I’m going to be 40 in a few months! My primary goal in my skin care routine is to stave off wrinkles, keep skin plump and hydrated and maintain facial contours. I have very dry skin that is redness prone with some broken capillaries. I also sense I have a tendency toward crepey skin, especially around my neck and eyes that I need to constantly stay on top of. My current skincare routine includes the following:
Cleanse, Tone and Exfoliate
After years of never bothering to wash my face at night (gasp), I finally got myself into a regimented cleaning routine that I am actually committed to. It’s made such a difference in the tone and texture of my skin that I actually look forward to my evening ritual of pampering my skin.
I recently discovered the wonders of the konjac sponge. I’d considered investing in a Clarisonic, but as I have thinner redness prone skin, I worried about irritation, so I tried a far less expensive alternative- Dr. Sponge Facial Cleansing Konjac Sponge. Since I have started using this, my skin is softer, clearer, smoother and glowing. Like the Clarisonic, it takes your cleansing regimen to the next level, removing all traces of makeup but without any irritation. I use it to buff away dirt, grime and dead skin and it literally polishes my sensitive redness prone cheeks without aggravating them. Other than this, I use no physical exfoliant or scrub.
The cleanser I am currently using and liking is the Acure Organics - Facial Cleanser Superfruit + Chlorella Growth Factor. In the morning, I’ll use this alone just to refresh my face; it has a lovely, uplifting lemon balm scent, and at night I’ll squeeze some in the konjac sponge to help remove makeup. It’s marketed for combination skin, but since it’s packed with so many anti-aging ingredients, I find it to be an all around good cleanser for many skin types. It’s low-foaming and is formulated not to disrupt skin’s acid mantle, which protects you from infections that lead to breakouts. Even though I am not acne-prone, I do struggle with easily congested pores, redness and the occasional spot, so I always appreciate a cleanser that is formulated with this in mind.
Humphrey's Homeopathic Remedy -Witch Hazel Redness Reducing Facial Toner is by far one of the nicest, most soothing, gentle toners I have tried. It’s calming and cooling with aloe, cucumber, melon and a long list of other nurturing botanicals like sea buckthorn. It’s hard to believe how inexpensive it is.
Ever since I started using Paula’s Choice chemical exfoliants, my skin’s tone and texture has dramatically changed. Morning and night I use the Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA, and then about twice a week I’ll swap it out for their Resist Weekly Retexturizing Foaming Treatment 4% BHA. The combination of these two has almost completely eradicated the blackheads which have been lingering around my entire T-zone area since adolescence. It’s also completely changed the texture of my skin and shrunk my pores, plus those little lumps and bumps lurking under the skin that never come to a head have completely disappeared. If you’ve tried those daily peel pads and have been as underwhelmed as I have, this is NOT the same thing. My skin has never been so even and smooth. Sadly, however, nothing I know of topically will address the broken capillary fest on my cheeks.
Paula’s Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is another product of theirs that I love. It has helped to even out my skin tone and is just a lovely product to use. It is silicone heavy, however, but because of that, I find it actually works great under makeup, almost like a primer, and it just gives a beautiful glow to my skin and seems to be offering some good anti-aging benefits.
I also just started using the One Love Organics – Love Springs Eternal Youth Preservation Serum and am enjoying it so far. It’s a thin light oil that sinks right in with a soft rose and herbal scent. I can’t give a proper review yet on this, as I’ve only been using it about a week, but since there is so much buzz around this brand at the moment, I wanted to mention it here.
Currently, I am using the Mama Mio Mighty Moisture Day and Night Moisturizer. I prefer to splurge on a more expensive serum and then follow with an affordable moisturizer. For moisturizers, I just am looking for something that is just going to be super hydrating and protecting. I like this one because it has also some peptides, botanicals and hyaluronic acid for hydration. This brand isn’t widely available here in the US, but I happened to find a stash highly discounted at Marshalls and TJ Maxx. They are designed for pregnant women, so there are NO nasties or fragrances, just gentle and highly effective ingredients geared toward lifting and firming skin after pregnancy.
Masks and special treatments
I also include a few special weekly treatments in my routine that I find to be incredibly effective in lifting and plumping up my skin.
At least once a week and especially before an event or a night out, I’ll be sure to use a Korean Sheet mask. I’ve tried different brands, and I don’t have a particular favorite because they all work the same way; it’s a sheet infused with a serum that is applied to skin for about 20 minutes. It’s really the process of pumping your skin for 20 minutes with a super hydrating serum that creates the lifted effect. I feel instantly younger looking, fresher and more awake, and it just gives my skin a firm, plumped up look. I couldn’t be without these now, they are just so effective. I look for ones that are made in Korea and have good skin care ingredients like peptides, botanicals, algae, collagen and no parabens.
A few times a week, I also take time to do a facial massage. Using a facial cleansing oil or balm, I’ll do this before I wash my makeup off as a sort of pre-cleansing step. I’ll massage my face using gentle but firm pressure all over. I pay particular attention to areas that can get puffy, saggy or tense from facial expressions. For me that’s all around my jaw and chin, my “eleven lines” between my brows, and under my ears and down my neck doing a lymphatic drainage massage of sorts. I honestly see immediate results from this. It just seems to iron and smooth out my skin, leaving it plumped up and glowing.