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:

  • Around age 25 I tried an exfoliant with beta-hydroxy acid in it and noticed that people immediately started complimenting me on my “glowing” skin; since then I have tried to use one once or twice a week.  (Annoyingly they keep discontinuing whichever one I like — my pet theory is that perhaps research is moving so fast that the skincare companies keep coming up with new, better products.)  I kept reading that you aren’t supposed to use retinols while pregnant, so for that time period I used an exfoliating glove and/or St. Ives Olive Scrub.  I’m in the market for a new exfoliant right now, actually.  Occasionally I’ll buy a moisturizer with anti-aging ingredients in it (such as Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin or Age Defense) and use that once a week instead of my regular, plain moisturizer.
  • Also around age 25 I started buying special eye cream, mostly for when I get out of the shower but occasionally for before I go to bed at night. Right now I’m using Clinique All About Eyes, but I’ve used Aveeno’s in the past.  I’m wondering if, at 35, it’s time to splurge on some eye cream, and get Creme de la Mer or perhaps the Caudalie one.
  • Before bed I try to apply a special lip cream.  My all-time favorite is Caudalie’s, but I also like the new Neosporin one (which I originally bought for my husband!).
  • Before bed I remove my eye makeup, but don’t wash my face unless I’ve been wearing foundation (which is next to never).  If I do wash my face I remoisturize.  Right now I love the Neutrogena cream remover.

Stuff I no longer do:  Toner/astringent.  I used this a lot during my teen years but don’t any more because it seemed too drying.  I also used to use a lip exfoliant pretty regularly, which I almost never do now — it may be because I tend to wear lighter glosses and tints instead of heavier lipsticks, but it may also be because of my nighttime lip routine.

I also never try new products unless I’m in the market for something particular — I credit my generally good skin to my consistent routine (and good genes).  As you can tell, I’m a big fan of drugstore skin products.

How about you guys — what is your skincare routine like?  How has it changed over the years? 


  1. In the last few months I’ve started using the Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing line of products for most of my skincare routine and I’ve had really good results. In the morning I wash with the cleanser and a Clarisonic, put on toner, and moisturize with an SPF lotion. At night I wash again, use toner and a BHA exfoliant, and moisturize with a non-SPF lotion. I also use a Carbon Mask a couple times a week, although I’m not sure if it really does all that much. For eye cream I’ve very recently started using Clinique All About Eyes (I’m about to turn 25 so I’m starting to preemptively worry about those fine lines).

    Being really consistent with my routine has helped a lot. I used to just wash with Cetaphil twice a day and then moisturize when I remembered, and my skin is soo much better now.

    • Based on so many good reviews, I decided to give Paula’s Choice products a try. Right now on her site, there is a 15% off promotion and free shipping on purchases over $50 if anyone is interested!

  2. SF Bay Associate :

    I used to be a Cetaphil + Neutrogena Healthy Defense moisturizer + SPF girl for years. It seemed fine and my skin looked good, probably mostly due to religious SPF usage. Then I had my first facial and the facialist explained that Cetaphil wasn’t the right thing for me (too gentle), and that I needed to step up my game. I didn’t buy any of the overpriced products she wanted to sell me, but after doing a lot of research, I settled on the Paula’s Choice skin balancing line, using all five steps. I noticed improvement after a couple weeks – my skin is more healthy looking than before.

    It’s now been two years of using Paula’s Choice and I’m really happy with it. I wear the SPF 15 moisturizer every day, and add her SPF 45 sunblock if I’m going to be outside at all. I like that I’m not paying for silly marketing campaigns in fashion magazines or spokesmodels or celebrity endorsements or fancy silly packaging like clear bottles (light ruins active ingredients) or jars (air ruins active ingredients too, plus contamination risk from sticking your fingers in to get some product). Just well priced products that work. I got a facial again before my wedding (my second ever) and the facialist at the fancy hotel spa was like… “I don’t have to do much here, your skin already looks great. Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.” Woot! As a bonus, my DH is now using the line too – nothing is scented or in girly packaging, so he’s much more open to it.

    A comment about toners – Paula says that most commercially available toners are full of crap that dries out your skin. Her toner, along with several other brands she recommends, does not dry out my skin at all.

    • I also use Paula’s Choice (and I learned about it from commenters here)! I use the skin balancing line. In the morning, I wash and just use my hands to massage the face wash around; use the toner; apply Clinique All About Eyes; and apply Clinique SolarSmart moisturizer with SPF30 and antioxidants. In the afternoon, I remove my makeup with one of those wipes before going to the gym; my favorite at the moment is Biore’s green tea ones. I shower at night and I wash my face again, using the ProX brush this time, then I tone, apply the Paula’s Choice BHA exfoliant, and apply the antioxidant serum under and around my eyes and occasionally on my forehead. I don’t use moisturizer at night because the toner is moisturizing enough for me, although occasionally I’ll use Neutrogena’s sensitive skin water-based moisturizer if my skin feels dry.

      I have always worn sunscreen daily, because I am super pale and burn easily. I started using eye cream in law school around age 22 when I started to notice puffiness and wrinkles. I switched to Paula’s Choice at age 28, although I tried the Clear line before I tried the Skin Balancing; it turned out I was allergic to some ingredients in the Clear line, and the Skin Balancing has almost totally cleared up my breakouts. I also started using antioxidants when I was 28, in the hopes of continuing to look 28 (so far so good).

      I can’t recommend Paula’s Choice enough – I seriously never, ever thought I would have “good” skin. It’s awesome.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I realized I didn’t answer the question. Morning: Paula’s Skin Balancing face wash, toner, antioxidant all over face, and SPF 15 moisturizer. If I’m going outside that day, I switch out the moisturizer for the moisturizing gel and add SPF 45 sunblock. Evening: Neutrogena purple bottle makeup remover (works as well as the Paula’s remover and is cheaper), face wash, toner, BHA gel, antioxidant mainly in eye area, moisturizing gel. I use the BHA gel on my T-zone every day, and add a bit on my cheeks a couple times a week.

    • Second this about Paula’s toner. I’ve had horrible dryness from every other toner I’ve ever tried and I have zero dryness with this one.

      • Isn’t toner for anti-acne rather than anti-aging? Or am I wrong about that?

  3. Equity's Darling :

    I’m 24, and I generally get compliments on my skin, and I don’t wear foundation or powder. I also don’t do anything to my lips, but they’re usually happy.

    All my products are from skoah (amazing! I’d highly recommend), and I also get my facials there (also great!).

    I use skoah’s cream cleanser and non-alcoholic tonic and heavier moisturizer twice a day (in the morning and after the gym or before bed), and once a week I use an aha mask to exfoliate, and also twice a week I use a moisturizing mask. I also get facials every 6 weeks. I’m actually a little (okay, a lot) neurotic when it comes to my skin being in good condition.

    I don’t use an SPF regularly for two reasons- the first is that the latitude of my city is too far north for UV rays to ever be a problem, and also, I’m biracial, so what little UV does come through, I’m not super concerned about. I always use an SPF 30 when in the mountains or anywhere more southern though, because I have been known to burn badly when near the equator or skiing.

  4. springtime :

    Perfect timing- I have finally decided to splurge and buy a clarisonic.

    I get dry skin that is like a mild version of KP and sometimes some blemishes on my chest, so I would like to use the clarisonic on those areas as well.

    Question- do I need to splurge on the model that has the body brush attachment, or would the Mia be enough?


    Also, for my skin care, I have been using sunscreen since I was a teenager (neutrogena SPF 15), mild cleanser of some sort, and vichy aqualia at night (rich in the winter, light in the summer). I started using eye cream (Algenist) at night and in the morning if I need it. I alternate between a Rx acne cream and a Rx retinol (eventually will get up to acne cream during the day, retinol each night) and I put the retinol on my eye area too. I’m 25 so this is all preventative.

    • I have the Mia and I don’t think you need the body brush attachment. Just buy a separate head to use on your non-face areas (probably a less gentle one than you’d use on your face).

      • Interesting. I have the nutrasonic. It came with both a sensitive skin brush and a regular one. I use the sensitive skin one for my face. I could use the other one for my body.

    • Anonymous :

      I have both. The Mia will be fine, but I find the larger one a little more convenient if you want to scrub the back.

      • springtime :

        That’s what I was thinking- buy the “normal” head for my body and use a sensitive one for my face.

        I like that the Mia is smaller and doesn’t have a clunky charger, too.

        • You might want to consider the delicate brush head which is even more gentle than the sensitive one. Sensitive was too tough on my extremely sensitive, rosacea- prone skin!

    • phillygirlruns :

      i bought the regular clarisonic thinking i would use the body brush. i’ve had it for about 18 months now and have only ever used it on my face. i do like the charging cradle, since it takes up a bit less space standing up than it would laying down, but still – if i had a do-over, i’d get the mia.

  5. BellaDzaster :

    I’m 26 and twice a day I:
    – Wash face
    – Toner
    – Daily moisturizer with SPF
    – Moisturize under the eyes

    I asked my dermatologist if he could recommend a cream for under the eyes and he told me it doesn’t matter – just moisturize and you’ll be fine.

    • Equity's Darling :

      The lady who does my facials said the same thing about eye cream- just use a good moisturizer and it doesn’t matter.

  6. Hey y’all,

    I have a somewhat sensitive question. How do you deal with friends that have VERY different political views? The TLDR; version is that there is a group of people I recently made friends with, and one day, I found out that all of these friends have a certain position on Israel (not getting into that discussion though).

    I usually don’t mind having friends with particular viewpoints, but on this particular issue, I’m shocked and saddened that they feel a certain way (a way that I consider to be borderline racist). How do I stay friends with them – they are really lovely people – without being able to talk about something so important? Let’s assume I have to stay friends with these people for work/political reasons.

    • Does Israel really come up in conversation a lot? Even with people I regularly debate politics with, I can only remember once or twice that the issue has come up, seeing as there are sooo many other incendiary topics to discuss. If you can, just avoid politics as a topic of discussion, and keep to sports/entertainment/mutual friends/family updates etc. If you can’t do that, steer it to political topics where even if you disagree, you can respect their opinion (presidential candidates? poverty? gun control?). My guess is that neither side will be able to convince the other and it seems to personally offend you, so there really isn’t much reason to engage on this topic, especially if you want to remain friendly.

      Part of your question seems to be about whether you can feel the same way about these people, as you are “shocked and saddened” by their viewpoint. I think this is more about whether you feel like you can still respect them and be a friend to them. That’s ultimately something you have to decide, but remember that even if you can’t feel close to them, you can certainly stay on friendly and congenial terms, and it sounds like you need to from your “work/political” situation. If you don’t want to be friends with people you consider borderline racist, try to emotionally distance yourself from them and just work with them in a friendly and professional way, without the closeness of real friends.

    • I would just not talk about it. I have a lot of friends with polar opposite view than me on a variety of issues, some of which are extremely important to me. After one conversation where you both state your views, any more discussion really will do little good. Just talk about the things that you do have in common.

      As to the whole Israel thing, unless they are funding Israeli or Hezbollah terrorists, I wouldn’t consider them racist. Each side has a valid view point that isn’t necessarily based on hate of the other side so much as attachment to their own plight. Its a difficult situation on both ends, with wrongs on both sides, which is probably why a solution seems hopeless.

