7.15.2010

The Neverending Skin Story II

I thought I had it all figured out when I talked about products for the late-20-something in Skin Story last year, but alas, all is never well in the beauty/skincare world. Since then, I have changed up my skincare routine considerably. I've never been one to use too many products but for the last 6 to 8 months, I've found a couple of products/techniques that have kept my face remarkably clearer than usual. The essentials of what has been working for me thus far:

1) My Non-Cleansing Cleansing - My hands-off approach to cleansing still involves a few products, but I don't use them regularly and because I don't wear much makeup on a daily basis, I can get away with it. In the cleanser rotation, I have 4 very gentle products:

- Pure jojoba oil (Desert Essences brand) - To gently cleanse (Oil Cleansing Method) every couple of weeks. Also use to remove eyeliner or mascara.
- St. Ive's Apricot Scrub - To exfoliate once a week (no more).
- Burt's Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Cleansing Cream - To use once in a while or about once a week because it feels refreshing and soothing, especially during summer. This made it onto my list of Things I Bought That I Continue To Love.
- Avene Soap-Free Emollient Cleansing Bar - Use about 1-2 times a week just for gentle cleansing.

With minimal use, these 4 work for me namely because they cleanse and exfoliate gently. If I had to pare this down, it would be the Avene cleansing bar and the St. Ive's scrub.

2) My Special Pomegranate Green Tea Non-Toner Toner - I think used an astringent when I was like 14, and last year, I discovered Dickenson's witch hazel. I don't even bother with that anymore, because I still find it drying. Instead, I brewed 2 parts Bigelow Green Tea (Pomegranate flavor, and widely available), mixed it 1 part rose water (Dabur, an Indian brand but also widely available), and put it in an empty squirt bottle from the drugstore. Voila, instant "toner." I don't use this every time I wash my face, but it removes any makeup if I've been wearing more than usual and it is a refreshing and quick pick-me-up for your face. Plus, it is completely natural and cost me practically nothing.

3) Moisturizer - Day or night, it is no-frills Nivea Soft moisturizer for me. This tub is sort of the younger woman's Pond's Cold Cream, and a much lighter version of both that and the original, blue-tin Nivea cream. Nivea Soft is non-greasy but completely moisturizing, and I use it day and night. I have no problems with it. The soft, whipped texture might be comparable to Pond's Extra Dry Skin Cold Cream (although far less greasy) and the First Aid Beauty creams (from what I've read online).

Optional:

4) Sunscreen - I've tried a couple of SPF-moisturizers (Biore and L'Oreal) that I liked and one that didn't work for me (Eucerin), but now prefer the combination of a regular, simple moisturizer like Nivea Soft and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock-SPF 55. This is largely because the Neutrogena is a great value - higher SPF, great formula, and better performance than the standard SPF-moisturizer.

I had searched high and low for a good SPF-moisturizer that is also a good value, but at nearly $16 for a small amount (1.5 oz), the Biore didn't seem worth it, and the L'Oreal is only SPF 15 (not a major fault, but I thought I could do better). The Neutrogena is about $11 for a huge tube (3.0 oz) of SPF 55, and works just fine with a regular moisturizer or even alone. The truly non-greasy and "dry-touch" formula actually seems to make my skin smoother with an almost primer-like effect. For once, I agree with everything the tube states - "lightweight clean feel," "fast-absorbing," "leaves skin soft and smooth," "waterproof." It should also include "Leaves no embarrassing white cast." Most importantly, it really seems to work in terms of its SPF properties - if this means anything, I've been walking to and from work everyday in the relentless NYC heat, and have just a touch of warmth to my skin and not a crazy tan (sorry, I admit that I don't like getting tanned, and since it's not great for your skin anyway, I'll continue to avoid it). Love it.

3 comments:

Tanveer Parmar said...

Even I quite like Neutrogena's SPF 55 sunscreen. It gives good protection & never feels greasy :)

Suman said...

Glad you agree, Tanveer. I wish more people knew about this sunscreen - we should spread the love.

Bigelow said...

We love your idea for using Bigelow's Green Tea with Pomegranate (and rose water) as a toner! Your skin must look and feel clean and natural! Thanks for sharing your "secret."
-Deb for Bigelow Tea

 
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