When I met Marta back in August, I told her that my skin — and my body — had taken a serious turn for the worse right around the time I turned 42. There wasn't a single thing I could point to — it wasn't that my skin was particularly wrinkled or sagging, but I suffered from red patches, fairly regular breakouts and skin that generally looked wan, tired and not fresh. I didn't mind the fact that I was aging. Wrinkles didn't scare me and I didn't mind the crow's feet and laugh lines I had developed from a lifetime of using my face expressively. But the overall sense of unhealthfulness and sallowness that showed in my skin bothered me.
I had already made some adjustments to my previous soap-and-water regimen before I met Marta, adding in cleansers, eye creams, night creams, moisturizers and the occasional scrub or mask.
But working at Truth In Aging opened my eyes to the toxins in some of the products I used. And the more I read and researched, the more I questioned whether the money I was investing in well-known skin care products and department store brands was worth it.
I had already tested (and converted!) to a couple of items offered by Truth in Aging when I asked Marta to recommend several products that could replace my existing regimen and improve my skin’s overall well-being.
Herein I present, my “Marta Rx” and its results:
What I Wanted: I was previously using Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar with SPF or Eucerin Daily Moisturizer with SPF during the day. I thought both products were fine, neither irritated my skin, but the Philosophy product was very expensive for a moisturizer that was so close in quality to the drugstore brand Eucerin. I wanted to stick with a product that would offer sun protection, moisturize and not cause breakouts. Since I had had such a phenomenal experience with other products I had tried from Truth In Aging, I thought I might do better.
The Marta Rx: Marta did not think I needed a moisturizer with sunscreen. In fact, she thinks sunscreen can do more harm than good.
The Result: I selected the Prana Natural Defense which I have been very pleased with. At $39, it costs a little less than Hope in a Jar and is chock full of antioxidants that are good for my skin. I immediately loved that it smelled like summer and I wanted more. But a little goes a long way and I really didn't need to use much. However, after a month of using it in the cold, dreary Connecticut winter, I think I should have gone with Marta’s first choice, the Arcona Desert Mist. While I have no complaints about the Prana, I suspect that I would have completely fallen in love with it in summer, when I am outdoors more and would better appreciate the lightness and sun protection offered by this moisturizer.
What I Wanted: I was not in the market for a mask specifically, but I did want a pick-me-up for my skin.
The Marta Rx: Marta asked if I would consider a mask, because she felt it would really be good for my skin. She suggested either La Vie Celeste's Restorative Exfoliating Mask, which she promised would go on clear and wouldn't scare my kids or Royal Nectar Face Mask, which I know she loves.
The Result: I have a minor bee allergy, so I opted for La Vie Celeste's Restorative Exfoliating Mask. I confess, I would have NEVER EVER purchased this product without the personal nudge from Marta, but I love it. The mask feels and smells a little like a brown sugar scrub. You feel it penetrating into your skin at once, cleansing, firming and hydrating. I have been using it two or three times per week. At $58, La Vie Celeste Restorative Exfoliating Mask may sound expensive, but you only need to apply a small amount to cover your whole face, so that $58 should carry you for quite some time, depending on how often you use it. I expect mine to last about 6 months.
What I Wanted: I feel like I have tried every single eye cream out there, as eye cream was my first-ever skincare “product”, back when I was still in my 30s. Outside of Osmotics Eye Surgery (which I stopped using after my third failed dispenser pump), I have found most eye creams to be somewhat similar. My eyes are naturally dark and deep set and I have to be incredibly well-rested for my dark under-eye circles to not be very pronounced. And I am rarely well-rested.
The Marta Rx: Marta suggested I see a doctor, because dark circles can often be caused by sinus blockages. I asked if there was just a cream that could fix that. Marta — and a number of other people at Truth In Aging — swear by YBF Correct. Marta told me that if I started using it immediately, the skin around my eyes would essentially stop aging. But at $150, she wanted me to have an option of something less expensive as well. For that, she selected Skinfinite LOL, which is just $49.
The Result: I decided to splurge on the YBF. Unfortunately, it was out of stock in the TIA Shop when I started my project, so I would have to wait. Which was troubling, because as I got in the groove of the rest of my routine, my skin tone was getting brighter and more even, making my dark circles appear worse. However, two weeks later, as promised, my YBF Correct arrived and Marta was right, I noticed the improvement practically overnight. This is one splurge that is definitely worth it.
What I Wanted: I have never used a skin care device, and I might even be the kind of person who has made fun of skin care devices as seen in SkyMall. But devices are a big deal at Truth In Aging. We spend a lot of time in the office discussing the value of devices and have had some pretty funny conversations with visitors about the power of brushing. I know that Marta thinks facial brushing is essential to any skin care routine, so in the spirit of my Marta Rx, I was going all in.
The Marta Rx: Marta suggested that I dry brush twice a day with the Truth Ultra Clear. Brushing is supposed to remove dead skin cells, dirt, and keep pores clear, preventing breakouts.
The Result: The first time I used my Ultra Clear brush, the sensation was a bit strange, but I enjoyed spending a little more time on myself than I was accustomed to and I was willing to trust Marta that this would make a big difference for my skin. I dutifully brushed twice a day, but at some point, I felt that I had gone from exfoliating to irritating, as I started to notice some redness in my sensitive area around my chin. I cut back to once a day. I do think that brushing preps the skin better for moisturizers and masks, and it clearly removes dead skin cells. I’m just not sure how much I like what I see underneath those dead skin cells. Brighter skin, yes, but also a little more uneven-ness.
In case you were wondering, I round out my skincare routine with My Prime Transformative Night Cream (you can read my review here) and Eslor Soothing Refiner and Cleanser, which I like very much.
To recap, my new skin care regimen included:
- Dry brushing with the Ultra Clear
- Cleansing with Eslor Soothing Refiner
- Moisturizing during the day with Prana
- Twice-weekly La Vie Celeste masks
- My Prime Transformative night cream
- YBF Correct Eye Cream
Note: The lighting is a little off in my "before" and "after" shots, but I think that you can still clearly see the results.