So I wrote a big post about feelings and why I’ve been so depressed for the last five and a half months, but it just feels too vulnerable… so let’s talk about skincare instead! Maybe the feelings will be easier to discuss when they are over and I can dissect them from a distance.
Anyway – skin. These are the products I use and love at the moment. My skin is very reactive to the temperature and humidity, so this changes seasonally depending on what I feel it needs.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser – this is my favourite cleanser and I’ve been using it for years. It doesn’t foam and is not drying at all. I love that it doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight. Apparently you can wipe it off and not rinse (which doesn’t really appeal to me), but I always use it in the shower.
Face Halo – these little pads are magical (thanks Caitlin for the recommendation!). I use them every night to take my makeup off with just water, and I love that they don’t pull on my skin like a regular face towel would. They wash clean with soap and water, and apparently you can put them in the washing machine.
Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm – this stuff is so odd – it’s a solid, but turns into an oil on your skin but it doesn’t leave you feeling greasy. It’s amazing for taking off heavy eye makeup so I only use it occasionally.
Paula’s Choice RESIST Weekly Resurfacing Treatment with 10% AHA – I probably should use this once a week, because it’s really good – I have to plan it though, because my skin gets a bit peel-y the day after.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel – I use this usually every second day, and it has been a revelation for me. Previously, I was hooked on non-chemical exfoliants and would practically scrub my face raw chasing some smoothness, but this is so much better. When my skin is well exfoliated, it feels like it absorbs serums better as well.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA – why do I need BHA and AHA? I think the short and probably wrong answer is that AHA works on dissolving dead skin cells on the surface, whereas BHA gets into pores and dissolves dirt and oil in there (I’m probably wrong, and I’m sure there’s a more scientific answer for this). I use this on my T zone, but not all the time – usually only when I can see that my pores are getting a bit gross, or when I’ve been wearing makeup or thick sunscreen.
Serums and Treatments
The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil – no link for this one because it’s either been discontinued or is being rebranded or something, but it’s not available online right now and head office had no idea why. The label says ‘overnight’ but I actually use this during the daytime because it’s so light and it helps keep things dewy underneath mineral makeup. I use it all over my face and decolletage, and it’s so light and absorbs really well. Prior to using this, I used to struggle with flakiness across my cheeks in winter, but this solved that completely.
Sukin Rosehip Oil – this is extremely rich and takes a long time to absorb, so I slather it on under night cream overnight so it has all night to soak in. My skin always glows and feels so soft and hydrated in the morning after using this. I know a lot of people have reservations about putting oils on their skin, but I’ve never had a breakout from using this.
Paula’s Choice RESIST Omega+ Complex Serum – I’ve only just started using this one, but I love it so far. I use it in the daytime when I’m not going to be outdoors (otherwise they recommend sunscreen). My skin seems smoother, plumper and more finely textured after using it, so I’ll definitely continue.
Paula’s Choice CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment – I use this at night, maybe 2-3 times a week, focusing on areas where I’m worried about getting fine lines (like my forehead, under my eyes, the elevenses). Retinol has been harsh on my skin to begin with and caused some irritation until I got used to it, but I think it has been fairly miraculous in terms of preventing wrinkles. I am thirty years old and I have a single tiny wrinkle under each of my eyes, but that’s it. For my entire face. It’s hard to tell whether it’s intense moisturising, staying out of the sun or the retinol that has contributed to this, but I’m happy so far!
Sukin Facial Moisturiser – I have used Sukin for years and it suits me perfectly. I switch between the regular, the sensitive and super green moisturiser, but I don’t really have a favourite. They all smell delicious, have no parabens or animal ingredients, and are organic. I’m happy with that!
Sukin Sensitive Calming Night Cream – I use the sensitive night cream, because I tend to use the more powerful products (like retinol) at night. Plus it’s really rich and hydrating.
Baebody Eye Gel – I used this one during summer and really liked it for days when I was just hanging around the house, but it wasn’t the best under makeup. It has a really cool dispenser and is a light gel formula. It was nice to put on before I went to sleep – I tend to get really dry and itchy eyes at bedtime in summer, so this was nice. But honestly, in winter, I appreciate the richness of just regular moisturiser on my eye area more. I’m not sure what’s going on with this product though – you can’t get it at any regular shops, and getting it from Amazon is kind of shady. When I run out, I will probably try something else that’s easier to source.
Lanolips Lano All-Over Everywhere Multi-Cream – recommended by Caitlin, and I love it. I have dry lips for all of winter because I tend to lick lip balm off, but this stuff is so thick that it stays on for ages.
Bepanthen Nappy Antiseptic Cream – I use this like an overnight moisturising lip mask, and it’s nice. It sticks and doesn’t rub off before it absorbs, and I wake up with perfectly hydrated lips.
I don’t really have a rigid routine as I try to be intuitive about it – if my skin is windburned from being outside, I’m not going to subject it to something like retinol or AHA that night. I try to exfoliate and use treatments alternating a couple of times a week, and I try to do deep moisturising every night before I go to bed. I’m sure Nathan thinks it’s so attractive for me to go to bed every night with my face slathered in lotions and potions, but hopefully he’ll thank me in ten or twenty years when it will have paid off.
So there it all is! It seems like a lot, but it makes me feel nice and feels like an investment in whether I’ll age gracefully or not. There are a couple of concerns I would like to address in the future (I have some pigmentation across my nose in summertime, for example), so I’ll do an update post if things change.
The final thing that I wanted to say is… I don’t naturally have good skin. I spent a good portion of my teen years covered in acne before I discovered oral antibiotics; I am prone to hormonal acne from hell across my jaw (and let’s not even talk about my upper back and chest right now); I have perpetual dark circles under my eyes and will never not feel self-conscious about the pores on my nose. Sometimes, with the right skincare and good makeup, I’ll look like I have amazing skin… but takes work, and luck. I would love to think there would be a time in my life when I could just not put this much effort in, but it’s not realistic for me. Just gotta make the most of what I’ve got. 🙂