Editor’s Note: I’m back! It’s been a couple years, but I now find myself with more free time. And I’m frequently thinking, “Ooh, that would be a fun thing to write about on the blog.” So here I am! No promises on the frequency, but I do have a list of ideas. So if you used to read Beautypendence, thanks for coming back. And if you’re new to my little beauty blog, welcome!
Last year, I got a little lazy with my skincare routine. I was using most of the same stuff I wrote about six years ago but with less diligence. And at 43, things don’t look like they used to at 37! My skin was looking dull. I decided to do something about it. I dug deep to rediscover my Beautypendence skills and researched new ingredients and products. I now have a pumped up skincare regimen that’s working well for me.
A little about my skin: Thanks to good genes, I don’t have any major skin problems. While wrinkles aren’t a problem for me, sun damage and dryness are. Also, I have mild rosacea on my cheeks. The gentler I am with my skin, the better. No microdermabrasion or harsh peels for me, and I can’t tolerate retinol.
Just because these products below work for my skin, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for yours. Stand alone makeup stores and department store makeup counters will gladly make samples of products for you to try. I always get a sample to make sure I don’t invest in a product that my skin may not like. Also, many products sold online also have some kind of satisfaction guarantee.
Here’s what’s working for me these days.
CLEANSER: I only fully wash my face at night, and I’m still using CeraVe Hydrating Cleaser. Are you washing your face correctly? I splash a little water on my face to wet my skin. Then I use a pump or two of cleanser and massage my face in circular motions with my fingertips. I try to do this for a minute, then rinse with water.
EYE MAKEUP REMOVER: Micellar water became all the buzz a few years ago. I didn’t understand how something with “water” in the name could remove eye makeup. Then I read the label, and the ingredient list matched up with that of the Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover I’ve used for years. While the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water I use doesn’t melt the eye makeup away as quickly as the Mary Kay, it’s a much cheaper product and readily available at any drugstore or grocery store.
SERUM: Another buzzy ingredient in skincare is bakuchiol, a natural alternative to retinol that works well for sensitive skin. Score! There are a lot of options, but I thought I’d give Ole Henriksen Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum a try as I’ve used some of their products in the past. It took a couple of weeks (thanks for the sample Sephora!), but I did begin to notice a subtle difference in the texture of my skin. And as advertised, bakuchiol doesn’t make my skin flaky like retinol did, so now I use it both day and night.
MOISTURIZER: I was fortunate to travel to Prague in November (HIGHLY recommend). A friend who had recently been to the Czech Republic clued me in that organic skincare was a big thing there. Sure enough, I stumbled into an adorable skincare shop, Havlik Apoteka, just around the corner from my hotel. The woman in the shop was very friendly and helpful. I told her I was interested in moisturizers, and she made me samples of daytime and nighttime varieties suitable for my skin type. Two days later, I went back to buy both. I now feel stupid for not buying the larger sizes and a couple tubes of each! Anyone going to Prague soon?
Most days, I simply splash some water on my face in the morning to lightly rinse off. On the days that I wake up with an extra oily nose, I’ll spot-clean with my Cerave Hydrating Cleanser. Otherwise, no need for a major cleansing.
SERUM: Any daytime serum worth its salt will be rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, and you can find quality options at all price points. There was one online-only product that kept coming up in my searches, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s Maelove’s Glow Maker. The founder is a self-proclaimed skincare geek who did heavy R&D to create a high-quality product at an affordable price. Mission accomplished! Containing vitamins C, E, ferulic acid, and hyaluronic acid, this serum packs quite a punch. It’s a thin consistency, and I’ll just say it reminds me A LOT of a much acclaimed product that costs more than five times as much (HINT: it’s made by another brand on this blog post).
Following the Glow Maker, I apply the same Ole Henriksen serum I wrote about above. Take note that bakuchiol, like retinol, can make you sun sensitive, so don’t forget the sunscreen!
MOISTURIZER: This is the daytime Havlik Apoteka moisturizer that I bought in Prague. It’s light but has a nice emollient feel to it.
SUNSCREEN: If you know me, you’ve probably heard my lecture about wearing sunscreen every damn day, like it’s your job. SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense is still my sunscreen of choice. It’s a SPF 50 physical sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, thereby offering instant protection from the sun. Plus, it works perfectly under makeup.
I’ve also rotated in a new sunscreen, a recommendation from Estela at Switch2Pure (see below). My new workplace sports more casual attire (think jeans and sneakers vs. slacks and pumps). Accordingly, I’m going into the office more fresh-faced most days. On those days, I’ll apply Suntegrity Impeccable Skin Matte SPF Moisturizer and skip the moisturizer and foundation. It provides light coverage for a glowy, low-maintenance look.
EXFOLIATOR: About once or twice a week, I’ll exfoliate with a mild scrub. One day I wandered into Switch2Pure‘s popup shop and asked for a recommendation for an exfoliant. The woman in the shop, who turned out to be the founder and owner, Estela Cockrell, pointed me to Intelligent Elixir Citrus Facial Scrub. I love it. Just as Estela suggested, I keep it in the shower, so it’s easy to remember to use it regularly.
No matter what products you decide to use, don’t forget my three non-negotiables on skincare:
- Drink lots of water.
- Get enough sleep every night.
- Wear sunscreen every day.
What’s in your skincare regimen, Beautypendents?