I’m turning 36 this weekend. We’ve already established that my feet are old, but at some point during the past few years my face was starting to look old too. This is strange to me, because most days I don’t even feel like I’m a grown up. However, my body seems to think otherwise…
Like just about everyone in their 30s, I’ve got some fine lines. Do I love them? No. But I appreciate the fact that my smile lines are a result of 30+ decades of smiling. My hope is to age gracefully, so I’m trying to embrace the lines that keep popping up. (Except for the deep lines between my eyebrows…those suckers are annoying, so I’ve been trying to not furrow my brow as much.) The big problem was that after Eli was born my skin started looking really dull. Add the fact that he didn’t sleep through the night for over two years, and I started to feel like the aging process was speeding up exponentially.
So, about a year ago I decided to invest more time and money into my skin care regimen. Up until that point, I washed my face with Cetafil morning and evening, and slathered on Oil of Olay Complete (with SPF 30) in the mornings. That’s it. I had tried out a couple of nighttime treatments, but hadn’t really stuck with anything. It’s not like upgrading would require too much more time, money, or energy – since I was basically expending none in the first place.
I had two requirements – I didn’t want to the products to cost an arm and a leg, and I wanted them to have a score of 3 or lower on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep product ratings.
I did some research into reasonably priced natural skin care products, got a few recommendations from people whose skin I admire, and went to Whole Foods to check them out. (Whole Foods has fairly regular 25% off skin products sales, and they were delivered straight to my door within 24 hours. Thank you Google Express!)
Here are the products I landed on and the routine I’ve been using for the past year.
Cleanse with Acure Sensitive Facial Cleanser. I usually work out in the mornings (well, lately…), so I need a deeper clean. On the mornings I don’t work out, I’d like to try an oil cleanser. I’ve tried a bunch of the Acure cleansers depending on the season, and I’ve liked them all. I used a moisturizing version during the winter months.
Spritz with the Adalou Naturals Clementine + C Illuminating Toner. I didn’t know if a toner would be worth it, but it takes no time, the bottle has lasted over a year, and it does make me feel more refreshed and like my skin is ready to soak up whatever moisturizer I’m applying after.
Andalou Naturals DIY Booster SPF 30 Facial Serum. I was worried this wouldn’t feel thick enough since it’s technically a serum, not a moisturizer. I was wrong. It takes a bit to soak in, but does a fabulous job moisturizing. I slather this stuff all over my face, neck, chest, and ears.
Acure Eye Cream. I like this one, but I’m thinking about switching to an eye cream with SPF once I’m done with the bottle I have.
Wash with Acure Sensitive Facial Cleanser. I do need to find a better eye makeup remover for the days I actually do up my eyes. The cleansers work fine, but generally leave behind some mascara.
Moisturize with Acure Argan Oil. This is probably my favorite product of all. I like that it only has one ingredient, argan oil, and that it’s completely organic. This stuff gets slathered all over my face, neck, and chest. I’ve used the Josie Maran argan oil in the past, which also does wonders. But the Acure product works just as well, and is less than a quarter of the price. Acure does have other argan oil formulations with anti-aging ingredients I’m interested in trying out.
Once or Twice a Week
Exfoliate! I use this Acure Brightening Facial Scrub, but my daily toner has Vitamin C in it, which is a mild exfoliant. My guess is the increased softness of my skin is largely due to increased exfoliation.
No kidding, after a week of this routine Seth told me that “I had erased Eli off my face.” Ha! I desperately love that child, but he has no business messing up my face. Perhaps the week I started my routine also happened to be when he actually slept through the night…who knows. But I can certainly tell my skin is less dull, the fine lines seem to have plumped up a bit, and my face is much softer than before. I spent around $60 for all of it, and all the products last a long time. The whole routine probably takes about 2 minutes total out of my day. I’d say that’s an overall good investment.
I’d like to add in a mineral based SPF powder so I can reapply sunscreen throughout the day without messing up my makeup. Wait, who am I kidding? I generally just throw on mascara and maybe some blush most days. I like to tell myself I’m making a statement by not acquiescing to society’s unrealistic ideals of female beauty, but if I’m honest, I just don’t want to take the time most mornings. Props to Alicia Keys! I don’t know that I’d have the guts to have millions of people see my face on TV without any makeup. She has amazing skin though. I’m guessing her skin care routine costs more than mine does! (This is a fascinating read about the debate she caused, which isn’t a new one. Worth a few minutes of your time. Maybe while you’re waiting for your toner to dry before applying your lotion?)
A sweet friend of mine just gave me a birthday gift with a few favorite Korean skin care products. I’ve heard great things about them, so I’m excited to try them out! Maybe I’ll be back with a skin care routine update in a couple months…
How about you? Made any upgrades to your skin care routine recently? Have any favorite products to share?