Skin care and skin care products fascinate me, and they pretty much always have. Even as a fairly young girl, I spent hours pouring over the vast (then, and much more so now!) array of soaps and creams and pastes and goos and their packaging and promises in the back corner aisle of the local drug store. I have less time to spend researching and pondering such things these days, but I still dabble and test and experiment with new products to see what they'll do.
Now that I'm into my forties, I'm finding that gentle, nourishing skin care has become pretty much mandatory if I want to look my best. I'm actually amazed how quickly my skin is changing in this decade - sagging a bit (mostly on my neck) and developing fine lines around my eyes and mouth. I'll chalk some of the seeming haste of this transition up to hormonal adjustments. I had a baby at 40 and nursed him until I was 42 and I think pregnancy and nursing definitely slowed the aging process in my case, as in those years my skin was fairly oily and teen-agery. (It bugged me at the time, but looking back, I think that may have been a good thing.) And now, I just think since my hormone levels have returned to a more normal level for a woman of my age, my skin is playing catch-up.
So as I said, I'm 44 now, and my skin is just now getting so it's a little bit dry at times, but still produces enough oil to make me need to blot or powder my nose in the late afternoon. Unlike in my 30s though, it does need a gentle cleanser (not soap) and plenty of moisturizer to stay looking fresh and healthy and unflaky.
Here are the products I'm using, and how I'm using them, to care for my aging skin.
I use this scrub one morning a week (once a week, is what I'm saying) in the shower. I just wet my face and then very gently (The key is to let the scrub do the work, not to bore into your skin by bearing down hard. This will abrade your skin and cause broken capillaries that cause redness.) rub about a quarter sized dollop all over my face and neck, avoiding the very delicate skin around my eyes, and concentrating on my t-zone, where my pores still tend to get clogged if I don't keep them clear of dull, dead skin cells. In the spring and summer, when I'll be wearing clothes that show my chest, shoulders and arms and upper back, I take another dab and scrub those areas as well, paying extra attention to my elbows. Then I rinse with warm, clean water. On the day I use this scrub, I don't follow-up with any other cleansers. The scrub works well enough to lightly wash away overnight oils.
All other mornings I use this Cetaphil cleanser for normal to oily skin on my face in the shower. I also keep their cleanser for all skin types, which is formulated to be a bit gentler, on hand, and will use that one in the morning when I notice my skin drying a bit, which is generally in the deep winter months. I wet my face, rub a few pumps of the cleanser between my hands, and then thoroughly wash my entire face, neck and chest, really massaging it in and around with my fingertips. Then I rinse well with warm water.
I use the normal to oily version of this cleanser at night before bed as well. It does a great job of removing my make-up without leaving my skin feeling stripped or tight, and with Cetaphil I don't need or use a separate eye make-up remover (I don't wear water-proof mascara). The Cetaphil for all skin types doesn't get all of my make-up off, so it's strictly a morning choice for me.
This is my daily moisturizer, Osea Atmosphere Protection Cream, which I use after washing and drying my face with a clean towel. Osea is all natural, formulated with sea algae and proteins to help protect skin from damage caused by "the elements," dehydration and pollutants. I love how it smells (very spa-like and relaxing) and how light and non-greasy it feels under my make-up. My only issue with this moisturizer is that it doesn't have any SPF, so if I'm not planning on wearing foundation (my foundation has SPF 30), I either have to use it in combination with a sunscreen (my favorite is below) or skip it entirely.
I'm currently using this Ultra Lift Deep Wrinkle night creme from Garnier. I did notice a reduction in the number and depth of the lines around my eyes and lips within a week after I'd started using it. I love that I can really slather this wonderfully creamy, fluffy, lovely-smelling cream on my whole face at night and it feels really nice and emollient but not at all sticky or slimy. And it doesn't break me out at all. It's nice to have finally found a night cream that that didn't eventually cause a pimple or two or a bunch of clogged up pores. YUCK.
Osea also makes this Lip & Eye moisturizer for smoothing and toning these very delicate and line/wrinkle-prone areas. I dab a tiny bit of this around my eyes, avoiding my brows and lashes (because my make-up would slide off I put it there), and around my mouth/on my lips. It is VERY healing for my lips, which get dry and flaky often, and I use it very liberally there at night when I need to and wake up with my lips greatly improved. If I never used it again around my eyes, I might never notice, but I'm a little bit addicted to how it loves my lips.
On days when I don't wear foundation (sometimes I can get away with just a dab of powder over my moisturizer) or if I feel like I need extra protection against the sun (like at the beach, or when I'm outside all day), I use this Eucerin facial moisturizer with SPF 30 for Extra Sensitive Skin. Again, it's the first product of the sort that doesn't leave me feeling slimy and cause me to break out. It does impart a bit of a shine after application, so powder is necessary, and I have to keep it away from my eye area because it stings and makes my mascara and eyeliner fade and run. But I wear sunglasses when I'm in the sun, so I think I'm okay. I totally slather my ears (and my neck and chest) with this stuff when I'm going to be outside for awhile, because there is NOTHING I detest more than having sunburned ears, and the full-body sunscreen I used on the rest of me makes my ears (neck and chest) break out.
And that's it. It looks like a lot, or does it? But really, no matter which products I use, I can have my face washed and moisturized and ready for sleep or the day in less than five minutes.
Have any skin care tips or products you'd recommend? I'm all (un-sunburned) ears!