    • I realize that people have very strong views on Israel. But I have been working for over 10 years now, and have talked about Israel zero times at work or with acquaintences. I’m trying to say this in a delicate way, it is not “so important.” I’m putting that in quotes because it is important in the global scheme, but there are many, many groups in my social circle that I have never discussed Israel with. So this means it is either important to you as a person, or is somehow related to your work. So if it really very important to you that you can’t not discuss it, you probably cannot stay great friends if you view them with disdain. You would need to agree to disagree, and since you don’t repect their position, you probably can’t do that.

    • I agree with SLCanon- is this really a topic that comes up all that often? I think it’s a pretty polarizing topic and not one that I particularly like to bring up in conversation. I have a few friends with whom I have interesting and heated political debates, but for the most part I don’t spend a whole lot of time discussing any politics with friends. If they’re people you have to work with regularly, it’s better to focus on activities/topics you all enjoy instead of focusing on political debate.

    • Maybe next time the subject comes up you could say something like: “You know, I actually feel the opposite way about this. I’m pretty sure that neither of us will change our minds about this, so maybe we can just not talk about it.”

      Or you can just stay quiet and politely leave the conversation or discreetly change the subject.

      Either way, don’t forget that there are things you like about these people. Since you have to “stay friends” just try to focus on those good things.

      • Anonymous :

        It seems to me that whenever someone disagrees with anyone about Israel and American support for Israel, they are racist. Ask yourself whether your friends are allowed to criticize the actions of the government without you thinking they are bigots.

        • I would rather not get into the discussion here, but my views actually align with criticism of the government, rather the other way around.

    • Anonforthis :

      They can’t be both racist and really lovely people. If they’re *really* really lovely people, this shouldn’t be an issue. But personally, I can’t be friends with people who have revealed that they have a hidden racist streak. I can be nice to them and have a pleasant time around them socially, so long as their racism remains hidden from view. But my true friends are people who I respect and whose values are compatible with my own, and that leaves racist people out of the mix.

      • They are really, really lovely people except for those views – which is where the confusion comes in. Thanks for the insight!

      • On certain issues, I can understand and respect that some people might have a different opinion than mine. Considering the controversy surrounding Israel, that would be one of those issues, imo. I don’t think either side is “evil” or “racist,” not when so many good people disagree.

    • anonymous :

      I have this same issue, although we are not the closest of friends. Fortunately, even though we disagree, we all have a nuanced understanding of the issue and are willing to see other points of view. But mostly I just avoid the topic. I have actually been invited to both sides of a protest a couple years ago (I think one friend just send a mass invite because I was surprised it was not clear I was on the other side).

  7. Has anyone ever had experience losing weight with calorie restriction? I joined myfitnesspal two weeks ago and am either So. Damn. Hungry. or waaaay over calories – it cuts 750 cals a day from what I should be eating for me to lose 1.5 pounds a week.

    • Also – apologies for the early threadjack – I’m 22 so have nothing to do but listen in to the skincare advice! :-)

      • Wear sunscreen!

        • Will do!

          • A makeup artist once told me that if you’re old enough to drive, you’re old enough for eye cream.

          • anti-ning :

            A makeup artist is not a dermatologist, and I wonder whether this one had any eye cream to sell you….

          • Technically yes, makeup artists do sell eye cream. However, good makeup artists still know lots about skin care, and dermatologists also sell eye cream. And, my two current favorite eye creams are dermatologist-developed. They have incentive to sell you things as well.

            The skin around your eyes is very thin and usually one of the first spots on your face to show signs of aging. We also don’t usually apply regular moisturizer that close to our eyes, nor is regular moisturizer approporiate for that part of your face (again, due to the difference in skin type). If you moisturize your face, why ignore the spots around your eyes?

            Additionally, I’ve personally had success with eye cream (specifically hypoallergenic varieties and with vitamin K) helping with my appearance during allergy season and making me look less tired in general.

            Super mature screen-name, btw.

          • This whole conversation is making me believe that I’ve been applying moisturizer all wrong to my face all of my life. When I put on moisturizer, I rub on to my eyelids, too, unless it was supposed to deal with acne business. Does nobody else do this? Why am I so weird?

    • Why don’t you eat more and lose weight more slowly, or eat more and exercise so you’ll lose at the same rate?

      I cannot survive on less than 1800-2000 calories per day. Period. So I work out a lot. Works for me.

      • I’m supposed to be eating 1450 right now. Impossible.

        • Lucendiluna :

          Want to add me on myfitnesspal? You could see my meals, if it helps. I’m at around 1200 a day, and i never feel hungry.

        • That’s the normal amount of calories I have during the week and what I’m supposed to eat to maintain weight for my size. If you change your calorie intake you need to give yourself sometime for your stomach to adjust to the smaller amount of food. Also, eat more vegetables and protein so you are getting more food for your calories. Fruit is not necessarily your friend – more calories and the sugar just makes you hungry.

          • Yes, but I’m likely much bigger than you – hence the restriction. I know it’s normal for some people, but it’s not normal for me, and I am looking for advice on making it stretch. I don’t eat much fruit anyways, but thanks!

    • Yes, I’ve done it via weight watchers. The first month is pretty brutal. But do it. It really works. Tips: drink lots of water and eat lots of vegetables. I used to hate salad but I learned to munch on salad without dressing. Figure out a way to eat a lot more vegetables to fill you up. Also, take a look at what you’re eating and see if there a way to get more bang for your calories. Protein did keep me fuller MUCH longer than carbs did. I also learned that I used to eat a lot because I was bored, not because I was actually hungry. Curbing my eating behavior was more difficult than dealing with hunger.

      • ChocCityB&R :

        I’ve done it, and it works, but is unsustainable. So the question is, what do you want more, to loss the weight fast and relapse, or to lose it much slower and not be miserable all the time? (Of course, you could lose the weight fast, and then slowly increase your food intake while increasing your exercise so that your metabolism increases and doesn’t cause you to put the weight back on…but you will have still lost muscle mass by calorie restriction that can take years to get back).

        If you aren’t in a huge hurry to lose weight (i.e. severe health problem like you’ll have a heart attack if you don’t take off 100lbs quick) I agree with the above commenters about decreasing your caloric intake only slightly. About 250 calories a day will give you a loss of about .5 lbs per week. 250 is nothing, so easy and if you are consistent with it, you will see results (just remember to readjust every now and then, once you lose weight the amount of calories you need to eat each day is less).

        If you cut back further, whatever you do, don’t go below your basal metabolic rate your or metabolism will suffer and you will lose muscle mass. I wish you the best of luck on your weightloss goals!

        • I think I’ll do this. I currently have it set to lose 1.5 pounds a week, but I think that right now, that’s unsustainable – I feel like I’m failing all the time. I’ll change the myfitnesspal thing to make it 1 pound a week. I’m okay with slower weight loss as long as its something I can stick to.

          • The difficulty may lie in that calorie restriction is not about losing weight as much as it being a total lifestyle change to make you healthier, look better, live longer (whatever the benefits that you believe CR does). I know that’s what people say about all diets inherently being “lifestyle changes”, but calorie restriction is way more extreme and it needs to be done carefully. It is supposed to be done slowly and carefully in a way that makes it sustainable so you don’t “relapse” and feel horrible about yourself afterwards. Losing weight should just be a natural byproduct of calorie restriction.

            A common trick I find helpful, and you may well be already doing this, is treating it like a financial budget. You have X dollars (or calories) to go, but you want to figure out how to get the most bang for your buck – how to get the most nutritional value and the most filling meal, rather than just staying within a certain budget. Just keep in mind that CR, when done incorrectly, just turns into disordered eating if you’re not completely focused on nutritional value but rather just the caloric content of every day. Not saying that this is happening – just saying that this is something to watch out for. Frankly I’d also talk to a doctor if you’re cutting out as many calories as 750 a day.

          • Yeah, myfitnesspal automatically cuts out 750 – that wasnt a choice of my own. I think I’ll reset the thing to cut out 300-400 which seems more reasonable, or however much it is I need to cut out to lose a pound a week.

          • A pound a week is what’s recommended for healthy weight loss. I think that’s a good idea.

          • I just started on myfitnesspal 5 weeks ago. After I told it how much I wanted to lose and how fast (also 1.5 pounds a week), it came up with 1200 calories a day. The first few weeks were pretty hard. I could not make that work, and was hungry. But then 3 things happened:
            1. I got results (in part because I think I was entering too much for certain foods so it showed me as eating more than I was actually eating), which was very encouraging; 2. my body got used to it! I became more careful about portions and am no longer hungry at the end of the day;
            3. I realized that if I exercise, I could “buy” myself more calories! This is probably the most important. It resulted in me exercising a lot more than I used to–it’s now a regular part of my day (a brisk 30-50 minute walk at the very least)!!! At first it was a hassle, but now I really enjoy the exercise, and I think even after I lose the weight I want (lots more to go), I hope that regular exercise stays a part of my daily routine.

            So to sum up:
            –it gets better!!! I really did not think I would be able to last more than a week, but now I am really excited about it (and have lost 8 pounds so far)!

            But, of course, if weeks go by and you are miserable, you should probably reset it to a pound a week.

        • eastbaybanker :

          I agree with just going for .5 to 1 pound a week max. Otherwise, there’s no way you will be able to reach your goal weight. And I second the comments that protein goes a long way to making you feel full and gives you more long-term energy. Egg whites or nonfat yogurt make a great filling breakfast. Lean meats, lots of veggies, and don’t totally deprive yourself!

      • Agreed with Godzilla and anon–gotta get bang for your buck. Focus on eating large volume, low calorie foods. For example, I eat a lot of spaghetti squash–I like the taste when I add a little salt and pepper, it’s very filling, and it is very low calorie. Likewise, I eat one or two grapefruits in the afternoon if I get hungry because they’re big and have fewer than 100 calories each.

        I don’t remember where I found the recipe (someone’s blog), but I also started drinking what this blogger calls a “Green Monster” (and my brother calls Chernobyl). It’s a smoothie with 1 banana (frozen is better), 1 cutie (those little oranges), about 16-20 oz milk (I use almond milk with 40 calories/cup), big splash of vanilla extract, 3 large handfuls of spinach, and about a dozen pieces of ice blended together. Sounds gross? Yeah. But it’s actually good and, again, really filling and healthful without that many calories.

        Also, low calorie protein will help you stay full longer (I hate basically all protein foods so I can’t be helpful there).

        Good luck!

        • does the green monster, as well as Both are great! And, no, I’m not the blogger.

      • I had huge successes managing my bored eating by forcing my snack to be fat free yogurt or carrots and snap peas. So much better for me and I found that I lost interest in snacking much sooner. Also, if you are going to cheat on your diet plan then also stick to things like raw vegetables (NO DIP) and think of it as a transition into your optimal eating habit.

    • attiredattorney :

      I’m doing myfitnesspal too and am eating around 1400 calories a day. I actually find that I’m surprisingly full. It really depends on what you eat though. A typical day for me might look like:

      2 slices low calorie bread (80 cal.)
      2 scrambled eggs (180)
      Banana (110)
      A really big salad (3 cups baby spinach, 6 oz grilled chicken, tomatoes, cukes, maybe some goat cheese, TJ’s light balsamic vinaigrette) Approx 400 cal
      Low fat Greek Yogurt (120 cal)
      Smartpop Popcorn (100)
      1 cup roasted broccoli (100)
      6oz lean protein (350)

      If I have lefotver calories, a piece or two of chocolate also finds its way in :)

    • attiredattorney :

      Also, the weight comes off so much faster for me when I remember to take a multivitamin and a calcium supplement. That’s one of my favorite things about myfitnesspal -you can see where you’re not getting your recommended daily nutritional value and work to fill in the gaps with vitamins or better food variety.

