Ladies, I think I've found it - a winning formula for fighting wrinkles and feeling better about growing older. I'm happy to say that with age has come a little wisdom and I'd like to share what's working for me. My ablutions (love that word) have never been simpler, and I no longer have a drawer full of products to dig through. Yay!
But before I open my box of goodies, here are a few guidelines:
So, without further ado, (drum roll please) the winners are:
Derma E Pycnogenol Sensitive Skin has been my go-to face cleanser for many years. The upside is that it's very gentle. The downside is that it's very gentle! For this reason, you may need to do a double wash (or use a wet washcloth) if you're wearing heavier makeup. Another good choice (sold at most drug stores) is CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. There's a foaming cleanser too - but I'm suspicious of anything that foams! Always remove makeup and go to bed with a clean face, but a simple splash with water is all you need in the morning.
DeVita Moisture Rich or CeraVe PM are both incredibly gentle. Neither contains a sunscreen, which should always be worn during the day. Dermatologists advise an spf of 30 or more if spending more than a little time outside. Apply sunscreen after moisturizer, and if you're using a serum, this goes on before your moisturizer.
Colorescience has an array of sun protection products. All are tinted and go on beautifully. Choose from a primer, or something from the Sunforgettable line (which includes a handy powder with spf). I love the whipped mineral sunscreen which has an spf of 30. If you want to splurge, Even Up works as a primer, a sunscreen, and a foundation - which helps justify the hefty price tag. When it comes to your neck, you may not want to go too far down with a tinted sunscreen as it can transfer onto your clothing. So, to keep your lower neck and upper chest protected, I'd recommend Mychelle Sun Shield 28, Unscented. Be sure to use a moisturizer first, so it blends in nicely.
Untinted products with zinc oxide can leave you looking ghostly, but if you're not obsessed with using a 100% chemical-free sunscreen, Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer for sensitive skin looks good under makeup and is reasonably priced.
A retinoid product is your best bet (short of surgery) to fight against wrinkles and aging. Retinoids come in several strengths: start with the weakest (0.25%) and only use once a week or every other day until your skin adjusts. Just use at night time and apply after your moisturizer if you have super-sensitive skin. Your complexion may look worse and peel like crazy before getting better but hang in there as it'll be worth it in the end. Skin Medica Retinol Complex is a worthy splurge for a proven-effective ingredient. For a great tutorial on different retinoids, I recommend watching this video from Hot and Flashy.
Alpha hydroxy acids have proven to be very effective exfoliators, but they don't always play nicely with sensitive skin. Because they don't have the 'wow' effect of a retinoid product, I've stayed away from them. However, there is a newer, milder exfoliator called polyhydroxy acid which my skin loves. Clinique's Turnaround Accelerated Renewal Serum contains this ingredient, and it really does leave your skin velvety smooth.
Don't forget to indulge in a little pampering too: Take that meditation class; enroll in yoga, or just take a relaxing bath. If you like to spend time in the tub, try having a honey facial at the same time. To do this, just spread a generous blob of raw or Manuka honey on your face and leave on for about 30 minutes. It's a wonderful moisturizer, gentle exfoliant, and can even promote collagen building.
And that's it! I've found that if I'm eating healthily, drinking lots of water, and getting a good night’s sleep, I can get away with wearing a minimum amount of makeup (Powder and blush from Gabrielle Cosmetics).
In a nutshell, I'm so grateful to have reached the ripe (not old) age of 57. Yes, we may have been cuter in our twenties and thirties, but I like what goes on in my mind so much better now! I'm never going to love crows feet, age spots, and all the other "interesting" things that pop up. However, having a lifetime of experiences to draw upon, finding happiness in the simple things, and not worrying so much about what people think of me... well that looks pretty darn good too. So embrace this next chapter of your life - wrinkles and all.
* Skinmedica and Colorescience products are available at some spas and physicians offices. Derma E, Devita, and Mychelle can be found in many health food stores, and Clinique is sold at Ulta and most department stores. If you're having trouble finding anything, please check the website links below to buy online.
Derma E sensitive skin cleanser with pycnogenol
Devita evening rich nutritional moisturizer
Colorescience skin perfectors
Colorescience store locator
Mychelle sun shield spf 28 unscented
Skinmedica Retinol Complex
Skinmedica store locator
Clinique turnaround accelerated renewal serum