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how not to look like a wrinkled sack of shit

February 5, 2010

long post about girly stuff!

one of my top priorities is skin care.  learning from my mother – who, at 63 does not look like she is 63; who, at 63 has the skin of a 40-something and who at 63 has less wrinkles than me –  so when she tells me about skin products and what’s good/what’s not, i listen.

since i was young, my mother has always said that no matter what you do, always always take care of your skin.  she spends ridiculous amounts of money on skin care – some of it i think it hokey – but i guess she must be right because her skin is fantastic.  i just hope at when i get to her age, my skin looks like that.  she has never tanned and she rarely wears makeup.  she believes that lipstick sucks the natural color out of your lips (and maybe she’s right because it looks like she’s wearing lipstick all the time, her lips are so pink) and she uses this electrical buzzing thing on her face two times a day – it sort of reminds me of those giant glass balls with that purple static electricity thing but imagine that in a hand-held wand.

in my previous post about makeup, i listed my basic makeup arsenal.  i truly believe that you get what you pay for and i almost never put anything on my face that you can buy from a drugstore.  call me picky or whatever but i have extrememly sensitive skin, not to mention dry and flaky with a touch of eczema here and there so i’m careful of the ingredients that are listed on each product.  while i know some products boast ‘firmer skin within X days’ how can that be if it costs $9.99?   i have a hard time believing in products which are ‘clinically proven to reduce the apperance of fine lines and takes X years off your face’ that sell for  $15.00.  i’m sorry, but if cosmetic surgery – which is a sure-fire way to get rid of wrinkles and actually takes years off your face – costs on average $2000 – i highly doubt something made from biotherm or garnier would do the same thing for $15.00.  not that i’m knocking those products but at least be reasonable with advertisement.  i hate misrepresentation.  but anyway, onto the purpose of this post.

here’s my basic skin care arsenal:

cetaphil – this is the only thing that i buy from shoppers that i use on my skin.  i use to spend ridiculous amounts of money on skin cleansers but ended up using this one on a regular basis because it does the same thing as cleansers that cost like, $40.  it’s refreshing, doesn’t strip moisture from my face and does the job.  as a bonus, you can also use cetaphil when your baby has a diaper rash – instead of using baby wipes which can irrirate the already-raw skin – just squirt some cetaphil  on to  some tissue and wipe the diaper area clean.  the cool gel is soothing and the anti-bacterial agent in the product also promotes healing.  so for $15 or however much this product costs, you get a 2-for-1 deal and that’s always good in my books.

darphin intensive moisturizing serum – i started using face serums a few years ago because i noticed that as i approached 30, my skin just wasn’t the same.  its youthful glow started to dim and i could start to see the effects of external/environmental factors taking its toll.  i am afraid of wrinkles so i started to do some reasearch on wrinkle/anti-aging prevention.  since i cannot fight mother nature or race against time, i can maybe slow it down just a tad.  this is when i started using serums with my moisturizer and this is the first thing i put on right after i rinse my face in the morning.  by the way, i don’t wash my face when i get up – my skin is dry enough so using water works for me.  this serum is great – it helps to trap moisture in your skin and keeps it plump.  i usually let it sit for about 30secs so my skin can fully absorb it and then i follow it up with eye cream and regular moisturizer.

eye cream is so important.  the thinnest skin on your face is around your eye and lip area so it’s crucial to be extra gentle and concentrate moisture in these areas.  i’ve tried several eye creams and bobbi brown’s hydrating eye cream seems to work best.  it’s around $55 or so at holt.  whenever i’m about to use concealer, i always apply a dab of this under my eyes and give it a few minutes to absorb.  maybe bobbi brown kept this in mind when she created this formula but applying this before using any type of concealer just makes the skin feel like a smooth canvas.  kudos to you ms. brown!

