Monday, August 2, 2021

my current skincare routine for mid-30s skin

I have shared my skincare routines over the years (2016 at age 28, 2018 at age 30) and I think the latest change to my skincare regimine is reflected of where I'm at in my mid 30s as a mother to two young children - quick and easy, gets results, and prevents future problems. I have dry skin that needs moisture. The acne I was dealing with for years is now kept at bay, but instead now we are dealing with fine lines. The addition of several key lotions and potions have made a huge difference in my skin though, and I'm so happy about where we are at. 

As a disclaimer, I did get 3 sessions of microneedling done back in 2016-2018 that helped with some acne scarring, and I get botox about twice a year, although with my pregnancies, I haven't really had much botox in the last 3 years. I also get a small amount of filler in my tear troughs every two years as I have had basically hollowed eye sockets since childhood. I think while those things helped target specific concerns that skin care can't fix, but the daily skin care routines make such difference in how your overall skin looks and feels. I'm at such a good place with how I feel about my skin that I don't wear anything on my skin other than some concealer and setting powder - I no longer wear any foundation or even a CC cream unless it's a special occasion. So here's my current routine, and why having a "less is more" approach is working for me now!

AM //
I don't used a cleanser in the morning, I just wash my face with water and then pat dry. Then I use

Vitamin C serum: Probably the biggest game changer for me has been adding vitamin C serums to my routine. I've tried several, I used BeautyPie's vitamin C ampules for several years until finally splurging on the SkinCeuticals version last month (it's the most hyped and recommended Vitamin C serum I've seen). It's been proven to help reduce free radical damage, and improve fine lines and overall brightness. I've definitely noticed a huge difference in the brightness of my skin with consistent Vitamin C use over the last three years. One big thing to note is that the stability of Vitamin C isn't great, so not all Vitamin C serums are created equal but I think all provide a benefit. As with most skin care, this is something you have to use daily and for a while until you see a difference, but with consistent use, you will get amazing results. As the SkinCeuticals serum is pricy (the priciest skin care item I've ever purchased), here's a post about dupes to the skinceuticals serum - I've always had great success with Paula's Choice so their Vitamin C serum would be my recommendation. If you aren't using a Vitamin C serum yet, I highly recommend adding one. 

Moisturizer: Like I said, I have dry skin, and have been very loyal to Belif's moisture bomb for years now. It's a medium thick cream, so it's great for daily morning use - provides enough moisture but doesn't turn you into an oil slick (I save that for night time!). Love love love. 

Sunscreen: Some years ago, I read that the best anti-aging cream you can buy is sunscreen and that somehow blew my mind but also makes sense. I've been consistently using daily facial sunscreen since my mid 20s and I like to think it's what keeps me looking so youthful ;) (...that, and the fact that I worked 60-80s hours a week and never saw the sun....). Something I didn't learn until recently though is that you're supposed to put your sunscreen on last in your routine! I'm currently using up my first bottle of SuperGoop's Glow Screen, which I quite enjoy as it leaves you all dewy and young looking. Next up I'm going to try EltaMD's sunscreen though, because it's again one that comes highly recommended my the dermatologists I follow. In the past I've also really liked Paula's Choice sunscreen, if you're looking for another price point. 

PM //

Cleanser: I can't find any make-up remover/cleanser as much as I love the Glossier cleanser. With just three pumps of the cleanser, I can take off all my make up without needing two different cleansers or separate make up remover. I've tried a bunch of others in the past, and always come back to this as it's so easy and works so well. If you're lazy, and don't wear a ton of face make up, this is a great option for you to remove your make up and cleanse your skin.  

Retinol: The other "must have" item that is always recommended to use is a type of retinol. From my basic non-dermatologist understanding, retinols are typically purchased over the counter and tretinoin is a prescription. I was prescribed a tretionoin cream by my dermatologist about six years ago, but as I moved several times, and couldn't make it to an actual dermatologist's office (plus most had a 6 month wait list), I started using Dear Brightly. You have an online consultation with a derm (including sending pictures of your skin), and they send you prescription retinol. I love this version of retinol because it is formulated with hyaluronic acid, so I haven't experienced as much of the dryness I did with Retin-A Micro. As I've been a long term retinol user now, I use a stronger strength (0.1%). Not ready to get a prescription tretinoin cream? There are tons of over the counter retinol products in almost every price range, but if you are looking for the biggest change, I'd recommend an Rx, from either your local dermatologist (the generic creams are really not that expensive, as long as your get the generic versions!) or if you can't make it to in person dermatology appointment soon, try an online version like Dear Brightly. Start off slow with a lower concentration, make sure your skin is all the way dry when applying, and make sure you use a moisturizer. 

Moisturizer: At night I like to go a bit heavier on the moisturizing. I'm still loving Vanicream for the days I use my tretinoin cream, and on days I don't use it, I like to use the traditional Nivea cream. I love how thick it goes on, and how soft my skin is in the morning! 

Ointment: This CeraVe ointment has been a recent find (I think I saw it on a TikTok in a video about "slugging") and went out to buy it the next day. I've tried lots of different face oils to help trap in moisture, but this takes it to the next level. I smear it all over my face and I look a little ridiculous because of how greasy I look, but my skin is so so soft  the next day. If you have oily skin, this is not the cream for you, but if you have drier skin like I, don't walk. 

In addition, I also apply this hair strengthening serum in hopes that my postpartum hair loss won't be as bad, and then put my hair in a low pony with a silk hair tie - I have had such bad breakage around the level I wear a messy bun that I'm really trying to break that habit, and have found that this really helps. I also use Lash Boost every other day to keep my eyelashes long and full. 

So that's my quick and dirty skincare routine. It's not 12 steps, but that's why it works for me and the current state of my skin! I'd like to add back a mask or two when I take a bath, so if you have any current loves, I'd love to hear about them!