Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Saving my skin: My guide to skincare

I'm lucky enough to have inherited my beautiful mother's skin, if not her looks. In fact both my parents won the genetic lottery and, now that they are in their sixties, still look ten years younger.

It also helps that I am very fair, so Muv stuck me under parasols, smothered me in sun block and taught me never, never to go in the direct sun (altho she bastes herself in Lancaster sun oil and fries. It's so unfair: she never burns & has no melanoma or wrinkles. I just do not understand it.)

I had perfect skin as a teenager, but developed late onset acne around 27 which, combined with my inherited rosacea meant I went overnight from sleeping in what little make up I wore, to meticulously looking after my skin. (Working at Vague House didn't help either: I felt like I wanted to walk around with a paper bag over my head.)

I dealt with the acne by having monthly massage & dermabrasion from Vaishaly Patel who kindly gave this impoverished fashion editor a hefty discount and using Farmacia's Tea Tree Soothing Cream (sadly discontinued). I still have to be careful as my skin flares up from time to time: I tried out some retinol capsules from Philosophy the other day and started work with a rash across my cheeks.

When I'm not covered in red blotches, I'm always being asked how I look after my face and so I thought that for my final blog post (!), I'd give you the full rundown.

The last thing difficult skin needs is residue left on the skin or harsh strippers, so the traditional cream cleanser & toner route is out. I use Shiseido's extremely gentle Power of Silk exfoliating puff ($10)in the shower, followed by Laura Mercier Purifying Oil Rich in the winter and the Light in the summer. ($40)I recommend oils as they dissolve build up while replenishing the essential emollients needed to maintain a healthy lipid barrier. Afterwards I use Laura Mercier
Perfecting Water Light
($38.00)to temporarily over-hydrate the skin, & help the penetration of my moisturiser.

Then in winter I use Hakansson's The Moisturizer ($48)(& if it' sreally cold & windy their Oil($51) too), then all year round I use La Roche Posay's FDA approved Anthelios SX Daily Use Moisturiser with SPF15, which protects against UVA & UVB. ($29)

In the evening I useBioderma Crealine/Sensibio H2O Cleansing Solution ($15.69) (£7.95)This buffered cleansing water is an extremely effective, residue-free, make-up remover that doesn't strip the skin like toners do. It's incredibly cheap - a bottle lasts six months or so.

Then I slap onBoots No7 Refine & Rewind Intense Perfecting Serum UK£16.75 US$21.99 at Target and follow up with a facial massage with
C Through The Night paraben free Night Cream by
Yes to Carrots. ($14.99)It's just about to launch in the UK & I love it. It leaves my skin incredibly, silkily soft. Containing vitamins and minerals with juices from the "orange color" product group and Dead Sea Mud, it claims to have anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties, & uses beta-carotene to aid repairing sun and pollutant damage to the skin.

I've got here by trial & error: most of the products above have been sent to me to try by various PRs and, considering the volume of stuff I receive, something really has to stand out for me to actually go out & replace it. Best of all, this routine takes seconds as I am extremely lazy & just can't be bothered faffing around in the bathrom with hundreds of unguents.