I have to admit that I am not one to yoyo my beauty products or routine. I have used the same brand of make up and the same facial products for as long as I can remember. If it's not broke, don't fix it, right? Wrong! How do we know it isn't broken if we never try anything new?
My skin in my thirties isn't what it was in my twenties. As we age, our skin looks thinner, paler, and more translucent. Large pigmented spots including age spots or liver spots may start to appear in larger areas and changes in our connective tissue reduce the skins strength and elasticity(1). It's happening to us all and there is nothing we can do to change that, right? Wrong again! Well.... sort of. We may not be able to genetically change what is happening with our skin, but we can alter our products and regimen every few years to minimize the visual effects of aging.
I have been seeing the same medical esthetician, Charity Pringle, once a month for the last 7 years for a medical facial. This isn't the same as a spa facial. I highly recommend that you look into medical aesthetic services at your local dermatologist. Based on your medical coverage, several insurance carries will cover your visits up to twice a month. If your insurance will not cover medical aesthetic service and you are paying out of pocket, they are no more expensive than what you would pay for a European facial at a day spa.
The difference, is that a medical facial is not just there to pamper you like a spa facial. They offer clinical approaches to help with sun damage and correcting uneven pigmentation and aging. They incorporate treatments specific to what your skin needs, not based on the products the sell, and they are able to use medical grade products and tools, unlike a day spa. I highly recommend a medical facial. You will be amazed at the difference in your skin post treatment and for weeks to come as opposed to a European facial at a spa.
Since Christmas is just around the corner, I know some of you may be scrambling for last minute gifts. I also know that some of you will be looking for new ways to jumpstart your skin in the New Year, so I have included 5 products that I use and love. Three of of these products (#2,#3,#4) I have used for years at the recommendation of my medical aesthetician. The other two are newer products that I have added as body exfoliants.
To truly tell if a product is working for you give it a solid 4-6 week as skin typically renews itself during this time frame.
1. Complexion Dry Brush: These are very inexpensive and can be picked up almost anywhere for under $10. It helps to boost circulation and is said to make your skin appear more radiant. Although this can be used on your face, I actually prefer to use this dry brush on my legs before shaving and on my arms and chest. dry brushing has been attributed to helping with detox and circulation. Goop has some great tips on how to dry brush and which brushes they recommend. They also sell these with longer handles to exfoliate your upper back. I have included the amazon link here.
2. h2t pumpkin peel: Ok, if you only purchase 1 of 2 products from my list, make this one of them! There are 2 popular brands of pumpkin enzyme masks Peter Roth and ht2. Both are good brands and I have used them both. But Charity uses h2t on me during our appointments and It's hands down my favorite. It's not cheap at $80 a tub, but you only need to use it twice a month. This helps to renew skin cells and will leave your face glowing. When you use this product the first few times it will sting. It is because your skin is "weak" so to speak. Don't get frustrated and stop using the product. Take it off when the burn too much to bare. The more you use it, the stronger your skin will become and the more you will notice the glow. Pumpkin is said to have health benefits for every skin type.
3. Retinol: This is my other if you only purchase 2, purchase items. I've used both a compounded version and the Skin Medica Brand. I prefer the Skin Medica. Retinol and Retin-A are both retinoids chemically related to Vitamin A and promote faster skin renewal that are vital to tissue repair. Retina-A is a prescription only cream and is 100 times stronger than retinol. It produces amazing and quick fix results but it also has a list of side effects. Retinol, is over the counter and is a type of vitamin A that is already produced in your body. retinol works with the enzymes in your skin to convert itself to retinoic acid. The effects last a few weeks, but it takes a few months of consistently using the product to be able to tell. This is because it is working with your skin to convert as opposed to Retin-A, which is already converted. I prefer this product over retin-A because the side effects are not as hard on your skin. If you are using this for the first time, start off with a .025 formulation. After a year of using every night, move yourself up to .5 and then 1 as needed. Whenever I see someone with youthful looking skin, I always assume they use a retinol.
4. Nia24 Physical Cleansing Scrub: The creamiest of cleansing exfoliants. It doesn't scratch your face, it smells clean and fresh, and it contains Niacin. Niacin, also knows an B3, can help with skin elasticity and improve skin discolorations. Being in the California sun every day, it's super important to me to always wear sunblock and cover my face. I love this product because the niacin beads exfoliate while the physical cleanser helps to clean and correct any sun damage. If you do not like the scratchy feel of exfoliants on your face then this is a great product.
5. Rodan + Fields Microdermabrasion Paste: This paste is super fine and smells of citrus. I was gifted this product by Ali Wilson, a R+F consultant, to test out. I have to tell you that I love it. I use this paste on my decollate and I actually love to use it on my legs before shaving. It smells great. It works great for a full body exfoliant and is super fine so it's not as abrasive as some of the other brands on the market. For those who don't like the creamy feel of some exfoliants then this is a great dry exfoliant. If you do not have a consultant already, message me, and I'll point you in the direction of one near you.
These are all products that I use and love. 3 of these 5 products I have recommended are exfoliants. It is important not to over exfoliate skin, as this can lead to dry and irritated skin. It has been recommended to me by my dermatologist not to exfoliate more than twice a week.
Please keep in mind that all of these are recommended products based on what I like to use and what works for my skin. My skin is Normal to dry and I am prone to congested pores. The opinions above are my own and are not that of a medical expert.