05 February 2014

Winter skin care routine

Dear readers, it snowed again yesterday. I know you’d prefer that I not complain, but when my evening includes thousands of tiny ice crystal daggers flying horizontally at high speeds to assault my face while I slip and slide through unplowed drifts, I’m inclined to be a little grumpy about it.

This unprecedentedly cold winter could be wreaking havoc on my skin. COULD be. But it’s not! It nearly did, because until recently, my skin care routine went as follows:

1) Wash face while bathing in the morning.
2) Apply moisturizer and makeup.
3) Repeat following morning.

Yup. I didn’t wash my face at night. And while many people’s skin might be oil-slick gross with that kind of treatment, mine was just... old and blah. See, if I over-wash it or give it too much attention, it usually responds by breaking out into zits and drying into scaly patches, just to show me how pissed off it is. But this was way too far in the other direction.

Three things made me switch up my skin care routine recently. First, the shame I felt when reading this Advice Smackdown that emphasizes the importance removing makeup at night (I mean, duh, but reading someone else admitting their secret shame was three-days-of-mascara-crusted-eye-opening). Second, the enormous sty I discovered on the corner of my upper eyelid, the day after reading that article, which was absolutely caused by not removing my makeup daily. And third: the weather. The awful, drying, raw feeling of the aforementioned ice daggers that left my face crying for moisture, and not the accumulated-makeup-sludge that I was pretending was keeping my skin happy.

So! I’m happy to report that now, I have a more involved skin care routine that’s standing up to these ridiculously frequent Midwestern snowstorms. And as it’s almost entirely drugstore-based products, you can adopt it readily and fairly cheaply. Let’s start with the nighttime care:

Almay eye makeup remover

I found this at Target (with different packaging, but presumably the same product). Nothing fancy, just something to abate the raccoon eyes that I’d let build up for days.

I’ve had this for awhile, but now I’m using it daily. No more gross eyes for me!

Cetaphil face wash

I’ve already told you how I converted to Cetaphil face wash (NOT store-brand knockoff Cetaphil) to keep my skin and pocketbook happy.

Now, I’m using this at night to get makeup off my face. I use it after the eye makeup remover, so I can get any residual eye-makeup-remover-sludge off my eyes for the night.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream

This is a recent addition, which I purchased after reading that thirty-somethings really need to add retinol moisturizer into their skincare routine. As I will soon be not just thirty, but a thirty-something, I added this with trepidation. Fortunately, it’s been super gentle and my skin hasn’t turned red and angry since I’ve started using it!

I use this stuff mostly as a less-expensive eye cream (read why you don’t need a “real” eye cream), but I also add it to my forehead and around my mouth. Apparently an overly expressive face = lots of frown and smile lines.

Oil of Olay Age-Defying Daily Renewal Cream (Classic)

This was another new addition. I wanted to get something more heavy-duty for winter than my usual Hope in a Jar (see below), but it wasn’t really that much more emollient. But that’s ok, because if I’m moisturizing my face twice a day, I really don’t want to use twice as much of the pricey stuff!

Basically, this kept my skin from drying out after I washed it and didn’t feel greasy or break my skin out. Keeping my sensitive skin happy is a tall order when I add a new product, so a non-result actually means this is a fantastic product.

And now for the morning routine:

NOT washing my face

It doesn’t need it. Over-washing = over-drying. I just splash hot water on my face in the bath and rub with my fingers to slough off what little oil accumulated overnight (virtually none).

Philosophy Hope in a Jar moisturizer

Oh, my love. My darling.

You know I love me some Hope in a Jar! I couldn’t go all-Olay, but using the pricey stuff only in the morning has been a nice compromise. This is the only item you can’t get at Target, but you can find at Sephora and elsewhere.

Oh, and you may be wondering about adding moisturizer-on-moisturizer without washing in between, but I assure you, morning moisture is a must. Just the hot water is more than enough to dry out my face.

CG Smoothers BB cream

Apparently, on the other side of the world, BB creams are used as a sort of all-in-one moisturizer, sunscreen, and foundation with all sorts of special skincare properties. American versions aren’t that fancy. I just use it as a tinted sunscreen.

I don’t need foundation all over my face, but I always used it all over because of the built-in sunscreen. This stuff is more sheer, and I can layer on foundation over it where I need it. Sunscreen is essential since I’m outdoors daily walking to and from work, but this stuff doesn’t look greasy like the sunscreen you wear to the beach. And importantly: it doesn’t make my skin freak out!

I wish I had some incredible before-and-after photos for you, but the fact is... my face looks basically the same (minus that grody sty, I guess). Still, considering that it looks the same with SO much more daily abuse in this winter weather, that’s saying something!

How’s about you, dear readers? Any winter skincare tips?


Mary Beth said...

I've heard so many good things about that Hope in a Jar. I'm going to need to look into that. And I use the store brand knock-off Cetaphil face wash and moisturizer. I just assumed it was exactly the same ... hmm.