The winter months and our skin.
Depending upon where you live, the type of skincare you will need will be largely determined by the humidity (or lack thereof). The journey of my skincare regimen has been on-going and a savvy and more successful approach began in my thirties when I began to seek out professionals who provided their expertise based on examining my skin during one-on-one consultations (usually during my facial appointments).
Armed with the knowledge I gleaned and having shared eight tips for glowing skin in an early episode of the podcast, I have continued to hone and fine-tune my skincare routine.
Thinking I had it down to a science and loving how my skin was looking two years ago, this all changed when I moved to Bend – high desert country. Translation: über dry. More arid and parching than I had initially expected, not only do I need to drink more water, but my skin does as well in the form of moisturizers. I quickly realized needed to revamp my skincare routine, and that is when I drilled down and found products that provided the thirst, the protection and the nutrients my skin needed.
As always, you will find all of my beauty recommendations (based on my own personal experience) from skincare to beauty to hair in TSLL Shop’s ‘Beauty’ boutique. Click here to peruse. But today I wanted to share eight skincare items that I have discovered help keep my skin clean, moisturized and glowing before the make-up goes on.
~UPDATED 3/15/2020: The below items have been updated to reflect what I continue to use and love as well as what I have added or updated.
A few years ago I began applying primer to my skin before applying my make-up. A simple additional step, but one that offered an extra silk-like finish and softening allowing my make-up to work even better. I have been purchasing Colorescience primers (or perfectors as they are called) from Amazon and find that each small dispenser lasts about 2-3 months. While there are many to choose from, I gravitate toward the skin calming perfectors, but have used all of them below at one time or another.
2. Facial Oils and Serums
Every day, twice a day, I apply my preferred serum before my facial moisturizer. Beauty experts have shared both order of application, but this order works for my skin as I feel both are being absorbed and not lost on top of one another.
I have used a handful of oils and serums, but my current and favorite is something I just added last fall. La Mer’s Regenerating Serum, one of their new products is worth its price tag especially since I use it once a day, only 1-2 pumps, and it will last five to six months. Whenever I have run out of or forgotten to use for a couple of days, my skin looks duller and less radiant.
My second favorite oil or serum is Rodin’s Olio Lusso facial oil. While I first began with the oil shared just below from Eminence (which you will see next), when I moved to Bend, I needed to amp it up a little bit more. Each morning, I use 2 drops, massage the oil into my skin, décolletage and neck (front and back) prior to adding my moisturizer. It soothes, repairs and smells fresh. Linda Rodin has a product that is being raved about for a reason, and now she offers a facial oil infused with lavender which I may have to try next time. (Each bottle lasts about 2 months.)
~If you were like me, I was very skeptical about placing oil on my face as I have combination skin and as a teen had to combat acne regularly in my T-zone. While I recommend speaking to an esthetician that knows your skin specifically, I was pleasantly surprised how receptive my skin was to this addition to my skincare routine.
~Linda Rodin, the facial oil’s creator, with her poodle Winks~
If La Mer’s and Rodin’s price points are too much of an investment, you will be quite pleased with Eminence’s Facial Recovery Oil ($100 cheaper). Having used this oil for three years, I have seen immediate positive results as my skin receives the moisture it is seeking and continues to reveal fresh, plump, beautiful skin.
Extremely moisturizing (there are other degrees of moisture available from the brand), this body lotion is my go-to and has been for as long as I can remember. Head-to-toe this lotion goes on immediately after showering and provides the hug my skin needs.
Once introduced to La Roche-Posay, I have not looked back. This French beauty line is high quality and gives results. Their eye cream will pay for itself immediately as your eyes will no longer look tired and the delicate cream will feel as though you’ve kissed the sensitive areas around your eye with just the right amount of moisture.
Okay, I honestly never thought I would use or recommend this product. Again, it wasn’t until I began living in a very, very dry region, that I knew my skin needed something more. I began looking in earnest at all of the recommendations and reasons La Mer’s original cream was so beloved by its users. I scoured the internet, and realized, this cream may be just what I was looking for.
Yes, it is expensive, but in reality, you don’t put a lot on your face. The smallest jar (1 ounce) lasts two months each time I’ve used it, and immediately, the skin I had remembered prior to my move had returned. Truly. Within a few days, the plump, soft, moisturized face I had remembered was back all day. I use the moisturizer twice a day, a small amount goes into my palm, I rub it until it becomes almost translucent, and then I apply to my face, neck and décolletage. There is a reason this product continues to be used and loved. It does what it promises.
