Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Beauty // The War Against Aging

I've always felt like a young person. Then, while pregnant with child #2, I was tagged "advanced maternal age". Ouch! Well, child #2 is almost five years old. What does that make me now? Middle aged.  Nooooo!

I've always told myself that, barring invasive surgery, I would do whatever I needed to do to maintain and preserve my skin. I'm lucky to have genetics on my side (my Grandmother had beautiful, smooth skin until she passed unexpectedly at the young age of 96). However, my Grandmother stayed out of the sun and covered-up whenever she was outside. I, unfortunately, did the opposite. If only I had known better!  I've been pretty good to my skin the last 15 years or so-- sunscreen, good moisturizers, removing make-up at night, eating relatively well, etc. But it's time to up the ante.

After a bit of trial and error, I think I finally found the perfect "preserve & protect" program for my skin. I still need to find a good vitamin C eye cream to tame the under eye circles though. I never had those before and they definitely add to the tired/old look that I'm trying to avoid.

My skin's main issues-- sensitive, usually on the dry side (t-zone in warm weather), melasma (aka skin discoloration leftover from crazy pregnancy hormones and sun exposure).

I use some of the same products in the morning and at night. You may have noticed that I don't use too many "corrective" creams... In the past I've had bad reactions to prescription and over-the-counter products to correct skin discoloration. They made my skin look worse-- dry, flaky and irritated. So the current battle plan is to keep my skin moisturized and protected from the elements.

Believe it or not, although there are many layers of product going on, I don't spend a ton of time "pampering" myself-- 15 minute max in the morning, which includes applying make-up; and 5 minutes during the evening, which usually includes brushing and flossing my teeth. I guess I've become efficient in my middle age. Ha!

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AM //
layer 1: argan oil - Elma & Sana Golden Argan Oil ; I love this stuff. I haven't tried the more expensive brands to compare, but this product immediately cured my winter skin blues and makes my skin soft and smooth. It absorbs well and it hasn't caused me to break-out.

layer 2: day cream - Embryolisse Filaderme Creme; I've tried several Embryolisse creams and this is my favorite so far. I haven't tried their more expensive Crème Anti-Age Raffermissante (Rich Firming Cream) that became popular when Gwyneth Paltrow mentioned it on her lifestyle blog goop. I may try it out later when I'm finished with the Filaderme.

layer 3: eye cream - Liz Earle Superskin Eye & Lip Treatment; I eventually want to replace this with a vitamin C cream for my under eye circles, but this one is good for day and doesn't smear my eye makeup.

layer 4: mineral sun screen - Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 ; this sunscreen is tinted and won't leave you chalky white like many mineral sunscreens.

layer 5: CC cream/make-up - Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream, Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Complexion Corrector; goes on smooth. Leaves my skin with a nice texture, not too oily, not too dry.

layer 6: highlighter/under eye concealer - Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch; I don't know why I waited so long to try this out. Helps hide the under eye circles and is also a nice highlighter. Maybelline offers a similar product at a lower price point. The next time I'm at a drug store I'm going to pick-up the Dream Lumi Touch.

layer 7: sun hat ; I carry a sun hat with me everywhere. We're out in the sun for the kids' sports, so I like this one from Scala that I can fold in my purse. This helps keep the melasma at bay and prevents new spots from developing. Even 10 layers of the highest SPF won't stop them from coming so covering up is important. Darn crazy skin!

PM //
eye make-up remover: Bioderma Crealine H2O ; This can be used all over the face, but I use it to remove my eye makeup. It's not oily at all and doesn't muck up my eyes like traditional oil-based eye makeup remover.

cleanse: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser; I've been using this for years and will probably use it as long as they keep making it. It's very mild and is a mix of night cream/soap without the sting or dryness.

occasional mask: Aveda Intensive Hydrating Masque; A good treatment for those days when skin is irritated, dry or has been exposed to the elements.

layer 1: argan oil - Elma & Sana Golden Argan Oil; see AM.

layer 2: night cream -  Liz Earle Superskin Moisturiser; I've been using this for 5+ years. Every now and then I'll stray to try something new, but I always end up coming back. It's full of all the good stuff and NOT harsh chemicals. My skin drinks it up. Love.

layer 3: eye cream - Liz Earle Superskin Eye & Lip Treatment; see AM.

layer 4: lip balm - Smith's Rosebud Salve; this is the best lip balm. Not too sticky and it makes your lips soft and moist. I put it on every night before going to bed.

I like product reviews and I'm always open to trying out new things. You've probably figured that. Any tried & true products that you'd like to share?