Sharing my current favorites in medical grade skin care! I may have the upper hand being a skin care nurse on all the science behind this stuff, but I promise to break it down so it makes sense as to why your face should be something you invest in.
It’s never, and I mean NEVER, too early to start with good skin care. That being said, it’s also not too late. If you have a pulse, get yourself some eye cream girlfriend. People have often commented I look years younger than I am. And even though I am still young, I believe its partially from how well I care for my skin. It doesn’t matter if right now all you do it let the water hit your face in the shower, there is hope for you. I, too, was once a bar soap to the face kind-of-girl. However, these days I would rather someone beat me with a pillowcase full of soap bars (name that movie) than wash with bar soap.
First things first: Cleanse. Without a clean pallet to begin with, nothing else is going to penetrate the skin as it should. My current obsession is Skin Ceuticals Simply Clean cleanser (Not pictured). It removes makeup well and leaves me feeling clean and refreshed.
Next….one of my most favorite products I have ever used. I will be long gone petting a stuffed cat in the nursing home before they take my Vitamin C serum away from me. Skin Ceuticals Phloretin CF is my favorite Vitamin C serum and is always rated number #1 in articles I read. So, what is vitamin C? Well the quick answer… it’s a powerhouse serum that protects your face against the environment. It also promotes cellular turnover, fades hyper-pigmentation, brightens the skin, and the list goes on. One thing to take note of is that there are two kinds of Vitamin C serums from Skin Ceuticals. The one that I use, and is linked above, is for combination to oily skin. It’s called CE Ferulic, and it’s for more dry skin. I know these are not cheap, but they are worth every penny.
Quit facts on Vitamin C serum:
- Vitamin C is applied only in the morning
- Only 1% of the Vitamin C we ingest into the gut makes it to the bodies largest organ (Your skin!!)
- Not all Vitamin C serums are created equal. Skin Ceuticals has formulated their Vitamin C serums as a stabilized L-Ascorbic acid serum. (That is fancy for saying your skin will know what to do with this stuff and will actually be able to use it.)
Next up, moisturizers that aren’t just moisturizers. They are the Holy Grail of moisturizers and I have both because, well, I am a product fein.
Lets start with Skin Ceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 , its a lightweight moisturizer made with amazing ingredients like Niacinamide to keep your face looking and feeling flawless. Its lightweight emulsion delivers serious hydration to protect the skins barrier. Makeup will go on just fine over this because of how thin and emollient it is. It’s also packed with peptides to help fight aging. Win-Win. I find that two pumps is enough for my face and neck. (Don’t forget to treat your neck, you don’t want a firm face and turkey gobbler for a neck.)
Another favorite moisturizer that even my dry skin gals love is the ZO Medical Daily Power Defense. Still light enough for even an oily gal like me to use (one pump goes a long way) but hydrating enough to really feel like your face has had a drink of hydration. The patented ingredient in this called Matrixyl 3000 is what makes this product unique. It’s a powerful blend of peptides that specializes in firming the face. It’s packed with goodies to defend your skin against those free radicals trying to come toss pennies into your fountain of youth.
Both of these moisturizers last me about 4 months and I use them once or twice a day.
If you ever had a crush on JTT, if N’sync and Backstreet boys were in your walkman, or if you had NKOTB slippers….girls….the time has arrived. These products above need to be your tribe of anti-aging products.
First let’s start with eye creams.
Skin Ceuticals A.G.E.Eye Complex is ideal for dark circles and puffiness. Packed with peptides but also caffeine, helping to stimulate the eye area and reduce the unwanted raccoon eyes that have formed darker with each child who refuses to sleep at night. This product is actually a pretty pearly white color, helping to reflect light away from the dark circles. A tiny bit (seriously) goes a long way. The blueberry extract in this eye cream also aids in boosting the skins elasticity and reduces crows feet. I really love this eye cream because it does such a great job covering the fact that its been almost a decade since I had a decent nights sleep.
Obagi is the king of medial skin care, and this eye cream is no less. The Elastiderm eye serum is one of many amazing products that comes from the Obagi family. The reason I am bringing light to this one in particular is that recently they just rolled out (no pun intended) this product in a roller ball option! I have found it to be a great product for tightening the skin around the eye, upper and lower! It also contains caffeine as well to help with dark circles.
Next is what I call the Super Model cream. If you have ever heard Christie Brinkley, Faith Hill or any other mega beauty queens out there spill their beans on the secrets of aging so well, they will always tell you this: Retinol. There are many species of this product. All are forms of Vitamin A, aiding in speeding up the cellular turnover rate. As we age our skin gets lazy at making new, high quality, skin cells. Over time skin gets rough and saggy (attractive visual) and unless we keep the skin what I like to call “active”, we will notice that we are mere produce wilting away. (Please know I am laughing while writing this, have some humor peeps!) All of that being said, not all forms of Vitamin A are created equal. If this post teaches you anything today I hope you learn that quality surpasses all when it comes to good skin care. Good skin care requires a routine and it is an investment. Investing in a good retinol or tretinoin (only available by prescription) is actually more cost effective in the long run. Why? Because of the way it’s delivered and broken down at the cellular level inside the skin. I have chosen to highlight the non-prescription Retinol that I have found is more gentle to the skin than the prescription kind of Tretinioins, especially on younger or sensitive skin. I am currently using mine 3-4 nights a week and haven’t had a single problem. I started twice a week until I knew it wasn’t going to leave me peeling and red. I will eventually work up to using it every night.
Quick tips with Retinol:
- Night time use only
- Work your way up slowly (in strength as well as frequency)
- Sometimes there is an acclimation period for your skin, hang in there
And, if you are still reading this (bless your heart), let me tell you about the most important product that has ever touched my face. SPF. I am 100% serious that without adequate SPF use you are damaging your skin and really risking your skins health. Skin cancer is so serious, just ask the nearly 10,000 people that die from melanoma each year. So with that said let me go all Mom on you for a moment and also say you should see a dermatologist every single year (or as often as recommended by your provider) and wear sunscreen not only on your face but your entire body. Nobody looks cool tan in a casket. Did you know that Bob Marley died of Melanoma?! All skin types, all shades, should be wearing adequate SPF. And I never leave my house without my SPF 50. Not only because I know that the sun will age your face faster than anything else, but because skin cancer is real, and I don’t want it. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing an SPF of 30 or higher. The one I have linked is Obagi’s SPF 50 Matte finish, meaning it won’t leave you looking shiny and I find it wears so well under my makeup. There are many tinted options available as well.
I truly hope that the last couple hours of me sitting here typing this up and pounding your brains full of nerdy skin care information has been helpful to someone. I love answering skin care questions. The good news is if you are local to Cincinnati, I work for the most awesome Plastic Surgeon in the city! We offer all of these products in the office, as well as other skin care services that I will cover in another post. Feel free to email me for more information.