Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Skincare Plan That Works

For the past 13 years, I've stuck to the same routine for cleaning my skin before hitting the sack. I've added in a few products over the years, but the base products (cleanser, moisturizer) still remain and I've even stayed loyal to one brand for the most part. My skin? Dry, dry, dry. Living at a high elevation sucks the moisture right out. I don't break out very often save for the occasional zit. So, my main focus lies in moisturizing. 

Lately, I've been straying from my brand-of-choice and trying out some different products. Mainly because I get a samples through work here and there and, what can I say, free product is free product. Some I love while others leave my skin peeling or stinging. So, in preparation for the wedding, I'm going to keep it simple and head back to my staple brand for most everything. 

You're wondering what brand that is, aren't you? Let me break it down for you.

My fountain of youth: H2O+. Their sea-derived skincare products are gentle and natural. While not drugstore-priced, they aren't the most expensive out there and you get a fair amount for your money. Plus, they last a long time--sometimes it takes me six months to get through a product.

Step 1: Make-up Remover

My one rule for make-up remover: no oil. I can't stand having greasy eyes. Thus, I opt for No Miss No Tears Eye Make-Up Remover ($8 for 8 fl. oz.), sold at Whole Foods stores. From the "healthy alternative products" nail company No Miss, this remover is thorough (gets everything) but is meant for sensitive skin with ingredients like soapwart extract.

No Miss No Tears Eye Make-Up Remover

Step 2: Cleansing

I've been using H2O+ Marine Cleansing Gel ($20 for 5.7 fl. oz.) forever. It's gentle, has softening microbeads, and boasts ingredients like sea fennel, sea lettuce, acacia, and wakame. 

Today, I went to the store and the saleswoman suggested I try the Waterwhite Brightening Cleansing Mousse. You get more for your money--7.5 ounces for $25--and it only takes one pump for a face-full of suds. It's algae-filled ingredient list is supposedly good for removing make-up and bringing out your skin's natural radiance.

Step 3: Toning

When my wallet is hurting, H2O+'s Marine Toner does a really good job ($16 for 8 fl. oz.) but if I'm feeling indulgent, I love holistic skincare-maker Dr. Hauschka's Facial Toner ($35 for 3.4 fl. oz.). It feels really refreshing to spray this directly onto your skin and when you wipe it off, you can see it removing dirt and make-up. This herbal concoction contains Anthyllis and witch hazel.

Dr. Hauschka's Facial Toner

Step 4: Moisturizing

On a budget? H2O+'s Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment ($34 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is a little sticky for my taste, but gets the job done. 

H2O+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment

If your skin is a desert, like mine, get Lierac's Hydra-Chrono Extreme Balm for Dehydrated Skin ($50 for 1.4 fl. oz.). It's amazing. It feels silky, smells great, and keeps my skin hydrated through the night. They make four levels of this (Extreme Balm is the most moisturizing, then Intense Cream, Comfort Cream, and finally, Refreshing Fluid) so if you live somewhere with humidity, you can get one that coordinates with your skin.

 Lierac Hydra-Chrono Extreme Balm for Dehydrated Skin

For pure skin bliss (I mean the feeling of supple, supple skin), check out Caudalie's Vinoperfect Night Correcting Cream ($68 for 1 oz.). If I could afford this ever, I'd stock my cabinet. It's the best moisturizing cream on the planet (thus the price tag). They also make a day version with SPF 15. Both feature extracts of grapevines, camomile, Shea butter, sweet orange, and tangerine.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Night Correcting Cream

Step 5: Eye Cream

I've tried quite a few brands lately and most of them are too strong. I wake up in the morning to peeling skin around my eyes. The one that works? H2O+ Sea Results Eye Mender Plus ($36 for .5 fl. oz.), made from arnica and green tea extract. It's so gentle but definitely minimizes dark circles and puffiness, but it's expensive. The best way to get this? As a sample when you purchase something else--it almost always inevitably comes with your purchase if you buy online.

H2O+ Sea Results Eye Mender Plus

And that's it. Yep, it takes long enough for Mr. Cowboy Boot to complain on a nightly basis but for good skin, it's worth it. 

What are your skin secrets? Any brands you stand by?

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