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My approach to skincare has largely been preventative. When I was a teenager, I read an article in a beauty magazine that literally changed my life. The article was about sunscreen, which at the time was considered a breakthrough in skincare. The revolutionary product could actually slow down the aging process! Somehow that just stuck in my mind and I immediately ran out to the drugstore to purchase a sunscreen. The daily use of sunscreen somehow became habitual and I simply couldn’t leave home without sunscreen on my face. Back then, nanotechnology wasn’t available in cosmetic formulations and I admit I walked around for a few years looking a bit ashy because there just weren’t too many sunscreen options (imagine!). I’m glad I wasn’t too bothered by the whitish cast of ’80’s sunscreens because it’s one of the best habits I ever developed. Since then, I became a bit obsessed with all things related to anti-aging and continue to be to this day.
My approach to skincare is two-fold: protect during the day, regenerate at night.
My a.m. skincare routine starts with cleansing using a Clarisonic MIA (both a.m. and p.m.), followed by two antioxidants - usually SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic (read about why I love it here) layered under Skin Nutrition Cell CPR (love it!). Why two antioxidants? As I’ve stated in a previous post, there’s a new antioxidant coming out almost every other day claiming to be the best but we don’t really know which one actually is the best, so to be safe I combine products to make sure I’m protected. When applying products, always apply from thinnest to thickest and wait a few minutes in between applications to let the product absorb properly and to avoid "pilling". The CE Ferulic is watery in consistency so I apply it first, wait about five minutes, and then apply the next layer, which is a serum. I usually blow-dry my hair while the products absorb.
I also always wear both a chemical and physical sunscreen (waiting about 10 minutes in between applications). Why two sunscreens? Sunscreens weren’t always "broad spectrum" so I needed to combine the two to get full UV protection. Formulations have improved and you can get excellent broad spectrum coverage from a physical blocker with zinc oxide/titanium dioxide as the active ingredients. The ONLY chemical sunscreen I wear (for over 10 years) is La Roche Posay Anthelios “XL” 50+Fluide Extreme with “Mexoryl,” which is available almost everywhere but the United States. Loreal didn’t patent the same formula for the U.S. version, called "SX" with Cell-Ox Shield (which includes Avobenzone as an active). My current favorite physical sunscreen is Hydropeptide SPF 30. Sunscreen should always be the last product you apply before makeup.
My p.m. routine involves layering serums like Skinmedica TNS Recovery Complex and Beautisol 99% Peptide Serum. I use an Rx strength retinoid (Avage) every three nights. The last product I apply is always a cream/lotion (depending on time of year) that has peptides or actives like glycolic (never with the retinoid!).
I always wear two eye creams, both a.m. and p.m. YBF Correct (which I read about on TIA!) is a staple and every time I run out and go without it, the dark circles under my eyes always return. I’m usually experimenting with an eye cream and like to layer something hydrating over the YBF. There aren’t many sebaceous glands around the eye area and dryness reveals aging quicker than hydrated skin. If I wake up with puffiness around the eyes, I immediately apply a very thin layer of Origins No Puffery eye gel (which I keep in the refrigerator).
I avoid the sun like the plague, literally walking on the shady side of the street and am grateful to live in a big city, which affords me sun protection in the shadows of skyscrapers. Every bit of incremental sun exposure will eventually manifest itself as sun spots, wrinkles, etc. A few other rules include rarely going outside without sunscreen on - even if it’s snowing outside (read about UVA here). Never go to bed without washing your face. Always wear at least one (if not two) product(s) with some protective/regenerative properties. I’m very results oriented and regularly have professional grade treatments (performed by a licensed, skilled professional) like microdermabrasion/peels/LED therapy which yield remarkable results on improving/maintaining my skin.
Some may find my skincare regimen daunting. It’s a lifestyle choice I’ve made - just like going to the gym at least four times a week. Good skin does require discipline, but you only get one face so I think it’s worth investing the time to care for it.
UPDATE: While I'm a proponent of layering products in order to achieve heightened results, it's important to know that certain ingredients should never be combined. Read more on that here.