      Also, this might be TMI, but I’m a fan of psyllium husk capsules as well…

    • I am on my fitness pal too. At first I was starving because I didn’t accurately input the amount of exercise I planned to do. Then my trainer informed me that I needed to eat more protein and fat in order to feel full (more protein than MFP recommends) and now my daily caloric amount is 1600 cals plus whatever I exercise — I changed my recommended amounts to 50 % carbs 25% fat and 25% protein. And I am not hungry any more. I’ve lost 9 lbs in 40 days. 3 more to go.

      • Also, try eating smaller meals throughout the day. I believe I eat about 1500-1600 calories a day so I try to have several 200-300 calories “meals” throughout the day.

  8. In the mornings I wash my face in the shower with a St. Ives type exfoliating wash. After the shower, I use a Jergen’s face moisturizer with SPF in it (it’s the “natural glow” kind – I think it’s mild enough that I don’t ever notice the difference in color or get tell-tale signs of self tanner, but since I’ve started using it I notice I have stopped getting comments about how pale my skin is. Since I’m less self conscious about my transparent skin, it also makes it easier to not be tempted to skip the sunblock in an attempt to not look so ghostly). My foundation is actually a tinted moisturizer by Tarte, which also has SPF in it.

    At night I take off my makeup with those Neutrogena wipes (which I found out in an earlier thread doesn’t count as “washing.” Damn). Then I usually use some eye cream (I don’t remember what it was – the sample the sephora lady gave me has lasted me weeks and weeks). I’m in my early 20s so it’s more to keep me from stressing about fine lines in the future.

  9. I have used eye cream daily since high school. I wash in the mornings with Cetaphil, which I love. (My husband is a doc and says all the derms he know recommend Cetaphil). I wear SPF every day (my derm said 25 or higher is good – right now I’m using Clinique). In the mornings, I also use Glytone, which is this stuff my derm said he uses, and he has great skin. It has antioxidants and maybe other stuff – not sure, just bought it off of his recommendation. You can get it on Amazon for $85, and it lasts a long time. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’m not so good about washing my face at night, but I am getting better, and when I do, I wash with a mild exfoliator, use eye cream and thick night-repair Oil of Olay lotion, and I just bought retinol to add to the mix (because of Corporette comments!).

    I don’t have wrinkles so far. The whole thing is very overwhelming because you won’t know whether what you’re doing works until you’re old, and even then you won’t know if it’s because of genetics or what.

    • Oh, I also use a really thick cream on my hands at night – the kind that would make me break out on my face. I have been also using SPF on my hands whenever I’m in the car for any longer than my usual 6 minute commute. I hear hands are a dead giveaway for age, so I’m working on them too!

      And I wear sunglasses all.the.time and try not to squint at my computer or anything. I sometimes feel a little nuts.

      • My grandmother doesn’t have much to say about skin care, etc., but she used to say all the time: “squinting makes wrinkles”. I believe her, and am with you wearing sunglasses more than the average bear.

  10. I’m 32. I’ve used Cetaphil religiously since I was 22. I have very sensitive skin but it used to be prone to breakouts — Cetaphil took care of both of those problems. I also use the Aveeno gentle exfoliating scrub about every other day, sometimes more often in the winter, but too frequent of usage causes redness. At night, I take my makeup off with the Yes to Blueberries wipes and I also use the Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover before washing with Cetaphil. For eye cream, at night I use Olay’s anti-wrinkle eye cream, which contains retinol, and I just ordered Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Firming Eye Cream for daytime use. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t wear retinols in sunlight, so I currently do not use an eye cream during the day. Oh, and for lotion, I use the Olay Complete lotion with SPF (in the sensitive skin version). And for makeup, I wear Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer. I don’t use anything special on my lips besides some Burt’s Bees chapstick when they feel dry.

    I’m thinking about ditching the Olay eye cream, as I’ve noticed that my eyes are developing more fine lines under them lately. I’m also considering getting a Clarisonic.

    I’ve only had one facial, and the aesthetician ignored my warning about my skin’s sensitivity and she used products that caused a crazy allergic reaction. I had to get a steroid shot from my primary care physician to make the resulting swelling, redness, and bumps covering my face go away.

  11. I’m allergic to sunscreen. Every time I’ve worn ANY cream/lotion/product with any sort of SPF in it, my face (or anywhere else) forms this shell of gritty little bumps that disappears only after weeks of dedicated exfoliation. Any sunscreen recs from the similarly affected?

    • Try using a barrier sunscreen instead of a chemical one. Barriers are made of ingredients like zinc oxide/titanium dixoxide/other mineral based options. Eucerin makes a face one called Everyday Protection SPF 30 that works. Also seek out Blue Lizard products for body sunscreen or California Baby.

    • PetiteCocotte126 :

      Try to get a sample of Shiseido’s SPF 38 face/body sunblock. I used to have similar problems with Neutrogena and other drug-store brand sunblocks. Shiseido doesn’t cause the same reaction and I have been using it for years. At $35 per 4oz bottle, it seems pricey, but I can easily get at least three months of use out of one bottle.

    • I’m right there with you. I realized that I was allergic to sunscreen when I ended up in the ER because my face was so swollen that my cheek was obstructing my vision. You may be allergic to chemical sunscreens. Avoid sunscreens with PABA and oxybenzone. I’ve had no probelms with sunscreens that are physical blockers and contain titanium dioxide. The physical blockers have improved over the years and don’t leave a white residue. My morning moisturizer is Oil of Olay with a physical blocker.

    • seconding the Shiseido rec. The number of sunscreens I’ve gone through…it’s ridiculous. I have sensitive pale skin that becomes very oily in the summer. All the higher SPF sunscreens (that I desperately need) make me breakout and felt really gross..
      The Shiseido 60spf lotion works perfectly for me in the summer, and in the winter my skin is drier so I switch to the urban environment cream. (The lotions are for oily skin types, the creams for drier)
      I can’t recommend it enough.

      • I use the Shiseido 60spf too, year round out here in the west. Most sun exposure is incidental, or at least that’s the theory I’m going with. At 45+ I have minimal wrinkling thanks to over two decades of sunblock usage, but it’s the sagging that drives me crazy. There isn’t much to be done about that.

        I have a Clarisonic but I prefer a plain washcloth for exfoliating every couple of days. The sunblock won’t come off without cleanser so I use a mild soap like Kiss My Face olive and chamomile in the evening, just water in the morning. CeraVe facial moisturizer in the AM, emu oil in the PM, especially in the wintertime. I guess this isn’t much of a change over the years. I’ve been considering an eye cream; a friend raves about “Yes to Carrots” and the price is right so I may give that a try.

    • hellskitchen :

      If you want to try a drugstore physical sunscreen, Duane Reade in New York has a great in-house brand sunscreen. It feels sticky for a couple of minutes after application but dries out very quickly. Perhaps CVS or Walgreens have an in house brand too?

    • I’m also allergic to regular sunscreen but just on my face. I would say it is just sensitive skin but what I get looks more like hives than zits. I don’t use any products that have spf like lotions or make up on a daily basis.

      When I know I’m going to be outside getting a ton of sun, like on the beach in 90+ degree weather for the day, I will use either dove lotion w/ spf 15 or oil of olay lotion w/ spf 15. Neither of those have caused me to react so long as I only wear it for a day or two at a time.

      Luckily, I tan way more than I burn and I live in the northeast so getting overexposed to the sun is rarely a problem. I’ll just deal with the wrinkles when I’m old.

    • karenpadi :

      I am super sensitive to any product, even all types of sunscreen. Honestly, when I need sunscreen for a day outdoors, the REI brand sunscreen in the yellow and white bottle is the least likely to irritate my skin. I try to wash it off every few hours with water/ocean and reapply. I also wear a hat when out and about.

    • I haven’t had a gritty shell, but I’ve had a lot of post-sunscreen breakouts and rashes from sunscreens. I am now using la mer and haven’t had a problem so far.

  12. ChocCityB&R :

    I have no routine. I keep thinking, “I must buy a clarisonic, I must buy this new cream, I must put on SPF” and all the musts add up to this:

    At night I was my face with Dove bar soap at the sink. If it feels tight, I put on some pounds cream I bought at walgreens. In the morning, I let water run over my face in the shower. If it feels tight, more moisturizer. Usually both times I dry with whatever towel happens to be laying around.

    This is what my low-maintenance no-nonsense, non-girly girl mother taught me (minus the moisturizer, she just went to bed with a dry face). Her skin is absolutely gorgeous and virtually wrinkle free at 50, (which leads me to believe the old stereotype that black don’t crack, I’m Af Am). I have hormonal acne from quitting birth control, but otherwise great skin. So I have yet to find the motivation to change my bare bones routine.

    My only saving grace, at least I don’t use the Irish Spring soap my husband buys anymore.

    • Your routine is almost identical to mine (I use a different el cheapo drugstore moisturizer), right down to the no-nonsense mother with great skin, except I’m white and I’m almost 50.

      I am so, so grateful for my good DNA, because it is only sheer luck that I inherited easy-care skin.

    • This is pretty much what I do, except that I use the bar of soap in the shower in the morning, and splash water on my face in the evening. I’m 27, so this could turn out to have been a bad idea in ten or more years, but I think I’m ok with that.

  13. I’m 31 and rarely wore much makeup prior to going back on BC but since then my skin is a complete mess. Any recommendations of products (other than switching pills, which I do not want to do as this one has caused no weight gain) to deal with hormonal acne? I joke with my BF that the most effective part of this pill is making me too hideous to want to procreate with.


    • Confession :


    • I never broke out until my late twenties. Have been on BC since about 18 or so. Through a lot of trial and error, I realized that acne specific products just do not work for me at all. Now I just get the most gentle thing available. Once I stopped using stuff that was supposed to make my breakouts go away, my breakouts really eased up! I also went to a derm and got an Rx for a prescription retinoid/antibreakout something or other. Don’t recall the name but it has a Z in it.

      Anyway, less is more. Check to make sure you are using noncomedogenic makeup, that you clean your brushes regularly, change your pillowcases at least once a week, and get stuff formulated for sensitive skin. Also, I stopped washing my face in the A.M. My routine is more or less as follows: gentle facewash at night w/clarisonic (my 2 favorites are Origins Checks and Balances and Aveeno Gentle Foaming Wash); thin layer of Rx gel, moisturizer (currently a sensitive skin Oil of Olay, but thinking of stepping it up now that I’m 30); eye cream (Ole Henriksen at night). In the a.m., I just run water over my face in the shower, moisturize and put on eye cream (Origins’ Eye Zing: it’s magic for dark circles/puffiness). Once a week, I will do a mask. If it’s near my time of the month, I usually do a DDF sulfur mask to head off/treat breakouts (the only “acne” product I still use); otherwise just something exfoliating from Galenic (I like the masks that dry to a scrub). Before the Clarisonic, I used to use Aveene Gentle Purifying Scrub a few times a week in the morning. It’s my favorite of all the scrubs – very gentle but gives you a nice glowy complection, sans irritation.

    • Paula’s Choice! The skin balancing line is remarkably good.

      Cetaphil is actually total crap. See, e.g.

