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Back in the Jazz Age, there was a common term for an old woman trying to look young: face stretcher. It’s still appropriate today, when so many women undergo cosmetic surgery in an attempt to retain their lost youth. Instead, they all look the same: plastic, artificial, boring.
I can’t believe how many women undergo harsh chemical facial peels. You can tell, too–their skin looks artificially smooth, shiny and even a little too pink.
Aging naturally and gracefully seems to me a better option, and skin-care is a important aspect of aging well. There are so many services and products that can help today, and in the interest of showing that it’s not always necessary to get harsh chemical peels to have smooth, glowing skin.It’s never too early to start, either, so this is also for young women.
I used to get facials every so often, but since my skin is basically good, there’s nothing an esthetician can do for me that I can’t do at home. And I’ve gotten pretty good at staving off the kind of skin that screams “I’m a senior citizen!” This month, several friends asked me what I do for my skin. I love to share, so here goes:
Philosophy’s Purity is the gentlest, most effective facial cleanser I’ve found. It’s got sage, chamomile and carrot, but without any obvious scent. I use a nickel-sized squeeze and a soft wash cloth to exfoliate. If you want to spend less, Cetaphil is just as gentle and can be found at Costco or any drugstore. My big bottle of Purity is running low so I just bought a Cetaphil duo at Costco.
I’m on the fence about toners. I know they’re supposed to restore skin’s pH balance and all, but I only rarely use one. I’d be open to suggestions for a gentle toner for sensitive, dry skin.
Here is a peel-off face mask I do weekly at home by Boscia. It’s a great skin refresher and leaves my face smooth with a natural glow. However, layer on more than you think you need in order to get a good fingerhold to peel it off (especially at the edges). Otherwise, it’s hard to remove. Peel slowly, especially if you have sensitive skin, and take seriously warnings to keep the mask away from the tissue-thin eye area.
Lancome really should pay me for the number of people I’ve turned on to Genifique serum. I’ve used it since it first came on the market. Apply the serum underneath moisturizer on clean skin. It has definitely improved the quality of my skin. I put a 7-day supply in the goody bag I gave the women friends who came to my big birthday weekend and several purchased it afterwards. Worth the price. I’ve blogged about it before, HERE.
After my Genifique serum dries, in about a minute or two, I use a rich, emollient moisturizer, because my skin has become much drier now that I am older. For the past year, I’ve used a L’Occitane moisturizer. Its dense, creamy consistency is perfect for dry skin (or for people who are outside in the cold). It absorbs quickly and leaves skin soft and supple. Not every complexion can take this kind of dense formula, so try it out in the store. I like the unscented version. They have another kind that is supposedly richer (and more expensive), but it has a scent and I’m funny about scents. No reason to switch, as the one I use is working fine.
Let’s talk lips. Chapstick’s green tea product is great and cost effective. I haven’t tried Nivea’s lip care products, but they get GREAT reviews and they’re also inexpensive. But: I love the rich balms I’ve been given in airplane toiletry kits on overseas flights. What? In AIRPLANE kits?
The last few business class trips I’ve taken featured two different lip balms that I love love love: Acca Kappa (hard to find) and L’Occitane, which can be found at its stores. Digging my fingers into a pot is messy, so I like the stick balms and keep one in my purse and on my bedside table at all times. I apply it all day long. These brands are pricey in stores, though, so I was happy to see that there are cheaper alternatives that are just as effective.
And while we’re on the subject of L’Occitane, here’s the most fantastic hand cream ever. It comes in various scents, but I like the unscented shea butter version. L’Occitane also offers an unscented body lotion I love. After applying, I usually spray my favorite scent over my skin. Voila! Scented moisturizer!
Can we talk scent? Some time around menopause, most scents began to annoy me: spicy, woodsy, floral–ugh. I can only tolerate fruity or vanilla smells, which means I usually smell like a 14-year-old. So the selections above are all unscented and I hope they stay that way.
Of course, in the way of the world, because these are all products I love, they’ll probably be discontinued.
So, what are your go-to products?