SKINCARE ALL-STARS: MY FAVORITE PRODUCTS
I received a message from a reader saying she had been unhappy with her skin lately, and asking what my skincare routine is. Now, I get really serious about skincare and I’m always perfecting my routine depending on how my skin changes and reacts. My biggest issues are breakouts and uneven texture; I still break out from time to time (yay, hormones!) and I’m almost always tackling texture issues. You can probably guess I’ve tried practically every product and regimen out there, and here’s what I’ve found works best for me:
Truly, nothing is better than Cetaphil. I definitely stay away from cleansers that foam up like soap because I have dry skin, and anything that has suds will dry you out even more. I’ve also tried cleansing oils, (like Shu Uemura’s Cleansing Beauty Oil and Boscia’s MakeUp-BreakUp Cleansing Oil) which are great, but I still don’t feel quite as clean as when I use Cetaphil. Here’s what I do: If I have makeup on, I’ll do a first round and just get most of the stuff off my face. I will then apply a second time, (I just leave a relatively thick layer of the cleanser on my face for about 30 seconds or so) and to rinse it off, I use a hot wash cloth. Take a small hand towel and soak it in super hot water; ring it out, and by then it’s manageable enough to put on your face, but still hot enough that the steam will open up your pores and really clean everything out. Tilt your head back and leave the washcloth on for 10 seconds and let it do its work. You can just use the wash cloth to get the remaining cleanser off your face and you’re done.
Throw Acid on Your Face
Hah… Not really. But I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Glycolic acid has been a lifesaver for my skin. A skincare expert once explained to me that glycolic acid is like a roto rooter for your pores; it really gets deep in there and cleans better than anything else. This is especially useful if you have big pores— you can minimize their appearance by keeping them super clean. At night after I cleanse, I use Dr. Dennis Gross’ Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel. The original version was good, but this Extra Strength version is beyond! It’s a two step system: Apply the first pad all over your face, wait 2 minutes, then apply the second pad. This system contains glycolid acid, witch hazel, (which is super calming for skin) salicylic acid, lactic acid, retinol, (not only great for anti-aging but super for fighting acne), resveratrol, (the major antioxidant that fights free radicals) among other ingredients. The results are almost immediate, too: In the morning, my skin always looks super smooth and soft, when just the night before I had all these tiny little bumps that made my skin look uneven. If I’ve broken out, these peel pads clear me up in a matter of 2-3 days. This is my absolute favorite product right now… Truly, it gives me all the benefits I look for in a skincare product! And it’s vegan, cruelty free, and paraben free, which makes it a perfect 10.
Just a quick note about using such a potent product: Don’t use anything with alcohol or acid on your face directly after. Only follow with a serum and cream. In the morning is when I follow up with more glycolic acid: After I cleanse, I swipe on DDF’s Glycolic 10% Toning Complex, (which I’m also obsessed with) and follow with sunscreen.
I’m a huge fan of Ole Henriksen… I don’t think I’ve used a product of his that I haven’t loved. My #1 Ole Henriksen product is the Sheer Transformation cream. It’s an oil-free cream that’s incredibly lightweight; in fact, the consistency alone feels so good on my face. It almost feels like it’s cooling my skin when I put it on, too. It’s got a Vitamin C complex, licorice root, pea extract, and other ingredients that combine to make this cream a free radical fighter. This cream is a bit of a mystery to me, because the only ingredient I’m familiar with in this potion is Vitamin C. But I’m not going to ask questions, I’m just going to continue to enjoy the benefits of Sheer Transformation! It’s beyond just a moisturizer, this stuff indeed transforms my skin and makes it smooth and glowy.
I will leave you with this: If you don’t use sunblock on your face and neck every single day, you will grow up to look like a California Raisin. Trust me! You may not see the effects now, but you’ll pay for it later. My favorite sunblock right now is Bliss Fabulous Face Lotion (formerly the Best of Skintentions daily moisturizer): It’s got UVA/UVB and PA++ protection, and it comes with omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. And no matter what your skin type, it’s important to make sure your products do not contain parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or anything synthetic, and they should always be oil free.
Invest in your skincare. It may be a little pricey, but your skin is worth it… You’re gonna be sportin’ that thing forever!