In last week’s Lipstick, Lunch and Louboutins post, some very kind commenters asked about my skincare routines. I don’t have any big secrets, and most of the products I’m using were originally recommended by other bloggers, but here are the “dirty dozen” that I believe are the main contributors to keeping skin looking good.
1. Genes. Seriously. Going back through old family photos, I notice that my ancestors (on both sides) don’t particularly tend toward a lot of wrinkles. (Though there’s probably some serious jowl action in my future.) I may not have won any genetic lotteries when it comes to my waistline, but Mother Nature threw me a bone in the skin department. And probably carrying those few “extra” pounds helps fill out the face a bit.
2. Not smoking.
3. Sunscreen. I started using sunscreen seriously in my mid-30’s, though I wish I’d paid more attention to my neck. Though childhood summers were spent continuously outdoors and without any sun protection, I tanned but rarely burned, and once I was out of my teens was never much of a sunbather or beach bunny. I’ve never seen the inside of a tanning salon.
4. Clarisonic. I think more than any other single skin care product I’ve tried, this one really delivers. It has improved the texture and clarity of my skin, made pores less apparent, and I’m on the record that they’ll have to pry this device out of my cold, dead fingers. I’ve recently re-upped my usage to twice daily (with the “sensitive skin” brush) because I do think it makes that much difference. Oh, and I rarely use any cleansers on my skin anymore, even “gentle” ones.
5. IPL. Last year, I took the plunge and underwent an IPL laser treatment at my dermatologist’s office with the goal of removing a large pregnancy-induced melasma on my right cheek. While the spot did fade substantially, it returned somewhat after a few months (though much lighter) but the main difference I noticed from the IPL was that my skin was firmer and smoother. I’m thinking about another round in a couple of months.
6. Makeup removal. Based on a recommendation from Tish at A Femme d’un Certain Age, I’ve been using a large cotton pad moistened with Bioderma ABC to remove makeup. This is some of the best makeup remover I’ve ever tried! And it’s gentle, soothing, non-oily and takes off even waterproof mascara. If you’re balking at the price, know that in 3 months of daily use, I’ve gone through less than 1/4 of the one liter bottle.
7. Moisture mask, left on overnight once a week. Another recommendation from Tish. She likes the Avene Eau Thermale Soothing Moisture Mask, and so do I. The first time I tried it, I was amazed at how plump and dewy my skin looked the next morning.
8. Being willing to re-think assumptions. Since my early teens, I’d considered my skin Oily to Very Oily. This may have been true when I was younger, but after hearing half a dozen facialists in the last few years ask me, “do you moisturize at all?” I switched from products for oily-to-combination skin to those for “mature” or “dry” skin (though I apply sparingly on my nose and chin) and noticed almost immediate improvement.
9. Fat. The kind you eat. Low-fat diets left my skin looking dull and dessicated. Upping both the protein and fat content in my diet not only helped me to lose weight, but improved the texture of my skin.
10. Retin-A. Don’t waste your time with the over-the-counter “retinol” stuff. Go see a dermatologist and get the real deal. I’ve been using for a few months now, and along with everything else, think this is yet another piece of the skincare puzzle that can improve texture and tone.
And then there are some products that make my skin look probably better than it is:
11. Clinique City Block Sheer 25. This slightly tinted sunscreen is what I wear (over moisturizer) most days. It not only evens out my skin tone, but imparts a hint of radiance. Since I started using this, I’ve stopped bothering with liquid foundation, using only…
12. Diorskin Forever Powder. I love that this also has SPF 25. It makes my pores almost vanish, cuts the shine on my nose but doesn’t make the rest of my face look like a powdered donut. Coverage is very sheer, but effective. One compact lasts forever. My only gripe is that in Europe you can purchase refills; here in the US they only sell the complete compact.
Do you have any tried-and-true skincare tips?
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