Going Back to Basics: Skincare

28 May

Twice a year when the seasons change, my skin becomes problematic. I get dehydrated oily skin – an oxymoron, for sure, but a seasonal menace. Some years I break out, but this year it materialized in the form of dry patches. No amount of scrubbing or chemical exfoliation worked – I just get drier and *gasp* scalier. Even my winter skin saviour, Kiehl’s PCA Oil-Free Moisturizer was no match – I still ended up dry and flaky by the middle of the day. No amount of Dior/Shiseido/Lancome/Estee/Guerlain could save me. You can’t combat it by fighting with extreme measures, kind of like if you have oily skin and use a harsh alcohol based toner to dry it out, it will wreak havoc on your skin – your skin will produce more oil, but your epidermis will be dry and well, frankly it’ll be a mess. Sloughing on a heavy moisturizer like anything by Guerlain won’t work – it’ll just make me break out, and I’ll still be dry. My new Nars skincare regimen didn’t help, and was probably partially to blame. I should have stuck with the Aesop line as it kept my skin healthy and balanced, but with the state that my face is in now, I’ll have to take other drastic measures.

It’s time to go easy on the skin. Whether this is due to seasonal or hormonal changes, like one of those Cosmo makeunders, I have to make under my skincare. Take away all the fancy cleaners, toners, creams etc. No more fragrances, AHAs, chemicals and what not. It’s time to go back to the basics.

Johnson & Johnson’s Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash – I know the most popular non-irritating cleanser out there is Cetaphil, but I’ve always felt that it never left my face clean. You can’t find this in Canada (I don’t think), but head down to Target or Walgreens. The big size is less than $10 so it’s super affordable. Cleansers shouldn’t be expensive – they should be gentle and leave your face clean. Besides, it’s never on your face long enough for any of the claims to work and that’s why the investment should be in the serum and/or cream. Ivanka Trump swears by this, and believe me this is a great basic no-nonsense cleanser.  If you’re going to do any at home scrubs, this is a great base.

Linacare Transforming Face Cream – For serious skincare, I never go to a department store or Sephora. For the serious stuff, I walk into a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon’s office and see what they have on the shelves. They carefully pick out a few lines and products that work and may recommend the pricier stuff, (always do your own research though), but it’s better than trying a lot of products till you find something that works. Linacare was developed by a Harvard-trained research scientist/physician for his own patients (for eczema, dry skin due to diabetes, postpartum, chemotherapy and radiation) until the word got out that it works. It doesn’t claim anything miraculous, but it does what it claims to do – it moisturizes, and it does it VERY well without the heaviness. It’s very La Mer, but it’s more affordable and made in Canada. $25-$58 cdn, retailers in Canada and HK or buy online.

Aquaphor –  Does this product even need an introduction? It has a cult following larger than Rosebud Salve‘s, and may rival L’oreal’s Elnett Hairspray (European formula). It’s in every makeup artist’s arsenal, been mentioned in countless fashion and beauty magazines, a staple at any Fashion Week but it’s still a beauty secret. As the ‘duct tape’ of beauty products, followers have claimed that it makes your eyelashes grow longer, it helps the healing of tattoos and burns, prevents chafing, can be mixed with loose mineral eyeshadows to make a cream e/s, used as a face highlighter, for the prevention of stretch marks, as a makeup remover and it’s been used for everything from as an itch reliever to eye cream. It does what it does – it moisturizes, and I use it on the drier flaky patches on my face and sometimes as a hydrating masque. I applied a very thin layer of the Healing Ointment all over my face today under foundation and powder and it gave me a beautiful dewy glow. It never became oily and I still haven’t broken out *knock on wood* and it may be a suitable primer replacement for those colder and drier months.  People are always finding new uses for this versatile product. Most recently reported in the In Style Magazine June 2010 issue, Beyonce uses Aquaphor over makeup for that dewy look, as lip gloss and to slick back her hair. Enough said.

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