Beauty Wednesday: Serums, Sunscreen, and Retinoids

aging skincare tips serums sunscreens retinoidsLadies, what is your skin routine? At what age did you get serious about skincare? What are your favorite products, both over-the-counter and prescription, whether for anti-aging, anti-wrinkles, exfoliating, or something else? I’ve seen a lot of readers talking recently about serums, sunscreens, retinoids and more, so let’s discuss. I’m curious to hear what everyone else is doing, what products you like, and if you have any tips/tricks for applying — but here’s my own story:

After years of using only organic options while pregnant/nursing (based on something my first OB/GYN said to me), I was eager to get “the good stuff” when I finally had my body back to myself. As I often do, I turned to the commenting threads for advice and found an older thread where a reader had said that for a woman in her 30s, the main things you need are Vitamin C, sunscreen, and a retinoid. I liked the simplicity of this statement, as well as the chorus of agreement from other readers. I already had an organic, nursing-approved Vitamin C serum and have been using sunscreen daily since my teenage lifeguard years, so I thought, OK, to the dermatologist I go for a retinoid. (Just a quick science/vocab lesson, at least as I understand things: Retinol and retinoids are both Vitamin A. Retinols are available in over the counter (OTC) products; retinoids are available in prescriptions only. Retin-A is the brand name for one of the retinoids you can get.)

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Beauty Wednesday: Moisturizers for Dry Winter Skin

Burt's Bees Radiance Night CreamI thought my dry skin last year was pregnancy-related, but I’m finding that I really do need extra moisture on my face. I haven’t yet taken the plunge on something serious like La Mer in part because I really like my affordable Burt’s Bee’s option. It’s 99% natural, moisturizes with “Royal Jelly,” which Amazon describes as thus: “Fed to the queen bee, Royal Jelly contains 8 essential amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, D & E along with Niacin and Folic Acid. It is the reason she lives 40 times longer and is 50% bigger than worker bees.” Alrighty then! A 2-oz. jar of Burt’s Bees Radiance Night Cream with Royal Jelly is $14.59 (and even less with a Subscribe and Save order).

Ladies, what are your favorite products for dry winter skin?

Psst: see my other maternity skincare picks.

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Coffee Break: Salux Beauty Skin Cloth

Salux Cloth | CorporetteWe’ve seen several Corporette readers raving about Salux cleansing cloths from Japan, and they sound like a great bet for winter skin. These nylon/polyester cloths are much bigger than a typical washcloth (about 11″ x 35″), and they’re machine washable, making them a much more sanitary choice than bath puffs/loofahs (ew). Salux fans say that they’re rough enough to exfoliate your skin (face, back, etc.) but not potentially damaging like that infamous apricot scrub… They’re durable, too; one reader mentioned that hers has lasted for 2o+ years! (Note: If you’re buying from somewhere like Amazon, make sure you’re getting the original Japanese product and not one of the Chinese knockoffs that are said to be poor quality.) Salux Beauty Skin Cloth

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Beauty Wednesday: Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal Experiences | CorporetteLaser hair removal | CorporetteI’ve shared my experiences with laser hair removal — let’s hear from you guys! Those of you who had your hair removed more recently than I did, what was the experience like? How much did you pay? Has anyone tried the newer devices for removing hair at home? Reader C wonders:

I would love to see an updated blog about laser hair removal. I’ve had my underarms and bikini done with great success at a salon, and am now considering lower legs.

I’ve received two quotes from different sales: one for $1600 (8 sessions with a Lightsheer diode laser) where she notes her machine costs more than $100k and is top quality and another for $500 (3 sessions with an IPL machine – Ultra VPL) where she thinks three would get me far into the process.

I could buy a Tria Laser system for $500 and do any/all surfaces myself at home… if, of course, I get results. Has anyone had good/bad experience with the Tria? It seems to be the most popular at-home system, but I’m open to other recommendations too.

Great question, C. For my $.02, I’m THRILLED I had my underarms and lower legs done about six or seven years ago at Beam Laser Spa in NYC — even though I’ve missed laser hair removal touchups over the years because I’ve been nursing or pregnant, my lower legs and underarms are pretty much a non-issue for me in terms of maintenance. As I mentioned in my original post, though, in a very un-Kat-like move I did zero research on the procedure, the laser spa, the equipment, etc. (I decided to buy a package on a whim after a beauty blogger I read recommended Beam and noted that they were having a sale.) So for those of you who DID do research and make more educated decisions, what did you discover and decide — and how did that work out?

(Pictured: Happy legs, originally uploaded to Flickr by Shawn Rossi.)

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Beauty Wednesday: Skincare and Aging

Skincare Routine and Aging | CorporetteSo here’s a fun question:  how has your skincare routine changed through the years?  For the older readers, when did you notice that you needed to add a little “somethin somethin” to your routine?  Do you think particular brands matter, or is it just important to do something?  (For example: does a particular brand of eye cream work better than the others, or does your eye area just need extra moisture and any eye cream will work as long as you’re consistent?)  (Pictured:  wrinkles – part I, originally uploaded to Flickr by [email protected].)

For my $.02:  For the most part, my skincare routine is roughly the same as it was when I first settled onto it at as a pre-teen.  Most mornings, I wash my face with Basis, and (once I’m out of the shower), I follow up with a light moisturizer with SPF in it (usually Neutrogena’s basic one sans retinols, but I’m still finishing a container of Kimberly Sayer that I bought during my pregnancy because it had proper zinc oxide instead of chemical SPF).  Things I’ve added over the years:

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