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What's working for me- my current beauty regimen

October 10, 2012 Reviewed by Marta 16 Comments

A year or so ago, menopause hit me hard and it showed in my skin. It’s taken quite a bit of work and dedication to get it back: I found some new products, got to love ultrasound and developed complementary day and night regimens. The result is that I believe my skin is better than it was before I hit the menopausal doldrums. This is what is working for me – and I mean really working for me:


With drier fall days, I have found that I need a moisturizing rather than exfoliating cleanser and I really love Living Nature’s ($35). I like it so much that I have been decanting it for my trips into my Sephora travel set (which I don’t actually recommend since not one single pump actually works). Living Nature’s Vitalizing Cleanser is hydrating and rich without being unctuous (I’m not a fan of really creamy cleansers) and comes with Manuka honey. The gentle lather is produced naturally by a New Zealand shrub, the Kumerahou.

Since someone is bound to ask, I still religiously use my Clarisonic cleansing brush, although I am about to treat myself to the budget-priced Sirius Sonic ($49) for its additional large brush head that I find useful for body (especially my acne-prone cleavage and shoulders).


For daytime, I have a strong preference for light gels and serums, rather than creams. This may change as winter progresses, but for now, for me, facial creams are strictly for nighttime (see below).

My current facial serum of choice is E’shee’s KI Therapy Serum. Its compact size makes it the ideal travel companion, but what really makes it a vital component of my regimen wherever I am is what it is doing to my skin. It is very noticeably smoothing lines – especially around the lips, dimples in my cheeks that are in danger of becoming marionette lines, and the outer crow’s feet. The combination of E’shee’s signature growth factor and this serum’s FAR infra-red ceramic powder work so well for me that I have bought a second bottle ($189 in the shop).

My daytime eye cream is AQ’s Eye Serum ($99 in the shop). It isn’t just the lightweight gel-like consistency that makes me choose AQ, but the firming lift that it is giving my eye area (not to mention the boost to eyelash growth). Along with my night eye cream (see below), it is actually erasing wrinkles under my eyes. They look better than they have for years! What’s more, the bottle seems to be lasting for months. Not for nothing is this a 2012 Five Best eye cream winner.

See more on my new video post

For most days, this is it. Simple and hugely effective. There are some mornings, of course, when I need a little boost or some help:

Once or twice a week extras:

Those little boosts tend to come from masks. The one that I turn to whenever my skin looks dull and dejected is one whose active is bee venom. I still can’t believe that I, of all people, am jumping on a Royalist bandwagon (Camilla and Kate supposedly love their bee venom face masks), but I have fallen for the buzz as well. I went to the original source of the bee venom face mask made by Royal Nectar ($65 in the shop). It is an excellent product – after 15-30 minutes, it really does leave my face look radiant and feeling firm.

Helping hands are needed when I have “problem” skin issues in the form of breakouts (usually from testing products), open pores or a little redness/inflammation. Exederm, approved by the National Eczema Association,  is still the best thing I have found for treating little flare-ups. Open pores and, for that matter, freckles and dark spots, respond very well to Sevani’s Rapid Renewal ($65 in the TIA shop) and nothing calms the threat of rosacea like Sevani’s Complexion Corrector.


This year, I introduced a night regimen into my life and consider it to be a major breakthrough (click here for my recent post on the efficacy of using products at night). My menopausal skin definitely needs additional nourishment and firming actives. I have designed it to be complementary to my day regimen, which could be said to be about wrinkle repair. Evenings are about firming.

Rather than before bed, my evening regimen starts when I get home from work and provides me with a transitional zone of my time. It starts with cleansing and then (four or five nights a week) I have a 15-minute session with Ultra Renew using the Ultra Renew Gel Serum. After months of focusing on my cheeks and lips (with very good effect – I swear this is the reason I am not succumbing to facial fillers), I am now paying attention to my neglected forehead. Six weeks in, my forehead is looking smoother.

I follow my Ultra Renew session with Your Best Face Control ($160 in the TIA shop) for the face, its ingredients for promoting elasticity are part of firming mission. My eye cream for night is Your Best Face Correct, which seems to lift my lids ($150 in the TIA shop). Their textures are dense creams, which suit me more for night than day and ensure that my skin still looks hydrated when I wake up. What I really believe is critical though, is that their combination of peptides and antioxidants are complementary to the growth factors that E’shee and AQ provide me with during the day.

A few times a week, I apply a sparing smear of either Prana Reverse A ($48 in the TIA shop) or Osmosis Correct ($44) to stubborn areas – around the lips and my neck. These are the only retinol serums that I have been able to tolerate. I appreciate their exfoliating abilities, but also that they are topped up with plenty of actives to help the skin repair.