      • Okay, I just looked at that article out of curiosity, and I don’t buy it. First of all, they dismiss the fact that derms recommend it because it’s parent company is a pharmaceutical company. The derms would get absolutely no benefit from recommending it, however, because it is over the counter. Why wouldn’t they just recommend a prescription cleanser by the pharm company so it could be tracked to their recommendation? Also, I’m just not going to take the word of a blog, a facialist, and someone who “analyzes skin-care ingredients” for another blog (the person quoted in the article) over tons of dermatologists who get absolutely no benefit from lying.

        • I agree that the article is biased. But dermatologists might recommend Cetaphil because the manufacturer Galderma actively promotes it to doctors (along with their Rx drugs). As a side note, doctors don’t benefit directly from prescribing the medicines that are detailed to them, but they are certainly susceptible to influence. I’m a little bit scared that you think docs operate on an incentive program like salespeople! That is NOT ok!

          Looking at the ingredient list, Cetaphil does not seem to have much to it (mostly water, some alcohol to dry out your skin, and a common surfactant that’s also found in many shampoos). It does have parabens (preservatives), which have been getting media attention in the past few years as having estrogenic activity, particularly in children.

          Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Just speaking from my experience as a pharmaceutical litigator.

    • I have hormonal acne from going *off* the pill, and I find that using a Clarisonic (I have the Mia) and stepping up my exfoliation game around the time I ovulate helps keep things in check. Obviously you’re not ovulating, but you might find that there’s a pattern to your breakouts.

      Clinique’s spot fading cream (don’t remember what it’s called… the ads always have an egg in them!) helped calm my red spots a lot as I was getting my chin acne situation under control.

    • Anonymous :

      Gentle steam on clean skin (I just nuke a coffee mug full of water and inhale the steam for a few mins) + the body shop’s night face lotion with tea tree oil. good luck!

    • I’m 26 and managed to make it through my teens and early twenties without so much as a pimple, but now hormonal acne has hit me with a vengeance. I use a combination of Murad acne products and philosophy products, which has worked very well for the last year with no breakouts (but still an occasional pimple) and no fine lines. I wear oil-free make-up on week days (I begrudgingly think make-up is a required part of grooming for a woman) so I have to add a make-up removal step in the evening. My routine looks like this:

      Morning: Wash with Murad acne cleanser, Apply Murad acne gel, Apply Murad acne lotion, Apply make-up with SPF.

      Evening: Wash with philosophy purity made simple (to remove make-up including mascara and eyeliner), Wash with Murad acne cleanser, Apply Murad acne gel, Apply Murad acne lotion, Apply Murad acne spot treatment (if a storm seems to be brewing), Apply philosophy hope in a tube eyecream.

      I wish it were less complicated, but I have not been handed easy-to-care-for-skin, so if this is what I have to do to keep my skin looking great, then I have to do it.

  14. Amelia Pond :

    I am seeing alot of people talking about advice from their dematologist. How did you find one who gave good advice? Mine does my annual mole check (family history of skin cancer so I go every year) and that’s it. Is there something I should be looking for in finding a derm who gives skin consults/recommends things?

    • I just picked his brain at my last appointment. I went in with a particular list of questions: What SPF should I be wearing? Should I be using physical SPF? Should I be using Retinol/antioxidants? What do you use? Do you recommend a certain kind of eye cream?

  15. Hair-related threadjack: Do any of the ‘Rettes use WEN shampoo/conditioner? I’m embarrassed to say that I have been swayed by a pretty compelling infomercial about it, and I’m wondering whether anyone has tried it. I have fine, color-treated hair and I’m always convinced that I’m just one perfect hair product away from my dream (more volume, more oomph) hair. Any reviews? Thanks!

    • I tried it for about a month. Eh.

      It is expensive when used as recommended (handfuls at a time) and didn’t do anything extraordinary for me. I stick to drugstore-brand sulfate-free shampoo and find it works better.

      I have been tempted to try the no-wash baking soda techniques I’ve been reading about on the webs. Sounds so low-maintenance!

      • I have decided that I’m going “no poo” this week. Tonight I will skip the shampoo in the shower and just rinse. Wish me luck; I hear the first 2 weeks are the worst!

        • Good luck! I tried to switch to washing my hair every other day, instead of every day, about a year ago. It was a huge fail. I think I made it four days before I gave up because it was so awful to have my hair so greasy. May you have more stamina than I do.

          • I do this every other day washing in the winter (but I have very dry hair). I found that combing my hair at night and only putting conditioner on the ends of my hair when I washed made my hair so much healthier!

            But I can’t manage it in the summer at all.

        • Also, TechAnon, I think you and I have similar philosophies about beauty regimens, or lack thereof.

          • You mean the “I’m not lazy, I’m all natural!” philosophy? ;-)

            I went to every other day shampooing about 5 years ago, when my hair was super short. I got used to it pretty quickly, so I’m crossing my fingers that cutting it out completely will work. I might try just going every four days at first. It’s just so dry the first day after washing, even with no sulfate extra gentle shampoo that I hate that “first day hair” feeling.

            I also have several friends who have done it, and their hair is AMAZING. One has bright red Botticelli curls to die for…

        • but I’m assuming your friend’s awesome red curls are natural?
          /mad jealous

      • I’ve been doing the no ‘poo thing for a couple of months. I cannot believe how well my oily hair has adapted to this! When I was young, I used to wash it every damned day. Ugh. Turns out that much washing and shampoo usage probably just made it all worse, plus, it would start getting oily before the day was over. What a pain.

        Here’s a great link for no ‘poo information. (I do both the baking soda as cleanser and apple cider vinegar as rinse. I add a shot of fresh lemon juice to the vinegar.) She has a follow up a couple of years later, too, which is also interesting.

    • For about 18 months, I used it every other day. I shampoo every other day and use WEN every other day. I tend to have pretty greasy hair (particularly because I exercise 6 days a week); pre-WEN, I washed my hair and I figured this helps me do less damage to my hair. I haven’t tried going WEN only.

    • I have been using Wen for a while. I was also swayed by the infomercial. I like it for my wavy hair. It can be expensive, but I have skipped the whole automatic ordering thing and have been buying it from My husband likes it too, so I figure that is high praise. I’m always open to trying other shampoos, but for my curly hair, I haven’t found one yet that I like as much.

    • Elizabeth :

      Sally Beauty has a knock-off product called “One” which is nearly identical to Wen. I like it a lot; my fine, wavy hair frizzes less and my color lasts longer.

    • My mom was having problems with her newly gray hair being very stiff and unmanageable. She tried the Wen and loved it. She got me to try it, and now I won’t use anything else. I would say I have an average scalp in terms of oil, but my hair is thick and loves to frizz. I also could never get my hair to cooperate unless I washed it every day, which dried it out even more. I tried every drugstore brand and then various salon brands over the years, nothing really worked well for me. Now I use the Wen and I love my hair! It’s soft and so easy to style. I usually just go with a hair dryer and round brush now, my flat iron is gathering dust in the drawer. I’m also able to skip a day of shampoo and either just rinse or put a little dry shampoo on the scalp, brush and ready to go! I buy mine on amazon so I’m not tied to the automatic ordering. And I don’t use as much as it recommends, I’ve found that I don’t need it, I just make sure it covers my scalp and then use wide comb to brush it through the ends, rinse well, and then style as usual.

  16. Another Sarah :

    In my morning shower, I wash my face with the Neutrogena face cleanser (the regular glycerin stuff in the squat, square bottle) and moisturize with the Yves Rocher Inositol Vegetal day cream. At night I use the Neutrogena face cleanser with my clarisonic and the YR night cream. Once a week I use the Queen Helene mint julep mask, let it sit on my face for about a half hour, and then take it off and use some night cream. During the winter I use Keri lotion on my face too during the day; it’s a bit heavier than the day cream, but light enough that it doesn’t sit on my face. Also, SPF 45+zinc oxide every day (SPF 30 is too weak for me). So far so good! :-)

  17. Does anyone use coconut oil on her face? I have read some about it. I tried it last night in hopes to really moisturize well – my skin is super dry right now. I do think my face looked better this morning! But it was a little annoying trying to keep my kitten from sniffing my face last night…

    • If you want an alternative oil, I recommend Kiehl’s midnight repair for night or argan oil (whatever brand, but make sure it’s cosmetic-grade). The former does have a slight scent. I’ve been happy with results from both, having dry skin that apparently needed more oil.

      • I love argan oil. It’s my go-to for any dryness.

        • Failed attempt to respond to this is at the bottom of the thread…

        • I love argan oil, it’s the best thing I’ve ever put on my face. The $16 bottle from Whole Foods lasts forever.

    • No coconut oil here – I just wanted to give big internet hugs to Annie because she used “anyone … her face” (vs. the incorrect but more common “anyone … their face”).

      Grammar Nerd

    • I do…. I’ve been using it as a make-up remover/cleanser for about a month, and I like it. I massage a small amount into my wet face, let it sit while I brush my teeth, then wash/wipe it off with a clean soft washcloth.
      I have really sensitive skin and found a lot of face washes too harsh. It’s helped a bit with my facial redness/acne, and my skin doesn’t seem as dry.

      I really like using coconut oil as a leave-in hair conditioner.

      • Thanks, ShortieK! I will stick with the coconut oil for a while. It sounds like we have similar skin. And I’ll try it on my hair!

    • Yes, and I love it. I don’t wipe it off. My foundation goes on great.

    • I’ve been using coconut oil for the last few weeks and I love it. I use it both on my body after I shower but before I dry off, and I use it on my face at night, after my serums. I’ve read a lot of online reviews about coconut oil, and some people say they break out horribly, so I’d definitely do a patch test first, but it actually seems to help clear up any breakouts I get, which have been almost none since I started using coconut oil. I love that it’s natural, no chemicals, no preservatives, absolutely nothing bad for your skin. And if you do some research on coconuts and coconut oil, there are many benefits. I’d definitely suggest giving it a try.

  18. Anonylawyer :

    My skin is incredibly sensitive. Everything that touches my skin must be oil free. Pretty much the only thing that works (sort of) is Neutrogena’s Oil Free Cream Cleansers. All other brands make me break out. I wash my face at least twice a day with neutrogena cream cleanser. At night I use both cream cleanser and do a second pass with Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Scrub to make sure my makeup is off. I’m 33 and can’t use moisturizer or sunblock. They all make me break out, even the oil free ones. I tried using eye cream last week and I literally broke out on my eyelids. Luckily my oily skin has (mostly) kept wrinkles at bay, but as my mother pointed out last week, I have crows feet. I do wear makeup – only one that keeps shine at bay and doesn’t cause breakouts is Revlon Colorstay for Combination Skin (oil free of course) Foundation and powder. I’ve tried all sorts of brands but never with great results (e.g. no breakouts from Bobbi Brown but it literally melted off my face, MAC caused massive breakouts). I use Neutrogena medicated concealer to hide blemishes. Estee Lauder cream blush.

    • My skin sounds much like yours, and Clinique makes the only moisturizers and eye creams I can use. Have you tried any Clinique products?

    • I have tons of allergies, and break out with lots of things (Vitamin E allergy). For moisturizer, I’d recommend VMV Hypoallergenics Eye Serum. It’s for eyes (obvi), but I’ve used it to help hydrate other parts of my face, in small quantities.

      • Wait – I have a vitamin E allergy. Specifically, tocepherol acetate in moisturizer gives me contact dermatitis. Tell me everything you use on your face, PLEASE.

        • I also have a Vitamin E allergy. How weird. I thought I was the only one in the whole world.

