I recently celebrated my 50th birthday and have seen some changes to my skin in the last few years. Because I was blessed with good skin, I didn’t take particularly good care of it when I was younger. But today my skin care routine is healthier and more complex than when I was in my 20s and 30s. Now, my T-zone is less oily — I’ve always had combination skin, but it’s less of a combination these days — although, I still have the occasional blemish. My main concerns include my ongoing battle with milia and trying to prevent sagging skin as much as is possible.
I look for products that provide great value (that doesn’t always mean they’re the least expensive), contain healthy ingredients, contain as little fragrance as possible (none, preferably) and don’t test on animals. You’ll note there are a few exceptions included below, but these are general guidelines for me (however, no animal testing is a must). I find that healthy eating, moderate exercise, getting enough sleep and addressing stress are just as important as using quality skin care products. If I am stressed, eat terribly, don’t exercise and don’t sleep well, it doesn’t matter what products I use; my skin shows signs of abuse, and I have to use my detox routine (that’s for another column).
For cleansing, I alternate between Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser ($12) and Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Anti-Aging Cleansing Gelée ($30). Paula’s Choice is a creamy cleanser that doesn’t strip my face, and the Osmotics cleanser has anti-aging ingredients. Both make my face feel and look great and ready for toning and moisturizing.
After cleansing, I use either Michael Todd True Organics Cranberry Antiox Hydrating Toner ($18) or Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner ($18). Both of these toners leave my skin dewy and ready for moisturizing. I really like these product lines — Paula’s Choice adds no artificial fragrance and Michael Todd uses many organic ingredients.
For daytime, I use Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Firming Elasticity Repair ($58/1 oz.) and Michael Todd Liposome Antioxidant Moisturizer ($29). I love both these products — they absorb quickly and leave my skin feeling soft and looking great! For night time, I use the Michael moisturizer and often add Mad Hippie Antioxidant Facial Oil ($24.99) to areas of my face that may need a little extra moisturizer (this often depends on the weather for me).
For eye creams, I’m currently testing simyskin Anti-Aging Eye Serum for Truth In Aging (Editor's Note: If you're interested in becoming a reviewer, find out more here!). I haven’t found an eye serum that I’m enamored with, but I hope this one will be it. I apply it at night.
Weekly treatments may include masks, such as Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask ($17), which I use when my skin is oiler than usual or I have a few blemishes appear. Also, I will sometimes use peels (I reviewed Lumavera Skin Perfection Peel ($60) for TIA and despite the strong fragrance, I love the results).
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser:
Water, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (gentle cleansing agents), Stearic Acid (fatty acid thickener), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Glycol Distearate (skin-conditioning/opacifying agent), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (non-fragrant plant oil), Acrylates Copolymer (film-forming agent), Cetearyl Alcohol (thickener), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (water-binding agent), Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide (stabilizer and pH-adjusting agents), Xanthan Gum (thickener), Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Phenoxyethanol (preservative)
Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Anti-Aging Cleansing Gelée:
Purified Water, Glycerine, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera Gel), Malachite Extract, Oleth-10, Ergothioneine, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Allantoin, Polyquaternium -10, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil, Lavendula Angustifolia Oil, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner:
Water, Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Butylene Glycol (water-binding agent), Niacinamide (vitamin B3/cell-communcating ingredient), Adenosine Triphosphate (cell-communicating ingredient/skin conditioning agent), Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract (anti-irritant), Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract (antioxidant), Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (skin conditioning agents), Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-repairing ingredients), Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate (skin conditioning agent), Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 II, Ceramide 1, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol (lipid-based skin-repairing ingredients), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Oleth-10, DEA-Oleth-10 Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate (emulsifiers), Polysorbate-20 (skin conditioning agent), Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Sodium Citrate (pH adjuster), Xanthan Gum (thickener), Trisodium EDTA (chelating agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative)
Michael Todd Liposome Antioxidant Moisturizer:
Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Cocos Nucifera (Organic Coconut) Oil, Rosa Damascene (Rose) Distillate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Oil, Aspalathus Linearis (Organic Rooibos Tea) Extract, Emulsifying Wax, Palm Stearic Acid, Vegetable Glycerin, Punica Granatum (Organic Pomegranate) Extract, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Fruit) Pulp Powder, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), Hyaluronic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Polysaccharide (Xanthan Gum), Essential Oils, Rovisome AHA (Sodium Citrate), Citric Acid
simyskin Anti-Aging Eye Serum:
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Absorbing Mask:
Water, Kaolin (clay/absorbent), Bentonite (white clay/absorbent), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract (anti-inflammatory), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder (water-binding/soothing agent), Sea Whip Extract (anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent), Colloidal Oatmeal, Bisabolol (anti-irritants), Ascorbyl Palmitate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Phospholipids (skin-repairing ingredient), Panthenol (skin-conditioning agent), Retinyl Palmitate (vitamin A/antioxidant), Stearic Acid, Steareth-2 (thickeners), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative), Butylene Glycol (slip agent), Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol (preservatives), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent), Phenoxyethanol (preservative)