Update: I have now posted a video on my day/night regimens

I’ll come back with hands, neck, body and hair over the next few weeks.

  • October 18, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Tracy, I would recommend ultrasound for firming and it can be used with Botox. You are thinking of microcurrent when you mention firming the muscles. Ultrasound works at the cellular level and you can read more on how it works here:

  • October 18, 2013

    by Tracy

    Hi Marta
    wondering about the ultrasound machines and botox...I am looking into purchasing the ultra renew plus or the Baby Quasar ..but have to compare them for the differences and I have used Botox in the past, but would prefer to stop using it. Is there a choice to make on using both botox and ultrasound at the same time? Since one relaxes muscles and one is strengthening or tightening muscles (tissues)?

  • October 31, 2012

    by Julie Kay

    Hey Lori! I've found YBF's Define will diminish those pesky lip lines if you're willing to dedicate yourself to using it on a vigorous, set schedule. It will take time to see results, but it does work. And the cannister goes a very long way as you don't need to use much per use. My problem is keeping up with my nightly applications. I'll get all snuggled down in bed with the lights off and go, "dang, I forgot..." and I'm too tired and lazy to turn over, sit up, turn the light on- you get the picture. Topping 60 hasn't brought out the best in this old dame. ~jk

  • October 29, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Lori, I know exactly what you mean and they are tough. So far I have found that focusing Ultra Renew around the mouth area helps a lot. The best topicals so far are AQ Serum or E'shee's K1.

  • October 28, 2012

    by Lori

    Marta and TIA Community, What product would you recommend for lines around the upper lip? They seemed to appear out of nowhere! Yikes! Help!

  • October 12, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Jennifer, I wear sunscreen when I am out and about - either Snowberry, Colorescience or Hydropeptide.

  • October 11, 2012

    by Jennifer

    This is all I wanted to know but was afraid to ask! But I'm surprised you don't mention a sunscreen. Do you use one in the daytime?

  • October 11, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Helen, thank you very much. Please email me at and we'll try to work something out.

  • October 11, 2012

    by Helen

    Great post. You look amazing Marta. Would you ever be interested in doing a guest post for my site The Skiny? It's a skincare/lifestyle for Canadians. We would love your expertise on some of your favorite anti-aging products that are available for Canadians.

  • October 11, 2012

    by Jan

    I loved reading about your regimen! And wonderful to hear about the products that have worked well for you.

    I am approaching 60 also, and have been using organic products and have been happy with the results. I especially like the brands Duchess Marden, Living Nature, Intelligent Nutrients, and some others.

    I can't wait to try some of the products you have recommended here. Thank you for sharing your secrets!

  • October 10, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Julie, I'm off exfoliators at the moment. I don't feel the need. That might change of course. But I'm all for not having a rigid regimen. Skin changes week by week (day by day) and I just take a look and try to work out what I need (or don't). Right now exfoliators don't seem necessary. We'll see....

  • October 10, 2012

    by Marta

    Thank you Vills and others. The photo is actually a few weeks old (mid summer). I think I look even better now. I actually don't mind looking at myself in the mirror (well, most days).

  • October 10, 2012

    by Ann

    I'm on board with the extra lovely Sevani products....I'm just peeved I ordered my refill last week!

  • October 10, 2012

    by Vills

    Finally got a full list of your regime and all ingredients used. Thanks for that. Must say I've looked at your photos on the site from months ago and now and all i can say is "wow"! You've transformed! And without fillers! Your skin looks plump and radiant and you've taken years off. I've got the Ultra renew and have seen those blemishes just practically disappear overnight. Now hoping to work on the plumping up as i have major work that needs doing due to hormone issues. I'm hoping to be able to get some of the serums you're trying - once budget allows me to buy them. But congrats you look amazing!

  • October 10, 2012

    by Julie Kay

    I enjoyed reading your regimen, Marta, and whys of it. I think you'll find as you close in on 60 that you'll want to lessen, or even elliminate, the brush cleansing. I find it's much too harsh on the skin of my face. I notice you didn't add an exfoliator? I use Amala's Cocao Bean Rejuvenating Cleanser and find it divinely replenishing and refreshing. It does get harder and harder to keep up or rather stay ahead of time. You look gorgeous. I adore your hair! ~jk

  • October 10, 2012

    by JustD

    Great update Marta, you look mah-ve-lous!!!! Keep up the great work! I'll have to take out a loan to buy all of your products LOL, but I most certainly will try to capture a few of them! Thanks again for the info!

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