New Year, new finds, new favorites. About three times a year, I write about what’s working for me and the anti-aging skin care products that have become firm favorites. I notice that, a month or so into 2014, that my beauty regimen is embracing a lot of new finds and has two dominant themes: copper peptides and bee venom. Despite the winter doldrums, my skin is looking great – like one of those people with good skin, which I have never been. A long-lost neighbor who once worked for Murad asked me the other day if was doing peels – I am not. But my skin is looking smooth and supple (apart from pesky lip lines). So, without more ado, here is what’s working for me.
I am capricious when it comes to cleansers and have a few on the go so that I can pick and choose depending on how my skin is feeling. Nutra-Lift Glycolic Plus Non Soap Cleanser ($20) with 10% glycolic acid is wonderful for leaving the pores closed and the skin polished, and over time it evens skin tone. Although Nutra-Lift says it is a twice-a-day cleanser, I find that twice a week (three times at most) is enough for me. Dry winter days have me turning to a light cream cleanser the rest of the time: Royal Nectar Cream Cleanser with bee venom and manuka honey ($29 in the shop) is gentle and nourishing, and my favorite standby that also doubles as a mask is Red Flower Sea Cleanser Masque ($42).
There are two new toners in my life and they are very different one from the other. S.W. Basics Toner($24) with apple cider vinegar is an impressively simple pH-balancing formula. Almost too sophisticated to be a mere toner (think anti-aging treatment), Stemulation AHA Herbal Balancing Toner ($38) is packed with antioxidants and alpha ydroxyl acids. It gives me my milk thistle fix (a toxin remover) and an antioxidant boost.
I am currently in testing mode with a brand new eye cream from E’shee, one of my favorite brands. It has E’shee’s signature FGF epidermal growth factor. I am only a week into my test and so it would be premature to say anything other than the early signs are very good. I have just finished my umpteenth bottle of AQ Eye Serum ($99 in the shop) and it remains a standout. I am also keeping recent tester, Sciote Firming Eye Cream ($65) since in its price bracket, it is one of the best eye creams that I have come across.
I am so glad that I have been reunited with Medik8 Firewall ($145 in the shop) originally discovered a few years back). With copper peptides and Matrixyl 3000, it remains one of the most effective wrinkle reducers and I simply had to make it my Best of 2013. My go-to night serum is still BRAD Essential Multi-Peptide ($95) – it just suits my skin, what more can I say. And rather than completely kick the habit of my beloved E’shee KI Therapy ($189 in the shop), I have cut it back to three times a week and am still convinced that, for me, it is one of the best anti-aging serums ever.
Creams and Moisturizers
Being on a bee venom and copper peptides roll right now, I am loving a moisturizing serum that combines the two, Benir Beauty BV-Platinum Bee Venom ($143). Although I still love Royal Nectar Face Mask With Bee Venom ($68), this new discovery from Canadian company Benir is better than Royal Nectar Moisturizing Lift ($55). The texture is little heavier than another bee venom cream, Avitalin Bee Venom BioLift Complex ($70), that I tested last year and still reach for when I need a moisturizer. Another hydrating option that is a new find and one that is a keeper is Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin D Mist ($39), a divine spray-on moisturizer that is rich in much-needed vitamin D.
My issues are some hyperpigmentation and redness and I target them pretty much daily with suki intensive nourishing brightening cream and Medik8 Red Alert. suki intensive nourishing brightening cream ($60.95) is billed as a moisturizer, but I find that with frequent use it does a very good job of fading freckles and areas of sun damage. For redness and rosacea, I very much like Medik8 Red Alert ($60 in the shop). As I use it on the apples of my cheeks, I have noticed not only reduced redness, but also improved skin texture.
Masks and Peels
My new favorite is Kat Burki Mask Hibiscus Antioxidant Face Mask ($78). Although it is very much about clarifying and brightening, my sensitive skin can take it very well (even leaving it on for half an hour). On my neck, I’ve been usingsuki renewal bio-resurfacing facial peel($82.95). It is also good for closing pores on my nose.
Your Best Face Define ($70 in the shop) is my lip cream. It helps my lips stay supple and look a little darker. I have been using it for years and can’t imagine giving it up.
For daily about-town use, Snowberry Everyday Broad Spectrum SPF15 is all I need. For outdoor activities I go for the no-sweat MD Solar Sciences Mineral Creme SPF 50 ($30 in the shop).
Still my anti-aging secret weapon, Ultra Renew Plus ($159) is one of the few things other than eating or a good book that can keep me in one place for 15 minutes. It is the thing between my jowls and gravity. Since discovering Myotone ($279), the first effective and comfortable microcurrent device for use at home that I have found, I alternate the Ultra Renew Plus’ ultrasound with Myotone to ring the changes.
Makeup and Color
Actually there is no color, as I’m not much of a makeup person. My base, as always is Osmotics Inner Light ($30), which has no tint whatsoever, but gives the complexion a smoother more porcelain look. Either RMS Beauty "Un" Cover Up or La Vie Celeste Creme Foundation ($42) serve as my concealer. W3LL People Realist X is a marvel at mattifying my typically shiny and reddish face (even after the gym!).