So. Recently (about six months ago) my skin started really changing. Like all of a sudden products that didn't bother me were making me rashy, my make-up didn't sit right on my face anymore, and I started getting weird dry patches between my eyes. Did you want to know that? If you didn't then maybe this isn't the post for you because we are about to delve deep into my skincare product research. So deep. But maybe you have some skin problems of your own and you're interested in my in depth analysis? Then get ready for the nitty gritty.
Before my over 40 midlife facial transformation of hormonal horror I just washed my face in the morning with Dove Sensitive Skin bar, slapped on my make up and then, skincare blasphemy, went to sleep at night without washing it off.
Now I have a shockingly large assortment of products that I'm using and I'm going to break down for you, because I love you, how I made my choices.
In the past acne has been a problem, and t-zone skin, but at around 35 years old all the zits on my face slid down onto my chest and have been having some kind of small festival down there ever since. This post won't really be about that because it is a problem for a professional and until I go see a doctor I will just have to live with dermatological coachella on my decolletage. *sigh*
But in analyzing my face I pinpointed mild rosacea, wrinkles on my forehead, larger pores around my nose, and crepey eyelids as my main problems.
Please still like me.
I wanted to find products to address these issues, and I didn't want to break the bank on them. I also wanted to use as few products as possible because I am lazy.
I started out making a list of what products I'd really need, and then researched which of the many choices out there I'd try.
There are a jillions of articles and youtube videos about skincare over 40 out there. I waded through TONS of them and here are the main points I gleaned. I was focused on my own skin type (fair, red, sensitive) but most of these apply to all women.
1. The best thing you can do for rosacea is not aggravate it so no super hot water on your face, and all products need to be gentle and irritant free-which, even without rosacea why would you want cleanser that is harsh or irritating?
2. You actually do have to wash your face at night, with a non-soap cleanser, because your skin will eat the leftover makeup and dirt on it while you sleep. Groooosssssss! It is an unhealthy snack. The good news is that your cleanser is only on your face for a short wash and rinse so you can save money here by purchasing a well rated drugstore brand as opposed to a fancy department or specialty brand.
I relied heavily on the website Total Beauty for their side by side product comparisons and user ratings to choose what I would buy. For example, type "sensitive skin cleansers" in their search bar to see a list of their top 20 recommendations.
3. Follow the cleanser with a toner if you have normal skin or a micellar water if you have sensitive or dry skin to remove the last traces of makeup. I just learned about the micellar water and I love it, especially for getting off my leftover mascara and it attracts moister to your skin instead of drying it like a toner.
4. Find a face serum for your skin type. So it turns out that this is the place to spend your money. All the articles I read by actual dermatologist said that a good serum will really soak into the deeper layers of your skin and work to repair and restore it. For anti-aging the magic ingredient is RETINOL!
I read that over and over again. Retinol is the purest form of vitamin A and helps stop free radicals, reduces dark spots, and helps smooth wrinkles. But it can also be a little bit harsh to your skin when you first start using it.
5. Sunscreen. Everyday. Everywhere. No excuses.
6. Moisturize. Same as above.
7. Apparently anti-aging requires exfoliation. This can be done manually with a washcloth or with an exfoliating scrub, with a chemical peel, or with a sonic cleansing brush. Or with your dogs tongue. Just kidding.
You guys I feel like I am taking a written exam where I have to prove I studied skincare!
Alright, with all that in mind I put together my skincare regime.
I chose it because it has great reviews for helping calm redness which is a major concern for me. It doesn't have Retinol-but I take care of that in the evening.
Next I smear on my Burt's Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizer all over. A lot of moisturizers have sunscreen too but because my skin is so sensitive and fair I started using City Block by Clinique and I LOVE it.
I can put it on quite generously like you're supposed to and it totally soaks in quickly and feels like...nothing! That's the best.
I only exfoliate once or twice a week in the shower and I've been using a Vitamin E Exfoliater by The Body Shop because it is extra gentle.
I sometimes use the "Think Dirty" app on my phone, you can scan a beauty product bar code and it will tell you how "clean," as in chemical free, the product is.
I use the Aveeno Absolutely Ageless on my neck and chest because it has moisturizer, sunscreen, and retinol all in one plus it's affordable and I just cannot imagine doing all this rig-amoral on my neck and chest too!
Then at night I use a combination of these products.
Oh, first I wash my face with the Simple Cleanser that I accidentally photographed with the "morning products." Then I use the micellar water again. I cannot do everything.
I use the Hylamide Sub Q around my eyes maybe one out of every three nights because it has retinol in it and I am building up my tolerance. Same goes for the Nuetragena Ageless Intensives deep wrinkle night moisturizer. On the other nights I use the Burt's Bees Intense Hydration night cream for sensitive skin. I really like how creamy and soothing it feels.
The Origins Drink up Intensive overnight mask and Clear Improvement mask were free when I bought my serum. I like to use the Drink Up mask in place of moisturizer maybe once a week or if I feel like my skin is getting a little dry.
Speaking of dry, the Body Shop exfoliating cream has really helped the dry patch between my eyes. If I notice it getting flaky I use that in the shower and it clears right up.
And that is it. Thank goodness!
Oh, I also like the sephora.com and ulta.com websites for reading reviews of products I'm considering. And that is really it. I hope this was helpful in your skincare endeavors.