          I’ve probably plugged it enough, but the Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing line is amazing and contains no vitamin E. :)

  19. I’m in my early 40’s and generally am told I look 10 years younger, which is great, but I’m not at all happy with my skin. I have very sensitive and generally dry skin, and I’m really sensitive to fragrance, so a lot of products don’t work for me. I use the Dermalogica extra gentle cleanser in the morning and CeraVe cleanser at night. I feel like I’ve tried every major brand out there, so thanks for the tips on Paula’s Choice and Skoah, I’ll check those out. My current moisturizer is Atopalm MLE cream, which has worked fairly well (from For the rest of my skin I use the CeraVe moisturizing cream (in a tub) – not easy to find but it actually keeps my skin from drying out immediately. The YesToCucumbers wipes are also nice when you need a wipe – they smell good, clean fairly well, and don’t bother my skin. I got them at Target. My skin cannot tolerate SPF very well, so I use Neutrogena when I absolutely have to, and SPF clothing and hats during the summer.

    Are there any sensitive users out there with experience with the brushes (i.e. Clarisonic)? I’ve seen them but have assumed they would be too much for my skin. I have mild KP on my arms so it sounds like this may be a good route to go to deal with that issue.

    Also, any other sensitive recommendations on cleansers and moisturizers would be welcome!

    • I have very sensitive skin (the sticky stuff on Band-Aids causes a reaction!) and I have a Clarisonic and love it. I have the “delicate” heads and wash with Clinique’s extra mild soap in the shower. I usually use the Clarisonic every other day and just wash with soap and water the rest of the time.

      I do very well with most Clinique products, but it sounds like you have tried those already.

      • Thanks kmm! My skin reacts to Band-Aids too! Glad I’m not alone. I’m going to check out the Clarisonic. Yes, I’ve tried Clinique and have had a mixed history with it. The moisturizer was just not enough and the soap and toners really dried out my skin. Their line is more diverse now and I’ve tried a few things with not great results. The one thing I do like is their dark spot cream, I use that on a spot on the back of my left and and it works great.

      • Try fabric Band Aids. I use these as I react badly to the plastic ones – think it is latex in them. I get a similar reaction to the latex elastic in socks.

    • I have sensitive skin and I use the Clarisonic Mia once, maybe twice a week and that’s enough for me. At one point when my skin reacted to EVERYTHING, I had good luck with Beauty Without Cruelty’s Maximum Moisture Cream, which I still enjoy using. Vegan/vegetarian products agree with my face more.

      • New Poster :

        Hey, I don’t know if you are still reading this thread. I have sensitive/very dry skin, too. I’m too scared to try the Clairisonic, but wanted to recommend a gentle scrub I use to exfoliate instead. It’s the Dr. Hauschka one you can get at Whole Foods, called Cleansing Cream. It’s all natural, no oil, totally not drying or harsh. I’ve been using it for years.

        Also, all the exfoliators that I have found too harsh for my face (basically everything, Clinique Exfoliating Scrub and 7-Day Scrub, the St. Ives one everyone uses, etc.) are pretty good for the KP on the back of my arms.

  20. I’ve found that the older I get, the more I’m willing to spend on skin care, from the frequency of facials, to the cost of the creams. (I’m 41.) But the most important thing to do, of course, is wear sunscreen.

    In the morning I clean my face with my Clarisonic Mia and the Clarisonic gentle cleaner (the one that smells like cucumber). I use pure witch hazel as a toner, then use a serum (right now it’s L’Oreal Youth Code, but I also like Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher), followed by a moisturizer with SPF15 or more (currently L’Oreal RevitaLift). I’ve recently added eye cream to the routine, but I wonder if it’s really necessary.

    In the evening, I remove my eye makeup with good old Pond’s Cold Cream, wash with Clinique Foaming Face Wash, tone with witch hazel, then use an evening cream. I recently scored some Elizabeth Arden Millennium Night Renewal Cream at Marshall’s and when I use it up, I might have to splurge for a replacement. It is thick and creamy and feels amazing. I’ve also used Estee Lauder Time Zone Night and it was good, although mostly I remember how nice it smelled!

    Once or twice a week I try to remember to use a mask. My facialist at the Red Door Spa sold me one for dry skin that I can’t recall the name of, but I don’t think it was actually Elizabeth Arden.

    • Can we have a side discussion about beauty products from Marshalls/TJ Maxx? I am a big fan and frequent customer, but something about the beauty products and food skeeves me out. Does anyone know where they get those types of products, whether they are expired, etc etc? I realize my sentiment is probably entirely irrational.

  21. Yes, my skincare has changed quite a bit… although in an opposite, fewer-purchased-products kind of way! I now make all of my own organic, all-natural skincare using easy kitchen witchery: salt scrubs, toners, moisturizers… using ingredients like sea salt, sugar, jojoba oil, rosewater, essential oils… No chemicals, no preservatives! I’m 38 and my skin has never ~ I mean NEVER ~ looked better in my life, plus I have fun mixing it up :-)

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Andrea, would you mind sharing some of your recipes (or websites that have them). I’d love to make my own all natural products, but I worry about hard to find ingredients and storage/spoiling issues.

      • I’m happy to! I actually post new recipes on my blog pretty often and have a lineup of recipes to post throughout 2012: :-)

        I try only to use ingredients that you can find at any grocery store or health food store; ingredients that are not expensive; and recipes that are simple enough for a 10-year-old to make. In my experience, if they are kept in a sealed container in a cool, dark place (like a bathroom cabinet) scrubs and things like that are good for about 3 weeks. I make small portions that get used by then!

        • Oooh, me too! I look forward to checking out your blog.

        • ChocCityB&R :

          Thanks for sharing your blog and killing my productivity this afternoon ;-)

          • Haha, aw, you’re sweet. Well, stay tuned, b/c as I said, I have a whole bunch of DIY recipes to come over the year ;-) Have a good afternoon!

  22. what perfect timing for me – i just bought my first eye cream this past weekend!
    I’m 27 – about to be 28 – and in the last year (also the first full year of biglaw work, coincidence? i think not) I finally noticed fine lines on my forehead and darkness near the bridge of my nose between my eyes (haven’t fully become dark circles yet). I use Clarins wash in the morning with my new l’oreal eye cream (just randomly picked one at the drug store) and Aveeno acne wash at night (i don’t have bad pimple problems but the foam is gentle and i feel it does a better job of getting sweat out after i go to the gym or something), a retinol cream, and a night cream from clarins. sometimes i use a serum as well (just free samples, haven’t bought one yet). I’m not sure if anything I’m doing is helping, but i’m definitely looking for good recommendations to reverse what has been going on on my forehead!!

    Also – I try to wear SPF every day, and I do have very fair skin, but even the lightest creams i use usually wind up making me sweat during my morning commute and smearing off any makeup I put on. I’m not sure what to do about this because I want to wear the SPF but can’t figure out how to not sweat. Anyone similar?

    • Littlest Attorney :

      Me too! In my first year of Biglaw I developed big dark circles under my eyes and in the spots on the sides of the bridge of my nose. If I get enough sleep, like over a weekend, the circles go away, but the spots on the bridge of my nose never fade completely. Nevermind. No wrinkles yet, and my mom didn’t have any really until she was in her mid 50s, despite being a two pack a day smoker, so I’m hoping she passed on the good genes!

      On the plus side, I think, I’m routinely mistaken for being in college, even when dressed in a charcoal grey skirt suit, hose, and with hair and makeup done! (I’m 29).

  23. I do nothing, except wear sunscreen when I’m going to be outside and put on face lotion when my skin gets really dry.

    I also wear no make-up.

    Gah…I’m almost embarrassed to admit this. But seriously, its a really, really good day if I wash my face. (Lets be honest, its a good day if I get out the door on time).

    • TCFKAG, I don’t thing there’s anything to be embarrassed about. If you have good skin that looks good without makeup and thrives on such a simple routine, more power to you!

      I used to think that my skin looked good because I didn’t wear makeup, but over the years I’ve learned that the opposite is true. I don’t need makeup because I got LUCKY and have easy skin. I’m embarrassed to admit that I used to be Mrs. McJudgypants about makeup wearers…shame on me.

      • Good realization. I would scare small children if I didn’t wear a full face of makeup every day. I still have problems being in front of my husband without it. Some of us are not even blessed in the slightest with good skin. ;-)

      • Ha! I also got really lucky to have clear skin (by brother, not so much). Never had acne problems, even as a teen.

        Though I do feel sometimes like I should start some sort of regimen. But hair care seems like it should be my first priority. :-P

      • I was like this when younger too. But I blame my mom. She was an all-natural, like me for my brains not my looks person that cut her own hair for 12 years. So I think she just told me this so I (my sister more, actually) would stop asking about what this makeup thing is and why everyone except us gets to wear it!

        Side note: My mom then hit 55, went to a salon, got her hair did, plopped $100s of dollars on makeup and skincare products and looks a decade younger than she did at 40. I feel gypped!

    • Maybe it’s a Boston thing. I don’t wear any makeup either. Occasionally, I’ll put it on if I’m going out at night, but I hate mascara.

      In my 20’s, I did the Clinique 3-step process. In my 30’s, I switched to Cetaphil, followed by aveeno daily moisturizer with spf. I was just washing my face and moisturing in the morning, except days in winter when my face felt really dry.

      I’m 41 now. I got a nutrasonic last month. I now use it at night and follow it up with Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night cream, which someone on this site recommended a few weeks ago. I still follow my Cetaphil and Aveeno program in the morning.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Haha, thank you! I’m the same way. Frankly, I don’t even wear sun screen as often as I should. I have products and a routine that works for me, but it’s impressive if I go an entire week of following it. A lot of mornings, splashing my face with water is an achievement. Thankfully I was blessed with good skin and a comfort level with wrinkles.

  24. Interview attire for Pacific Northwest corporate position? :

    A threadjack for the PacNW ladies out there!

    I have an all day interview at a large tech company in the Pacific Northwest (think Amazon et al). I’m in NYC, and have never been to the West Coast (I know). This is for a counsel position.

    What should I wear? Obviously I have plenty of suits, but I don’t want to look like a buttoned up NY corporate lawyer. I have a nice burgundy pant suit that I was considering…too unusual? I only ever wear button up shirts with my suits, but feel like that is the wrong way to go here.

    Any advice you ladies may have is greatly appreciated:)

    • According to a weird article from the coffee break, you should wear crazy socks. But I will let others with more clear understanding of the culture give you better advice!

    • You might also get better responses posting early in tomorrow’s TPS. These posts are generally pretty topic focused. :-)

    • I’d wear the suit. If you want to soften it up, you can wear a long-sleeved tee underneath & ditch the jacket if it really seems too stuffy once you get there. I head up to my company’s Seattle office fairly often, and despite stereotypes, my colleagues are not all walking around in fleece and flannel.

      A suit says, “I’m serious about this interview.”

      • This. I interviewed at a tech company known for its casual atmosphere and I just asked the recruiter, straight up, if a suit was appropriate given the normal casual dress. She assured me it was, and when I got there I was glad I wore it.

    • Anon PacNW :

      I’d wear the same suit you’d chose to wear to an interview in NYC, but maybe a colourful (or patterned or whatever you are comfortable with) shell underneath instead of the button up. I’d actually stick to standard interview suit colours and not branch out into something like burgundy, because I think it might read too much like you are trying to stand out. As in, “sure I could have worn my standard navy suit like everyone else but I’m from NYC and we’re more fashionable”. Same reason why I wouldn’t take an obviously very very expensive designer bag to an interview here. I realize that sounds a little strange and out of touch with reality but FWIW in my experience in the PacNW that’s my thinking. YMMV.

