Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Weekly Beauty Edit 2.14.2016 Morning Skin Care Routine

Thank you! I've hit a milestone with 30,000 views. Smooches from me to you!

I've had every kind of skin type from extremely dry to extremely oily. Most women tend to get drier with the years, I'm going in the opposite direction. I'm getting oilier. About 10 or 15 years ago, I had very dry skin. I would slather olive oil or shea butter on at night and still wake up with flaky skin. Luckily, I have never had sensitive, reactive or break out prone skin. The only exception is my under eye area. It is highly reactive, sensitive, flakes at the drop of dime and Sahara Desert dry.

Let me back up a little. I love research. Ingredient decks give me butterflies in my stomach. I remember helping my mother put away groceries. It was impossible for to put anything in the pantry until I read the ingredient list. Of course, ingredient lists were much shorter back then! When I'd eat cereal, I would put the box in front of me so I could read the back over and over and over. Fast forward, I feel the same about the ingredient decks on skin care products. Some people bookmark vacation itineraries, I bookmark skincare articles.

Simple but effective is my goal when it comes to skin care. These are my issues today, these are issues I want to prevent, what ingredients will help, what ingredients are pointless. Next, wrap that up with personal preferences. How can I address all that with the least amount of products in the shortest amount of time? In the morning, I want to cleanse, prevent, hydrate and protect. You may want to exfoliate, firm, fight acne, uber moisturize, mattify, etc.

Purity Made Simple cleanser by Philosophy
I don't like foaming cleansers. To me, it's feels like cottage cheese on my face. Plus the foam is always going up my nose. Apparently I'm a heavy breather when I wash my face. Personal preference is no scent or a slightly herbal scent, nothing fruity or floral. I don't like to feel overly moisturized from a cleaner nor do I want a tight, squeaky clean feeling. For me, the answer is Purity by philosophy. It is the longest used product in my entire beauty, hair care, or skin care arsenal. I've used Purity for at least 15 years. Plenty of other cleansers have come and gone in that time and I always come back to Purity. Bonus point is it leaves skin at proper pH, therefore, no need for toner.

Next step is an anti-oxidant serum. I'm not loyal to any particular brand but what I am loyal to is rotating between a 20% Vitamin C serum and a potent, blended anti-oxidant serum. My number one most annoying skin issue is uneven skin tone and discoloration. Do wrinkles make me crazy? Yes. Does sagging skin make me cry? Yes. For me, though, uneven skin takes the cake. Vitamin C helps slow down the clock on discoloration and may even lighten spots. Based on research, Vitamin C also helps new collagen to form. If you the read my blog post about anti-oxidants, collagen is key! I'm losing a lot of collagen at my age. If a product can build a tiny bit back, happy dance! Good collagen levels help prevent wrinkles and keep skin bouncy. The other anti-oxdiant serum needs to have multiple anti-oxidants in it and I don't much care which ones they are since they're all good. Personal preference is watery Vitamin C serums for quick absorption.  Whichever 20% Vitamin C serum is the best price on amazon is the one I buy. At the moment my blended, multi-action antioxidant serum is Paula's Choice for combination or oily skin.
Paula's Choice Resist Ultra Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate
Majectic Pure 20% Vitamin C serum with Vitamin E and Ferulic
I list this as a separate step but with my oily skin I don't need this to be a step on it's own. My preference is for hydration to be taken care of as part of the Protect step below. If we are having a bitter cold day in the Chicago area, I'll use a separate product for moisturizing. When I reach for a moisturizer, I always choose one that also has anti-aging ingredients. Heck, if I'm adding a product it better give me more than moisture. Right now, my moisturizers of choice are Philosophy Hope in a Jar or Algenist Anti-Aging Moisturizer.

This is the most important step in my routine, the SPF. I don't like layers and layers of product on my oily skin. This step must combine a highly effective SPF and hydration or SPF and primer. If I can get anti-oxidants thrown in, the more the merrier! Paula's Choice Resist Super Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 is my go to. It is broad spectrum, loaded with anti-oxidants, and just enough moisturization for my skin. As importantly, there are two things it does NOT do. Many SPF products make oily skin even oilier. This does not. Some SPF products cause other product to ball or pill up. This never does that. If I know I'm going to use a foundation that is not great with pore coverage, I might use a a primer with broad spectrum SPF 30.

It is my opinion that SPF is the single MOST important step in anti-aging and skin care. Period. Chase your retinols, peptides, anti-oxidants and exfoliators all you want. If you're not using an SPF every day of the year, you're missing the boat on skin care. Heck, you're missing the entire ocean.
Paula's Choice Resist Super Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30
Bare Mineral Prime Time SPF  30
Murad Invsiiblur Perfecting Shield SPF 30
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus
Colleen Rothschild
Wei East Eyes Alive
My under eye area has a mind of its own. I need serious hydration. For whatever reason, the majority of eye creams sting the heck out of my under eye area. Stinging is always followed by red, flaking, uber crepy skin within 24 hours and will last at least 4 or 5 days. If a product is geared for dark circles or puffiness, it is usually a no go for me. If a product contains retinol that is also a deal breaker. Most odd, no matter what, I can't use an eye cream for more than two weeks. At about the two week point, my under eye area rebels. As much as I need deeply hydrating and emolient eye cream, I do wear under eye concealer so it can't cross the line of being too emollient. During this snapshot in time, my under eye area will tolerate Clinique All About Eyes, Kiehls Rosa Artica, Colleen Rothschild, and Algenist Eye Renewal Balm, Wei East Eyes Alive and Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus. I apply the Wei East Eyes Alive OVER my concealer two or three times a day by using a tiny bit and patting it on so as not to disturb my concealer.

I always bring the Vitamin C or antioxidant serum down to my neck as well the SPF. Next comes the neck cream. Skinn Neck Armour, sold on evine shopping channel, is incredible. Neck Armour, a thick cream, "glues" the neck in place for about 4 or 5 hours. At about the 5 hour mark I try to add a moisturizing cream to rehydrate.  I'm repurposing my failed eye creams into mid-day neck creams. Because they are small, it easily fits on my purse. Plumping up the neck skin with moisturizer is the answer to firmer, less crepy skin.
Skinn Neck Armour
It really is simple. Purity cleanser, 20% Vitamin C or Anti-Oxidant Serum, and broad spectrum SPF 30 moisturizer.

As the hands of time keep ticking, I need to consider upping my AM game a bit.  Thanks to the internet, Westerners are quickly learning about Korean skin care. Skin care claims are much more closely monitored and measured in Korea as compared to the US. If a product claims a certain outcome, Korean regulations say prove it or we'll yank it. Well, maybe not in those words but you get my drift. In turn, this has made Korean consumer very critical of skin care claims. If a skin care company want to succeed in Korea, they had better deliver as promised. Korean essences are catching my eye. It would be an easy, fast step to add right after cleansing. I'm thinking about it. Need to do my research!

Thank you for carving time out of your day to read my blog!


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  1. Have you tried using a Retin A product? For oily, aging skin there is nothing that compares. You can start very slowly with a 0.025% solution and build up.

  2. As always enjoyed... That neck cream looks interesting... XOXO ~Olivia

  3. As always enjoyed... That neck cream looks interesting... XOXO ~Olivia

  4. Lulu you continue to inform, educate, and entertain... can't wait for next week's installment!!!!

  5. congratulation on your milestone, i've jsut found you and love how informative you are.. im a cleanser 'hunter' how would you describe the texture for purity?? i hate thick cleansers