If there’s one thing I’ve done pretty well with, it’s taking care of my skin. Good genetics has something to do with it, but much of it has to do with my being a total geek about beauty and skin care. The things I do have really worked for my oily skin, particularly my devotion to exfoliating. Still, there are aspects of my routine that can work for many skin types.
I’m a big believer in technology when it comes to skin care. There are some great tools out there that can turn your bathroom into a medi-spa and give you very effective results. I’d much rather buy my own tools and use them regularly than pay $200 a shot at a fancy spa or doctor’s office.
Experts and magazines have been raving about this tool for years, and the hype is REAL. There are some cheaper skin brushes out there but I say accept no imitations. The Clarisonic Aria ($199) has three speeds plus a high and low setting. I think it’s a better value than the Mia because the motor is built for long term use as opposed to travel. I would be perfectly fine traveling with this, anyway. I started with a Clarisonic Plus but I never used the body brush. I much prefer the third speed and the lower price tag.
Microdermabrasion is very effective and the at-home versions work great. I’ve had it done at a spa, and the woman explained that it was like a cat licking your face. A very aggressive cat! Down, kitty! They say that the at-home versions are just the same as the spa, but to me there is no comparison between the suction from spa machines and the hand-held devices available from retail. PMD Personal Microderm is the more well-known tool, but the Riiviva Microderm ($269) is superior in my opinion. The Riiviva uses the same medical-grade diamond tip as professional machines, while the PMD tips are made of plastic. The PMD is still very respectable and you will save about a hundred bucks. Spa treatments are supposed to be done every 2-3 weeks, but the home use tools can be used once a week.
Let me be the next to jump on the natural oils craze. I use a variety of them for skin, hair and nails. They are far more cost effective than getting the latest thing from Sephora and they do great things for your skin and hair. They work wonders for smoothing the skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines.
I love me some grape seed oil. I’ve used several varieties, but Napa Valley Naturals Grape Seed Oil is the richest and darkest. I’m always scoping it out when I go to Marshall’s and grab as many bottles as I can get my hands on. I slather it on every day before I get in the shower, use it in my hair and wash my face with it at night and a bottle will still last me several months.
Organic coconut oil is another goody. You will NOT find a better makeup remover and my gawd, the smell is lovely! I also mix it with grape seed oil to wash my face at night.
Rosehip oil is amazing. It’s packed with Vitamin A (retinol) which is a critical anti-aging ingredient, the Vitamin C helps even the skin and it packs a punch with moisturizing. I must say though, from the smell it’s hard to see how roses and this stuff could come from the same place. Argan Oil is a fine alternative. I’m not a regular with Argan Oil, but I have to say this. Please try some from the health food store or Whole Foods before you run out and buy that crazy-expensive brand for $40. You know the one I’m talking about.
I’m here to preach the gospel of exfoliation. This is a must for cell turnover and skin resurfacing. I’ve had to adjust my methods as my skin has matured, but I am still as fanatical as ever about it.
Clinique exfoliants are still my stand by after years of use. I’ve had to to down shift from the Exfoliating Scrub. It never irritated me but it sure made my skin hella dry. 7 Day Scrub Cream ($19.50) is my new thing and I use it with my Clarisonic.
I like to use a bit of moisturizer to finish my skin care. I need it to compensate for the rigorous exfoliating that I put my skin through.
I’ve been enjoying this Sephora Instant Moisturizer ($12) for a while now. It’s rich and creamy but it doesn’t clog my pores or give me problems.