ve already repurchased it twice, and plan to purchase another bottle when I run out of my current—and for someone who is a product junkie, and is always trying new things just because, that really says something!
For sunscreen, I use BurnOut’s Clean and Clear SPF 32 sunscreen. I’ll confess to avoiding sunscreen for many years (having temperamental skin makes one shy away from it, it’s a catch 22 for sure—wearing it can cause breakouts, not wearing it means skin damage in the long run), but now I use it faithfully. It took a number of tries for me to find one that works for my skin—chemical sunscreens are out (as they cause major irritation for me), but most physical sunscreens are thick, greasy affairs—not an elegant product to apply on their own, and absolutely horrid worn under makeup. I finally found an excellent product in BurnOut’s offering—a physical-only sunscreen that feels light and non-greasy and works fabulously under makeup. Oh, and it does its job well—the only sunburn I’ve gotten in the past six months that I’ve used this was due to me missing an area when I applied it (at the military benefit I forgot to apply sunscreen to my chest, and had a delightful red “V” for a few days. Lovely, it was.) Again, I’m already on my second tube, which really says something! If you’d like to try this product, it can be found here; it applies best on damp skin, so I apply moisturizer and then follow with sunscreen right away.
In the evenings, I use Arcona’s Raspberry Clarifying Pads—I cut the pads in half, as they are quite large. I adore these as well—they are well-suited to sensitive skin, and have a light, fruity scent. The other product I swear by is Avene’s Ystheal Emulsion, a retinol product that is the only one my skin has ever been able to tolerate. I mix a pump of it with a pump of Magic White Ice and apply after using half of a clarifying pad; this has been my nightly routine for the past few months and I am very pleased with it.
That’s it—my skincare routine is fairly basic and streamlined. It took me a number of years to find the right products, but I’m quite happy now, and recommend all of them. I'd love to hear your favorite products--what works best for you?