      Overall in my experience, PacNW is certainly more business casual in the day to day working world but for interviews, you still can’t go wrong with business formal & suits. Now this might be a bit more relaxed for certain types of employers, but I still think you can’t go wrong with a suit. It won’t read as stuffy if YOU aren’t stuffy. I would make sure you are wearing a shirt underneath that you’d feel comfortable with on its own so that you can take off your jacket if you feel too formal in the full suit.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Agree with everything here! I’m sure it does seem backward to east coast thinking, but it’s true. It very well be the last time you wear a suit to that office, but definitely go with a traditional suit with a blouse that’s appropriate sans-jacket. I wouldn’t go cutting edge with shoes, either. It will be much more comfortable and familiar to your interviewers than getting too stylish, which could make you seem detached from the company’s culture or snobbish. In a land where wearing a jacket to work means polar fleece, we stick with typical for business formal.

    • Wear your normal navy/grey/black interview suit – either pants or skirt is fine – but rather than wearing a button-down shirt, wear a shell or other colourful tee. People dress up for interviews here, same as anywhere else, but a button-down shirt may be a touch too formal.

      Good luck!

      • Hah, AnonPacNW and I read each other’s minds.

      • I’m in Seattle and going to third Anon PacNW and Nonny!

      • karenpadi :

        This. I’m in the Silicon Valley (so south of the PNW). Suits are mandatory for a legal interview. We just interviewed (and hired) a guy from NYC. I think he wore a plain grey suit, a purple shirt and a colorful tie (with pink in it). I don’t think any of the guys noticed but I thought it was an interesting way to meld NYC (conservative suits) with the west coast (unexpected colors).

        I would say no to a burgundy suit. Because no one wears suits on a regular basis, most of our suits are plain in grey, black (women), or navy (men). I think having a “weird” suit might emphasize that you are coming from a different world and you might not fit in.

        • In in-house in Silicon Valley too. A traditional suit is good for an interview. If you get the job, however, you will spend the rest of your working life in jeans, unless you go to visit a client.

  25. Diana Barry :

    I am 33. I sometimes (well, often, prob about once every 3 days) skip washing my face at night, which I know is bad and will try to stop, honest! – but I don’t wear makeup often so there’s that, I guess.

    I wash with either Neutrogena Acne Wash (the orange kind in the pump bottle) or neutrogena deep clean or Origins checks and balances. Then I put on Origins plantscription all over my face and in the mornings I use the plantscription eye cream. (I have been pregnant or nursing for the past 5 years so I haven’t used any retinols yet. Will prob start after I am done nursing this kid, I think this is the last one.) I also use the Origins “a perfect world” spf 25 moisturizer. I use the same one at night – too much trouble to have 2 different moisturizers!

    Every other day (in shower) I exfoliate my face with either the Clinique scrub or Remede Sweep (this is expensive so I don’t get it that often). I use body scrubs and body moisturizers when I remember *or* when my skin feels particularly dry (that is usually only in the winter).

    Oddly enough, I used to have frequent breakouts through my 20s, but being pregnant/nursing has totally gotten rid of those – my skin is almost always clear these days. :)

  26. I’m huge on skin products.
    I had perfect skin throughout my teen years, but starting with my mid-twenties, my face began acting up.
    For eye cream, I like Dermatologica and Estee Lauder. However, if I could splurge, VMV Hypoallergenics is the best I’ve tried (but at $80). I received a small bottle of it in my birchbox at the beginning of January and I’m just finishing it up now. I have lots of allergies, but this one seemed to calm my skin. For those who don’t know, birchbox sends around 5 beauty samples (think Sephora check-out aisle) to you every month for $10 including shipping. LOVE.
    My fav moisturizer, though, is Aveeno. It’s pretty light (I hate moisturizers that make me feel like I’m wrapping my face in heavy lotion), but Clinique has a great tinted moisturizer that I wore over my Aveeno when I was living in a really dry city. It was perfect for keeping my face hydrated and cleaning up my skin tone.
    Speaking of Clinique, I also enjoy their line of clarifying lotion. I’ve been using it as a teen, and it’s just gentle enough to work without drying anything out.
    Dermatologica has a multitude of great products that I’ve been experimenting with since my skin went nuts after my last move- the refining mask is particularly helpful.

  27. While we’re talking about skin care, can anyone recommend a good skin lightener/spot remover? I’m 51, with a lot of “freckles” on my face (okay, I think technically at my age they’re considered age spots, but I always called them freckles when I was younger, and that sounds better). I have gotten so used to them, I hardly notice them, but the last couple of times I was at the make-up counter, the counterperson remarked on them, and not in a good way. That Clinique dark spot corrector did nothing for me. Anything else out there that works?

    • If they are truly freckles, I don’t think there’s anything you can do about them. At least that’s what my derm told me when I asked him after using the Clinique stuff for a while. He said that will only work for age spots.

      • Well, they are mostly from definitely sun damage, I guess I might have gotten a few extra as I got older, and stopped going out in the sun, so some of them are maybe just age spots. I’ve always had lots of freckles, since I was young, arms, legs, hands and face. So not attractive at my age. Maybe some kind of laser? Lasers scare me though, too many horror stories.

        • I tried the one from Origins earlier this fall to get rid of some sun spots and pimple damage and it worked great. Maybe give it a shot?

        • Seattleite :

          I had hyperpigmentation on my face from sun damage. So far I’ve had two ‘hyperpigmentation peels’ from my derm-affilated facialist and it has faded a great deal.

    • Laser or prescription hydroquinone.

    • IPL is your best bet.

    • laywer-in-training :

      I suggest you go to your dermatologist for a tretinoin prescription. Its a less invasive (yet effective) alternative to lasers, etc.

  28. This thread inspired me to finally get a clarisonic (mia).

    So I wanted to share this coupon for 25% off at beautybar (only for clarisonic purchases).


  29. I’m 47 and have fairly young looking skin due to long-term use of sunscreen and retinoids(prescription, not OTC retinol.)

    However, I battle hormonal acne, still, and it drives me nuts.

    I recently switched to the Rodan + Fields line

    and I love it because it’s so straightforward. I’m currently using Unblemish every other day until I can work up to it not making me dry.

  30. Yep, I should have cited you because you’re the reason I tried it. Along with Smashbox O-Gloss, Origins gin-zing, and who knows what else.

    Can we make a brunch date for 30 years from now?

    • ugh, posted too quickly. That was for AIMS.

      I was going to add that I’ll be rocking a brightly colored pant suit and an ugly logo bag, and we can exchange judgy comments about not having grandchildren yet (if applicable).

      • Count me in — I love brunch and judgy comments! I will try to scrounge up a logo-covered pant suit for the occasion :)

  31. dancinglonghorn :

    Does anyone remember the name of those little cropped tank tops that are for wearing underneath dresses with low necklines?

  32. So I have bad skin. I’m in my mid-20s and this has been going on for a while. I would do ANYTHING for good skin. I’ve had perscription stuff, OTC, specifically ordered [ex: proactiv, special neutrogena], switching birth control, etc. I’ve gotten facials. I have a clarisonic… I’m not wow-ed by it because it hasn’t improved my skin condition, but when I stopped using it, my skin got worse. I’ve found that for a lot of the stuff that I’ve tried, it works for a month or two, then gradually stops. I’m using mario badescu now, and liked that for a while. Any suggestions?

    • Maybe you’re overdoing it? I go through this above, but basically my skin does not react well when I do too much to it.

      Another idea, though certainly not for everyone, is to consider your diet. I have a friend who swears by not eating dairy. You could try that for a month and see if it makes a difference?

    • I used to have pretty terrible skin (not that it’s so amazing now) but I was able to manage with 10% benzoyl peroxide creams and washes. That was the only thing that worked if used consistently. Eventually, my skin developed a sensitivity to it and I would get rashes from benzoyl peroxide, no matter what the concentration (yay). Plus, it turned my skin translucent, which is fun.

      Try to figure out a pattern, if there’s something your skin is reacting to. It took me a stupidly long time to realize that I would only break out on the right side of my face because I would lean my face against my hand when reading a book in bed and my smart phone would also touch my right cheek only. For some people, food allergies manifest themselves in the form of acne, so maybe you could start cutting out one type of food at a time until you find your trigger. At one point, dairy used to give me cystic acne (but I’m all cured now bc I had to have surgery for an enlarged gland that messed with my hormones). So, basically, I don’t know if I’ve helped but it could be something besides the products you use.

      • Anne Shirley :

        Have you tried Accutane?

        • No, I have not. My acne is pretty mild post-surgery, just blackheads, the occasional whitehead and a nice bump on my chin right before my period. I have a lot of scars, which is what I’m more concerned about. Since I don’t look in the mirror that much, I forget that they’re there but I need to do something about them.

      • I did Accutane. Twice. Best thing I ever did.

        I did it for a full course (20 weeks) when I was 31 and another full course when I was 32. My skin was always pretty normal, but in law school it exploded. I did Accutane in a last ditch effort when I was a first year associate. When it didn’t “take,” my dermatologist recommended a second course.

        My acne was nothing like you see in the Accutane marketing materials. It was normal whiteheads and blackheads, but there were a lot of them, and they could get red/angry. But they were never cystic or three dimensional.

        The Accutane made my skin incredibly dry while I was on it. It also was very susceptible to exfoliation (ie, do NOT wax your eyebrows while on Accutane, be careful about scratches on your hands). And it was incredibly sun sensitive, so try to do it during the winter months. By the end of the course, my skin literally looked like alabaster glowing from within (I am Caucasian and very fair). After I stopped taking it, it lost some of that glow from within, but it has remained gorgeous for over 15 years.

        I highly recommend it.

    • Littlest Attorney :

      Do you have the type of acne that Accutane was designed for? Its an extreme suggestion, but maybe its time…

    • BHA (salicylic acid), retinol, and benzoyl peroxide helped me in combination. Neutrogena’s stress control line makes a good BHA, it’s called a 3-in-1 hydrating acne treatment. Makeup Artists’ Choice dot com sells a high percentage retinol serum (0.3%) at a reasonable price. Then Clean and Clear Persa Gel benzoyl peroxide in problem areas.

      • I would also suggest asking a dermatologist about Accutane.

        I know people get super riled up about it sometimes, like it’s the worst possible thing anyone could ever do to themselves, but I also know I was on it for like 8 months sometime around the end of high school or the start of college, and it was a miracle. Not only did the pimples on my face go away, but it even made the bumpiness on the sides of my upper arms go away and got rid of chest and back issues. The crazy thing is, once you’re on it that one time (or sometimes twice), it pretty much keeps working forever. I’m (ahem) 15 years out of high school at this point and my skin’s still doing well. I get an occasional pimple, but I still remember a time when I dreamed of being upset about one lousy pimple.

    • When I was about 20 (8 years ago) I had a treatment called Clear Light done, and it worked wonders! I had had acne since about 10 years old, but it got very bad about 19 or 20 – like where it hurt to touch my face. I was hesitant to try accutane b/c of all of the side effects. So I did Clear Light. I had to have a prescription for it, and the cosmetic side of my dermatologist’s office did it. It is a laser. Basically, you just sit under what looks like a dentist’s light for 20 minutes, twice a week, for four weeks. It does not make your skin dry or red or anything. And it was warm and felt so nice I usually fell asleep! My skin slowly got better during the treatments and continued to improve after the treatments. Compared to all of the remedies I had tried, this was definitely worth the $250 price (total).