darphin myrrh aromatic care – about a year ago, i got the most amazing facial ever using darphin products after which, i promptly went to holt renfrew to get a few samples.  don’t let the name of the product dissuade you – it’s not aromatherapy of any sort but it’s an oil specially designed for specific skin types and help resolve issues.  i use the myrrh oil because of my dry skin and while it doesn’t have the most pleasant smell, it works.  it’s a heavier oil – sort of like smearing olive oil on your face and it sort of smells like stale urine but if it will prevent me from looking all haggard and shit when i’m 40, then i can ignore the fact that my face will temporarily smell like a gas station bathroom.  i use this at night right before slathering my face with moisturizer.  because it’s a heavier oil, i have to let it sit for about 3mins otherwise my moisturizer will just slide right off.  there have been times when i got preoccupied with something while waiting for this to absorb into my skin that i didn’t moisturize for nearly 30mins and my skin still felt soft – that just shows you how amazing this product is.  this one is pretty expensive – i think it’s somewhere over $100 but you only need a few drops so it lasts pretty long.

i won’t even tell you how much i spend on this cream.  it is so expensive even now, i can’t believe i fork up this kind of dough for this.  the jar speaks for itself so i’m not going to bother typing the name.   i don’t care if it’s the ‘most coveted cream in the world’; all i can say is that it works.  a few years ago, i needed a new moisturizer because my skin was at a breaking point – it was red, inflamed, my eczema was at its worst and the moisturizer that i was using just wasn’t doing it for me anymore.  did you know that every 5 years or so, your body goes through a major hormonal change, with your skin being the first to show the effects?  well, i guess my time was up because my skin was definitely feeling the effects.  i used to use estee lauder’s verite line which is made for sensitive skin but i found that it no longer kept my skin moisturized and i would find my face feeling tight at the end of the day.  so i went on the hunt for a new cream, carefully researching and reviewing all products.  i am hesitant to try new products on my face as it can irritate my skin and stumbled upon Creme de La Mer.  i balked at the price but got a few samples and tried them out.  all i can say is  it was like putting gold on your face, it felt so good.  its light fragrant smell isn’t over-powering and my skin felt incredible even after using it for just one day.  i just couldn’t get over the price so i searched for different alternatives but nothing felt the same.  i talked to my mom about it and she told me her night cream costs about the same; she also said that price shouldn’t matter when it comes to skin care because it’s better than surgery and i agree.  i sucked it up, handed over my credit card and closed my eyes as i signed the bill.  i honestly think that this cream is my saving grace.  although it’s very thick, you don’t need very much so a jar will last me a few months.  it’s especially soothing in the dry, winter months when my skin is at its worst and my eczema is on a rampage.

in the summer, i tend to switch things up a bit.  of course, this depends on how my skin is during the summer months but generally, it’s pretty good.  the humidity in the air suits my skin type so i can switch to a lighter face cream.  when my skin is working with me, i use the darphin hydraskin rich cream.  it’s moisturizing enough to keep my skin soft throughout the day but light enough so that i don’t feel like i’m wearing lard on my face. also, this cream is easier on the wallet which is fine by me.

when i want to have that sun-kissed look without baking my skin, i use bobbi-brown’s extra SPF 25 tinted moisturzing balm.  it’s a bit heavier than one would expect and i do apply it on top of my regular moisturizer but it makes my skin  look like one of those california girls who have that golden-tanned look.  it does not unfortunately, make me look like one of those california girls so it does not transform me into a skinny, long-legged bombshell.  oh well, you can’t catch a break all the time.  but back to this product – it has SPF which is a bonus but it also gives you a subtle glow and keeps your face soft.  the only thing is that you should wait a few minutes before applying makeup ie. blush otherwise you’ll look like a smeared painting.  oh, and i wouldn’t wear a white shirt either.

the only thing that i don’t use on a regular basis – and one of the most important – is sunscreen.  did you know that even in the winter months, even when it’s cloudy, you should always wear sun screen?  so basically, you should be wearing sun screen all year round.  i used to do that but then i just got lazy and couldn’t be bothered.  i guess i figured since i’ve been off work for about two years and the only place i really go on a regular basis is the grocery store or the mall with kayla, i don’t really need it.  now that i look at my face, i think i should get cracking on that and start using it religiously.  i’m not a huge fan of clinque – i find their products contain too much alcohol for my skin but this SPF formula is pretty good.  it’s smooth, has a hint of color and is SPF 40.  i find that it lasts throughout most of the day, even on the hottest of summer days.  i think i still have that tube somewhere in my vanity so maybe i’ll check what the expiration date is.  i think it’s somewhere around the $25 price point which is actually pretty good considering what you get.

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