Confessions In The Powder Room

In my 30 years long quest for a flawless complexion, I’ve learned a lot about skincare.  I consider Allure and Beautypedia 2 of the most reliable sources. I recently discovered and recommend The Beautybrains.

First of all, no matter what the beauty industry claims, there are no miracle cures. Only cosmetic procedures can repair damages or turn back the clock. You cannot change the size of pores, although regular exfoliating with AHA (the most common are glycolic and lactic acids) if your skin is normal to dry or BHA (salicylic acid) for oily acne-prone skin will keep them clean and reduce their appearance. Both, used 2 to 3 times weekly, will also get rid of dreaded blackheads and whiteheads, dullness, dryness, flakiness and uneven skin tone.

My AHA of choice is St IVES Daily Exfoliating Pads  which have unfortunately been discontinued.

The replacement I found is Dr. Carver’s Miracle Repair Serum. A miracle it almost truly is, it’s just $12 and it combines glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, skin-repairing and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Second, you do not have to spend a fortune. There are very good at any price range. Picking from different brands is totally fine despite what you may be told at the counter. Don’t believe the hype and before you buy do your research and read reviews from actual users.

Third, the MVP in your cabinet is sunscreen, preferably SPF15 or higher. The sun is your skin’s worst enemy. My favorite is Giorgio Armani Maestro UV Skin Defense Primer SPF50.  Alcohol and fragrances are also major foes.

The most basic regimen must include a cleanser, a moisturizer and a sunscreen, or a moisturizer with sun protection.  Fancy ingredients in a cleanser are a waste, since it doesn’t stay long enough on the skin, they just get washed down the drain. To clean skin more thoroughly I use a cleansing brush with GARNIER Clean+ Smoothing Cream Cleanser. To remove make up at night I swipe Simple Cleansing Micellar Water.

Your moisturizer is where ingredients matter, to be healthy skin needs sunscreen, antioxidants (grape extract, vitamins A, C and E and green tea are the most familiar), skin identical (ceramides, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, collagen, elastin to name a few)  and cell-communicating ingredients (niacinamide, retinol, peptides, lecithin and adenosine triphosphate). They will help shield skin from damages and help it repair itself. When it comes to wrinkles prevention is the most effective approach! The choice between serum, gel, lotion, cream or balm depends on skin type. Someone with oily skin will likely prefer lighter texture whereas someone with dry skin will enjoy richer formulas. My choice is DR. CARVER’S MAGNANIMOUS POST SHAVE CREAM it’s packed with moisturizing ingredients, anti inflammatories, antioxidants and glycolic acid for just $9.

If you’re lucky enough to not deal with aging skin or breakouts; cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing is all you need. At 42, fighting wrinkles, discoloration and loss of firmness is no longer an option. This is when serums, essences, facial oils and prescription retinoids come in.  Applied under your moisturizer, they will boost its effectiveness and yield faster and more dramatic results. Your best weapons are vitamin C to brighten skin and fade hyper pigmentation and retinol to stimulate collagen production, reduce wrinkles and fade  discoloration. Retinoids are also amazing and proven to help treat acne.  My favorite serums are

40 Carrots Carrot + C Vitamin Serum 

Equate Beauty Precision Focus Wrinkle Serum (cheap alternative to Clinique’s Repairwear Laser Focus)

Aroma Dreams Hydrating Hyaluronic Serum

I alternate between the 3 in my morning routine.

Retinol is part of my nighttime regimen. Once a week, I swap Roc Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream for a prescription retinoid cream.  For the delicate eye area, I stick to Roc Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream. 

Now that I’ve told you about my skincare favorites, I’d love to read yours!


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