Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let's Talk About Skincare (Part 1)

The Basics

A little history behind my obsession with skincare:

My skin is oily and I've had issues with breakouts since I was 13. My teenage years were spent using tubes of "Oxy" 10% benzoyl peroxide acne treatment. That's all that was on the market when the dinosaurs ruled the earth at that time. Little did I know....I am very sensitive to benzoyl peroxide, and it can actually make my break outs worse. 

As a teenager, I'd spend my summers tanning to "dry out" the pimples. In the winter, I'd pack on more makeup than Christina Aguilera to cover up the massive breakouts. Sounds sexxah, huh?

I found a wonderful dermatologist in my early 20s that educated me about acne and how it's related to hormones, cell turnover, and even diet. He also encouraged me to start an anti-aging regime, even though I wasn't "old". 

I won't go into all the acne meds I've taken through the years, but I will say that I've used some form of retinoid (Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Tazorac, etc.) for 20 years now. If you have the time, do a little research on retinoids and their ability to build collagen. Prescription strength retinoids are truly the gold standard in anti-aging.

If you  haven't started snoring yet have read this far, 
here's "The Basics of my skincare routine:

  • Cleanser:  Clarisonic Brush with Johnson's Baby Shampoo. I started using baby shampoo on my face after I asked a ageless and gorgeous 60-year-old woman what products she used. She told me she'd been using baby shampoo on her skin for 40 years. SOLD. I alternate using Johnson's with MD Forte Facial Cleanser. This stuff is strong. It's 20% glycolic compound, so you have to work up to it. I put it on my dry skin, let sit for a minute or so, then add water and cleanse. 
  • Serum:  Skinceuticals Phloretin CF Broad Spectrum Treatment. I could talk about free radicals all day, but I won't bore you. This serum compound contains vitamin C and phloretin and has changed my skin tone dramatically. It's not cheap, but my bottle has lasted almost a year.
  • Treatment: Dermaquest Skin Therapy Peptide Mobilizer . Also pricey, but you can find coupons online all the time or even try eBay. My esthetician told me about this product. They don't even sell it at the salon, so I know her endorsement was not sales-based. I've read a lot about the use of peptides in tissue regeneration and its ability to reverse sun damage and aging. I rotate this treatment with MD Forte Facial Lotion III (30% glycolic acid).
  • Protect: John Masters Organics SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen . I recently started using this sunscreen because it contains no dimethicone or parabens. So far I like it pretty well. It does feel and look like sunscreen when you first put it on, but it absorbs pretty quickly. My choice in the summer is Neutrogena-Spectrum + Advanced Sunblock Lotion SPF 100 +. You can tell by the "100+", mama don't mess around.
  • Cleanser: Lazy nights- Neutrogena Make-up Cleansing Towelettes Refill. If I'm too tired to do the whole skincare routine, I use these wipes. These wipes don't burn my eyes, and they thoroughly remove all my makeup. Don't buy the ones in the box. They're more expensive, and yeah, they're more expensive.                                                                             Non-lazy nights- University Medical Acne-Free Oil Free Purifying Cleanser on the Clarisonic brush. I can't tolerate benzoyl peroxide lotion on my skin, but do really well with this cleanser. I tried Proactive products in the past, and didn't like them at all. This cleanser keeps my pores clean and isn't irritating.
  • Treatment: I alternate 2 products at night. There's no rhyme or reason. I usually use what's in close proximity.  Most often I use Retin-A Micro pump in 0.1%. As you may know, this is available by prescription only.  The second treatment I use is also doctor prescribed--Evoclin foam. This is a topical antibiotic (clindamycin) that I've had success with in the past year. 
There you have basic skincare routine. It may seem a little complicated, but essentially it involves cleansing plus 3 quick products in the morning, and cleansing plus 1 product at night. For only a few minutes 2x a day, you can make a big difference in your skin.  


  1. I use Retin-A Micro as well! Only 2 times per week though because it will dry out my skin. That and Differin were my life savers.

  2. I have super oily skin also and my dermatologist told me that i should be thankful b/c oily skin tends to not get wrinkles like dry skin or even normal skin.

  3. Yay! A skin care routine for the exact same skin as mine! And I know about hitting puberty hard...I was the same way when I was younger. Thank you for this!

  4. My skin is a complete disaster after three weeks of flying, not enough water, and dining out. I spent the morning reaquainting myself with my Kate Somerville book.

  5. amazing post. perfectly written. So happy I found your blog. I'm a new follower, I hope you will as well. I started my blog a little over a month ago. It's all about celebrity fashion from the point of view of an LA stylist. Stop by to see multiple post a day on all the latest celebrity fashion news and check out pictures from the fall/winter preview I attended yesterday in Beverly Hills. xoxo. Would love your support. xoxo