    • Is Accutane still an option? Your skin sounds similar to mine when I was in my early 20s, and it was brutal – I had pretty clear skin growing up and then faced something like 2-3 years of horrible adult acne. I tried all the products and steps you mentioned (except Clarisonic), and went through the same thing – new products would work for a while and then my skin would get worse.

      I took Accutane. Eventually I had 3 rounds of it. It worked for me. But you have to be careful: it’s known to cause depression/emotional issues in people; you absolutely cannot get pregnant while taking it (in fact, I think my doctor made me sign something saying that I would terminate if I got pregnant, because basically it can cause a fetus to develop without a brain, which sounds beyond horrific); it will dry your eyes and lips terribly, so get used to carrying around chapstick and eye drops.

      Even with all those horrible possible side effects, it was the one thing that eventually cleared up my skin, and to this day I am grateful I took it.

      • Second on the Accutane. When I took it, I had to get regular blood tests to prove I wasn’t pregnant and carried chapstick (carmex!) around like it was going out of style. I also practically had to bathe in moisturizer.

        And it was so worth it. Nothing ever made my skin look better.

      • Third on the Accutane. Had the same experience as M in CA — fairly clear skin when I was a teen, only to have cystic acne hit in my 20s. Accutane took care of it completely. The drying effects were awful (the sides of my lips cracked during the winter, making it hard to open my mouth wide) but well worth it for the boost to self-confidence.

    • Anonymous :

      This may or may not work- I have pretty awful cystic acne, and it’s calmed down a lot after started using a face mask made of honey, lemon and cinnamon. I put it on after I shower, for 30 minutes every day.

      It doesn’t prevent breakouts, but they’re much milder than before and the scars are much lighter too. I use Neutrogena acne scrub at night, Aveeno in the AM and cocoa butter twice a day to help with the scars.

    • Have you tried iS Active serum? I bought it on the recommendation of another blogger (Belle at Cap Hill Style) and I actually really like it. I’ve had horrible skin for about 10 years, and I just recently (within the past month) feel comfortable leaving the house without foundation on. It was a *huge* deal for me. It’s not cheap ($100/oz) but it’s a serum, so a little goes a long way. I try to put it on every night but it ends up being about every other night, and the one ounce bottle has lasted me a couple months now, putting it on once a day (at night).

    • I can’t add much to the other suggestions here, just wanted to sympathize. I also have crap skin. Blackheads, acne, sensitive, and simultaneously dry + oily. Oh, and I’m quite pale so red marks from old pimples last forever and ever. Lovely!

      I use differin nightly and bp on spots. I really need to be on a retinoid of some type or my skin is completely unmanageable. With a retinoid, it is ok. I still get pimples on my chin a few times a month which take forever to fade. I still have blackheads. My skin is still crazy oily. Like I put on a primer + powder in the morning. By the time I get to work (approx 90 min later), I need to blot nose, forehead, and chin. An hour or two later, must blot all over and re-powder. I often forget to blot in the afternoon and, when I get in the car to go home, I look in the mirror and realize in horror that I look like I just ran 3 miles on the treadmill. Shine central. It’s just absurd.

      Anyway, no answer. I try to make it as decent as I can and just move on with my life. I have long since given up on ever having good skin. Obsessing over it just leads to misery. I just remind myself I have other things going for me. But I am still jealous of people with naturally clear, matte skin- ladies who have this, be grateful!!!

      • Oh, gosh, I feel you on the crazy oily. I basically can’t wear eye makeup because in an hour or two, it melts down my face — that happened even after a professional makeup job with primer and waterproof products. I’ve just given up on it, frankly, and try to take solace in the fact that I don’t seem to have developed as many wrinkles (in my mid-30s) as my friends with drier skin.

  33. I’m in my 50s and people think I’m at least 15 years younger. Genetics have helped, but that’s not the whole story. Retinoids can help to a degree, they exfoliate the skin and plump it up.

    For deeper wrinkling and other issues, I think only plastic surgery will help (I haven’t had any so far.). Moisturizers can only do so much. Wrinkles seem to be caused not by mere dryness, but a change in the structure of the skin because of hormonal changes as women age.

    To protect your skin and generally look young:

    Don’t smoke;
    Don’t overexpose yourself to the sun (even if you’re black or African American);
    Don’t get overweight;
    Don’t neglect to be active.

  34. I’m also 47 (like mamabear). I have very sensitive skin and eyes and have never had serious acne. I wash my face with Ivory soap. I use Almay non-oily eye makeup remover (had to switch back from the Neutrogena, which was bothering my eyes too much). I live in the humid south so it’s rare that the skin on my face ever feels dry but I do have some Neutrogena facial moisturizer for when it does. I could probably stand to use eye cream (a few fine lines and some irritation and dryness at the corners) and I have some Neutrogena eye cream that doesn’t hurt my eyes but it doesn’t work well under makeup and I never remember to put it on at night. I guess I’m spoiled because I’ve always had good skin and have never had to work at it and people tell me that I look 10 years younger than I am (except when I’m tired – then I look like I’m tired and wearing concealer, almost like I’m trying to hard). One thing I’ve changed as I’ve gotten older is to switch from foundation to tinted moisturizer. I look too done with foundation.

  35. I’ve started using Keys eye cream and daily spf. ( It’s a natural beauty line without parabens. I also use Dr. Weil for Origins for the flakey spots by my nose.

    • I’m 42 and have had to totally change my skin care as my skin has changed from oily and acne prone, to dry and sensitive as I age.

      Wash with cetaphil both day and night. In the morning, I also use cetaphil moistrizer and Dr. Jart BB cream (b/c it has zinc oxide rather than chemical sunscreen, and otherwise makes my skin look amazing). I also use olay regenerist eye stick since it contains caffeine which helps with undereye puffiness.

      At night, I use olay regenerist cream and a retinol cream underneath (every other night). I like Replenix and the green creme, because of their higher level of retinol (use to use neutrogena). About to get first botox shot in a few weeks.

      I highly recc. the website, she reviews a lot of skincare products from a medical perspective.

  36. LurkerHere :

    I’m quite young still (24 in June) and while I have pretty good skin I take care of it in the hopes that it will stay looking nice (skin type is somewhat sensitive, sunspot-prone, dry-combo fair-to-light skin):
    AM: Wash with Dove Beauty Bar – Original & a microfibre mitt
    Decleor Baume de Nuit – Neroli on drier zones (under eyes, forehead)
    Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Hydrating Cream (winter) – funnily enough you can find this at Costco now, where it’s 2 for 1! It’s deeply hydrating and non-comedogenic, which is a plus. OR, Clinique Moisture Surge Extra (summer)
    Follow with La Roche Posay Sunscreen Antihelios SPF 60 & makeup if I’m working or going somewhere.

    PM: Remove makeup with Nivea Makeup Remover
    Double cleanse with Dove Beauty Bar – Original and a microfibre mitt
    Reversa Anti-Spot Night Care w/ 8% Glycolic Acid – helped my occasional zits greatly and reduces sunspots/fine lines, I’m sold!
    Decleor Baume de Nuit – Neroli in dry zones & throat

    Occasional: Raw sugar scrub made with raw sugar, citrus juice and olive oil if I see flakes or skin starting to get dull;
    Homemade fruit or veggie facials (strawberries, cucumbers, kiwi, any fruit or veggie I have on hand, really) with a steam towel.

    If you need a good eye cream, try the Decleor Baume de Nuit – it’s all natural and it works great! In the past I also loved Kiehl’s Abyssine eye cream.

  37. This may sound weird, but I hate washing my face at the sink and not in the shower. I hate splashing water repeatedly at my face (and my pajamas, and the counter…), so at night I’ve long just used makeup remover wipes. I recently started washing my face after the wipes, and I think it’s making a difference, but the face-splashing is killing me. Am I doing something wrong on technique? How do you all wash your face when you’re not in the shower?

    • I would just take a quick shower. It’s nice to do before bed anyway and becomes an easy habit.

    • Anonymous :

      I use a washcloth to do the scrubbing because I felt like I was never getting my face clean with just my hands and splashing–and I could tell my instinct was right by the makeup-colored cotton balls I used for toner. So I use an exfoliating face wash (if you’re looking for one, I highly recommend Laura Mercier–all other “scrubs” irritate my skin, but this doesn’t, while still scraping away that awful flaky layer of skin and making my skin glow) and wipe with the washcloth. I bought a pack of cheap white ones from Target, and I do one pass with one corner, and then move to a new section to see if it comes out “clear”–if not, I keep going. Once I think I’m done, I do a quick splash/rinse to get any of the granules that are still stuck on my face. It’s so much better than the constant splashing and soaking wet counter!

  38. I started using Oil of Olay when I was in college because my grandmother’s derm recommended it to her, and she bought me some. I still use it, but now the version with sunscreen. About 3 years ago I thought I should try eye cream, so I bought some Olay eye cream, which I use at night. That’s it. I wash my face in the shower.

    I’m skin-lucky inasmuch as both my mother and grandmother look much younger than they are, and I’ve inherited that trait. I’m unlucky in that I also inherited my father’s sunburn tendencies — it takes about 10 minutes for me to start turning pink, so I never go outside without some form of sunscreen. My current favorite is the Neutrogena dry-touch stuff, which very conveniently for travel comes in a 3-oz. tube.

  39. Morning Sickness = gone! :

    Am I the only one who uses Mary Kay products? I have been using their TimeWise anti-aging line for about 4 years now, and my skin tone is more even than it was previously.

  40. 38 with combination skin – while I don’t get ID’d for a margarita anymore – I can pass for early 30s – few fine lines and wrinkles, but my skin is starting to lack luster

    Aveda Exfoliating Toner
    DDF Acne Control Treatment (wish this wasn’t still a problem for me)
    Origins Have A Nice Day Lotion

    Murad Essential C Cleanser
    Philosophy Help Me
    Currently looking for a new night moisturizer (was using Origins Night-A-Mins)

    To exfoliate I use Origins Never a Dull Moment Scrub about once per week
    I don’t use a different eye cream, since I am able to use my normal moisturizers on my eye area.

    Any suggestions on the evening moisturizer? Also, wouldn’t mind a new evening cleanser…

  41. I’m 40, with oily but sensitive skin.

    This is what I use:
    cleanser: Shiseido pureness with Olay Pro-X brush in the shower (mornings) and Origins zer0-oil cleanser at night
    moisurizer: Clarins bright plus day lotion SPF 20. I use this morning and night. It’s really lightweight

    I’m only consistent with cleanser and mositurizer.

    Other products I sometimes use:
    – L’oreal youth code serum (day) – recently started using this
    -Neutrogena healthy skin retinol/salicyclic cream (at night) – it’s excellent
    -eye cream (for under-eye circles): Olay definity or Shiseido white lucent

  42. I’m 25 and still get hormonal breakouts. I also have VERY dry skin. I use Olay Total Effects Cream Cleanser + Acne Control twice a day. I think it works better than any cleanser I’ve ever used (and I’ve used A LOT). It’s good for those of us who still breakout but are concerned about preventative anti-aging products too. I use it with a Clarisonic MIA. I also use just the $7 Olay moisturizer with SPF twice a day.

  43. I use Kate Somerville exclusively. I love, love, love her products. My brother works in the skin care world and got pretty deep into learning about the science of this stuff. He claims that all of the fancy products are basically the same as drugstore stuff with the exception of Kate Somerville.

    I got my mom hooked on it and didnt see her for three months when she started. I saw her for the first time and seriously thought she had had work done.