6. Facial Cleanser
I have included what I used to use (Cetaphil) and highly recommend for a lower price point, as well as what I currently am using (Caudalíe). Both can be used with Eminence’s Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant, (shown left) as a gentle way of exfoliating every day, once a day by mixing with your cleanser, something that was recommended by my aesthetician and upon using it for two months on a daily basis, she shared with me my skin was much improved as dullness was removed and skin was clearer.
On the other end of the spectrum with regards to prices, is a the most inexpensive beauty item you could use in your daily routine – Cetaphil’s gentle daily facial cleanser. For fewer than $5 this cleanser is what I return to again and again and again. I have strayed from time to time, but find, I always quickly return, as the cleanser is indeed gentle, has a touch of moisture as it doesn’t strip my face and saves me money and does the job of removing my make-up each night. (I do not wash my face in the morning, but rather splash with warm water.)
After reading Ageless Beauty, the French Way by Clémence von Mueffling this past summer, my skincare routine underwent an upgrade. The upgrade included more cleansing, but with gentle and skin tailored cleansers. Based on my skin type and my age (combination, 40s), Caudalíe’s cleansing oil was a wonderful fit. For $28, this bottle has lasted eight months and it’s still not empty. One pump each night combined with my strawberry rhubarb exfoliant, and my skin is rid of the day’s dirt, grim and any other build-up without feeling dry or parched.
7. Micellar Water
In 2017 I was introduced to micellar water. I have been using it to be the second cleanser (after the oil cleanser shared above) ever since. Bioderma’s Micellar Water is my go to as it fairly priced for the amount you receive. An entire 16 ounce bottle will last me at least nine months. Bioderma also has available micellar water wipes which I use for traveling to prevent any spilling in my luggage. Instead of any speciality eye makeup remover, I simply use my micellar water and cotton ball. Read all about my conversion in the post which shared my discovery.
Even though most of the tinted moisturizers and even primers I use have sunscreen, I always wear La Roche-Posay’s 50 spf sunscreen when I know I will be out and about, even if for a short time. It is light and lasts for seemingly ever.
For about 10 years I went without using toner after having used it for my entire young adult life. However, I have returned to using toner, alcohol-free offerings, after reading Ageless Beauty, the French Way (check out episode #258 to discover the reasons for adding toner to your beauty routine). For $20 you will have this bottle of toner from Clarions for an entire year. Yes, I purchased in August 2019 my first bottle and as of March 2020, one third of the bottle remains, and I have used it every day, twice a day. Well worth adding to your routine as it further soothes and prepares your skin to best receive the moisture and serums you will apply.
A simple way to a finishing and refreshing touch to the end of your day or to set your makeup and a touch of moisture without the worry of bothering your make-up is to give yourself a fresh spritz of thermal spring water. I wasn’t so sure about the need myself until, again, reading Ageless Beauty, the French Way. I took their recommendation and purchased Avène’s thermal spring water, and look forward each evening to giving myself a quick spritz after finishing my skincare routine. Absolutely lovely and very inexpensive. My current bottle was purchased in August 2019 and if far from done in March 2020. I have also purchased travel sizes as a way to freshen my makeup and face after long flights and time changes. Certainly a simple luxury to add to your routine.
11. Lip Balm
Last, but certainly not least, is the need to take care of our lips. After trying many different lip balms, Bioderma’s is my absolute favorite. In fact, I have four or five available at any given time so that I do not carry them with me, but instead they stay in one location – home office, bedroom, classroom, purse, etc.. Inexpensive ($4.99) and hydrating with immense comfort.
Our visage is what we greet the world with each day. And while it is indeed our disposition and capabilities that build the relationships we involve ourselves in each day, the face is the first impression. It reveals a tremendous amount about how we take care of ourselves, where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and what we know.
When I look in the mirror, I realize I am not in my twenties, but I know I do not look older than I am. I want my face to reveal subtle truths about my approach to life. I want the viewer I am speaking with to see me, but I don’t want to reveal I did not take advantage of an opportunity to look my best once I knew how to do so.
Taking care of ourselves involves so many different pieces of our lives to be tended to, and yes, that includes our skin. While it certainly involves what we eat, how we think and how we move our bodies, it also depends upon how we protect the delicate layer that encompasses it all.