    Its expensive but I love it.

    (FWIW, Im 32, have good skin on the dry side, and wear minimal makeup.)

  44. attorney, core :

    Here is a question about dry skin — my face is fairly dry, but it is manageable with a good moisturizer. However, I cannot get my nose under control. Between the dry air and the occassional tissue from blowing my nose, its a mess. I’ve tried using heavier exfoliating lotions (like am lactin) on just my nose, but it still winds up kind of dry and peely. Any recommendations?

    • Have you thought about getting a humidifier for your bedroom?

    • LurkerHere :

      neutrogena norwegian formula hand cream. i know it’s supposed to be for the hands only but the ingredients are non-irritating and not pore clogging. it’s very rich in glycerin, it’s great for chapped skin in general (also, it’s super cheap!). i would avoid exfoliating lotions if it’s very dry and peely, you need to moisturize and not peel off the epidermal layers.

      if you like something more “natural” there’s also LUSH ultrabalm, which is just a blend of jojoba oil and natural plant waxes – it’s kind of like a non-petroleum petroleum jelly.

      i second the comment below re: the humidifier – you can also go green and save electricity by hanging your laundry items in your bedroom at night – thicker pieces like towels and jeans will gradually release moisture into your room, and you won’t have to shell out for a humidifier (clunky and often ugly).

  45. I’m 39 and get compliments on my skin all the time. I’ve been using the Arbonne RE9 line of products for the last 3 years and love them.

  46. I’m 24 and I’ve been using retinol products (over the counter) for 2 years. Neve too young to start? I recently read somewhere that when you stop using them that it actually is even worse for you skin?! So once you start you should stop. I suppose I will have to once I get pregnant. (likely MANY years from now)

    Anyone know of any websites that expose how much retinol is in products since it isn’t required on the label?

    I also use BROAD-BASED sunscreen, retinol eye cream, exfoliants etc. I have some pretty bad sunburns in my teens and had some pre-cancer on my face (both parents have also had skin cancer removed) so since then I’ve been extra diligent about trying to protect and slow down any damage I did by baking in the tanning bed in my teens. (how silly of me!)

  47. CPA to be :

    In the morning, I wash my face in the shower with bare minerals purifying facial cleanser, which I ADORE. I’ve been using Stila’s tinted moisturizer as my face lotion, but I’m not crazy about it, and will be switching back to kiss my face olive and aloe sensitive skin lotion once I’m out of the tinted moisturizer. I’ve also used plain jojoba oil as a moisturizer, but I don’t really like the way it smells (very nutty), and it’s kind of messy.

    At night, I take off my makeup with Pond’s chamomile and white tea face wipes. I used to be so incredibly lazy about taking off my makeup, but those face wipes smell so amazing that I look forward to using them. I’m 28, and I may be at an all time record of number of consecutive nights of removing makeup. I also stay out of the sun.

    I’ve been knocking around the idea of getting botox for the first time lately… just a tiny bit between my eyebrows to prevent the angry-looking wrinkle that is starting to form. It’s not that I’m angry, I just scrunch up my forehead when I’m thinking, concentrating, driving, skeptical, etc.

    • I have that little wrinkle too! But I used to play tennis and spent many many many long hours squinting into the sun. I think I developed it at about 16!

  48. This is timely as I’m sitting here at my desk scratching and rubbing my painful and red face. I think it’s resisting my recent move/change in climate/failure to wash. I just let water run over my face in the showed although I have a sephora face scrubber thing (the little pink pad) and I think I still have some face wash hanging around somewhere. I lotion every morning. I almost never wash at night (such a pain! Water gets everywhere!) but I don’t wear face makeup except on special occasions, after which it’s about 50/50 whether I remember to wash.

    Also, I’ve been noticing how old my hands look. I just turned 30 and I think it’s time to get serious. However, like 1L and Goal for 2012, I am on a weight loss kick as well and have significant weight to lose. I think I need a whole life makeover!

    Going to check out that clairsonic thing though, see what it is, and the Paula’s Choice.

    An actual question, how long can you keep these products? I saw the other day someone commented that you shouldn’t keep your mascara longer than 2 months! I have had some of mine for years! (Not all at the same time.) I have some face scrubs/face washes, etc for several years, can I still use them?

    And a constructive comment, I did actually used to use an Alpha Hydroxy Acid face wash thing my mom gave me, but when I went to the doc she made me go to the derm to get some pre-skin-cancer cells burned off my face (you would think I would be better about this, I know!) and the derm told me the AHA was not good for my skin type and she gave me some samples of something else. I liked those, but they were expensive and you needed a prescription and I didn’t want to have to go in again to get the prescription. So I don’t know what they were, but just because someone recommends something doesn’t mean it’ll work for your particular skin!

    • Mascara can usually be kept for 6 months I believe.

      A few weeks ago I got a job and as a treat went and got myself a splurge makeup item at a dept store. I had $20 of gift card so I wanted to get something that was stupid expensive that I would never normally pay for but that I would consider with a $20 discount. In talking with one of the reps (at Dior) they told me that most packages actually have a little indicator on the box that says how long you should keep if it’s been opened. I felt like such an idiot for never noticing but there it was. It clearly had a container, with the lid off and the number 6 right over it for 6 months. I’m not sure if face washes have this too but worth checking!

  49. The ONLY proven skin cream to prevent and treat wrinkles is tretinoin – which is prescription Retin A. (Generics are available now.) It takes awhile for your skin to get used to this, but it is the single cream that has been scientifically studied and proven to help aging skin. I use Nonie of Beverly Hills 10% alpha hydroxy cream during the day, which is really gentle and moistuirizing with all natural ingredients. I’ve never identified an eye cream that has made a bit of difference. But the final long-term anti-aging secret really is botox, but you need to find a good practitioner and work with that person to get the right balance of treatment, which can take a few times. (It really is an art.) Yes, it has immediate effect, but, more importantly, the longer you use it the more effect it has. Also, the clarisonic Mia is wonderful for anti-aging as it strips your outermost layer of skin and stimulates collagen growth, all while clearing up your skin and making product more effective.

  50. Nolalawyer :

    I upgraded my eye care routine to add moisturizers with retinoids after I had a baby and started functioning on much less sleep (and it was really starting to show in my skin) I have found that as I get into my mid-30s, adding retinoids has helped keep my skin clearer and in better shape.

  51. I’m also in my 50s and would like to concur with this comment. Face creams make only the tiniest difference. Really, save your money – you’re going to need it soon for the dentist.
    Ageing well really is almost entirely lifestyle.

    I’d add to your list of essential habits, anon:
    Save wine for the weekend
    Find some form of meditation.

  52. I still don’t use an eye cream, and I’m 42 – everything feels greasy and irritating and it honestly doesn’t seem to do much for me. However, I’ve never had a problem washing my face at night or taking off my makeup – I can’t go to sleep without washing my face and getting rid of all makeup! This may be due to having fairly oily skin and being paranoid about breakouts.

    The biggest change I’ve made as I’ve gotten older is that I used to try to blast my skin squeaky clean, but have figured out it actually produces less oil when it’s not stripped. I think it’s all incredibly individual, though – for instance, acids – salicylic acid, fruit acids, BHAs – do NOTHING for my skin at all. However, my skin likes seaweed-based stuff and sulfur-based stuff (for breakouts). It also handles oil-cleansing well. Mostly I rotate between various stuff, and I love to try new brands/products (for me, buying this stuff is a pleasure/luxury). Recently I’ve been using Mario Badescu stuff (his acne products are wonderful) (yes, I still get acne. Sigh).

    I do moisturize more now than I used to, but I don’t use anything particularly designed for aging skin.

  53. oooh skincare! My favourite topic….I’m 37 and started using literally a drop of foundation just 2 weeks ago (1st time ever). But I am a skincare junkie.

    – wash face 4x daily (when i wake up, shower, get back home, evening shower)
    – exfoliate 2x/3x weekly (loving Ole Henriksen)
    – Clinique serum + Bliss moisturiser + Kiehl’s sunscreen before work
    – eye cream + SKII moisturiser at night

    I am thinking of upgrading to La Mer (i only get this if i have gift cards/vouchers etc as it’s too spendy for me).

    Since i spent nothing (till now) on foundation/concealer etc, I feel like skincare can be my splurge! Plus the way I’m going, 1 bottle foundation will probably last me 1 yr….

  54. Has anyone had any luck with Mario Badescu products? I’m going for a facial tonight and would like to try out some of their products if anyone has any recommendations…

  55. Yes! I’m a big fan of Mario Badescu products. Mind you, I mostly adore their acne treatments, because they have a lot of sulfur-based products that happen to work really well on me (but don’t get them near sterling silver…), which may not be a concern for you. (If it is, their pink lotion – Drying Lotion? Buffering? I forget the name – is rightly beloved.) I also like their facial cleansers, in particular the Enzyme Gel and Seaweed Soap.

    I like that they have quite a range of products with a variety of key ingredients, so you really can find what best suits your skin. It’s not an uber-natural line, but I think the ingredients are a decent mix of natural and chemical. And as non-drugstore brands go, I think their prices are quite reasonable ($20 for an 8 oz cleanser; around $15-17 for various acne treatments, which last well. Of course the more specialized stuff is more expensive).

    Unfortunately I haven’t used any of their treatments or serums or the kinds of things you’d be more likely to encounter in a facial, and whether the products I like would work for you depends on whether we have similar skin (mine is combo, tending toward oily – mostly when I over-clean it – with hormonal breakouts, occasionally sensitive). But I like the line very much.

    • Thank you so much for the info! I also have oily prone skin. I prefer very, very natural products, so I’ll have to take a look at their ingredients. If they have a great makeup remover I think it’s probably worth a try, then following up with a good natural cleanser and moisturizer. I haven’t been able to find many reviews on this line so I appreciate your help!

  56. I’m convinced the best advice you can find on the ‘net is from Paula’s Choice. I like her products, too. I tried her basic line some years ago and thought it was OK, but not necessarily worth the effort of having to order it. Her Resist line though, is awesome. It’s faded my brown spots and cleared up the clogged pores I had in my t-zone.

    At 43, I’ve just added a prescription retinoid. I’ve had some flakiness that went away with a good AHA, but what I’ve really noticed is the increase in oiliness. Hopefully that will go away.

    My AM routine:
    Cetaphil or Replenix Fortified Cleanser
    PC Resist Remarkable Skin Lightening Lotion with 7% AHA
    City Block Sheer Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 25

    Cetaphil or Replenix Fortified Cleanser
    .025% tretinoin gel
    PC Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer

  57. Liz (Europe) :

    I’ve got to say, Shiseido anti wrinkle creams really work. I’m more than a little worried that someone’s told me they’re made from sharks though?!

    Tip for everyone: stop using anything that says Sodium Laureth (or laurel, or coca) Sulphate on it. That stuff is used as an industrial cleaner for a reason. It’s replaced almost all natural soap on the shelves because it foams better and because it doesn’t leave soap remains on your sink, but it goes much deeper into your pores, washing out the natural protective layer of your skin, causing skin problems of all kinds in the long term. Get real nature soap without SLS (you’ll have difficulty finding it, I’m warning in advance).

  58. I think as long as you have a skincare regimen, and it does not irritate the skin, you should be able to use what you want but keep it simple. Wash, tone (optional) and moisterize. Within the week, use a mask and exfoliate your skin. Make sure the moisterizer have an SPF of 15 at least. I rather have good clear skin than wear heavy makeup.

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