We have received the message, loud and clear, in peri -menopause and beyond, our skin is going to suffer. Bidding farewell to our monthly friend just means welcoming a few more mean girls to the sorority –the first “bitch” is declining estrogen and dryness is her stock in trade. Everyone’s skin reacts differently to the estrogen nosedive, but there are many ways to fight back.
The winter months are when we are most likely to actually feel and witness the effects of dryness, so now is the perfect time to understand the basics of hydration and reconsider our skincare regimes. Our skin is like a reservoir for water, the deeper layers hold on to the greatest percentage of water, the water is always moving to the surface and constantly evaporating due to a dry climate or our inability to hold on to the moisture. This is where the “care” part of skincare comes in. If we want healthier, dewier, plumper, skin then we have to work smarter to maintain hydration.
No matter what any one says or posts on YouTube, there are no magic bullets and the regimen choices can be mind-numbing but after trial, error, discussion, dissection, and some success, following are our best practices for taking the high road to brighter, healthier skin.
*Yes, you do need to wash your face every morning.
Even if you did a great job of double cleansing your face the night before, you still need to cleanse again in the morning (but not in the shower where the water is too hot and too strong.) Use an oil or balm based cleanser which will eventually reduce the amount of water that evaporates from the skin. Or if oil residue isn’t your thing, a gentle cream or foam cleaner will also do the job. Once cleansed, you face is now a more perfect palate for all the goodness that follows. We like to get our vitamins in first and give them a minute or two to sink in before following up with moisturizers and sunscreen.
- Apply serums/vitamins
“Yes, you do need to spend five minutes at your sink.”
Regarding the double cleansing conundrum; once is fine but twice is better, especially if you are playing by the rules and using sunscreen. Sunscreens are formulated to be water resistant, you must use an oil or balm to really remove them and eye make up can be stubborn too. We love the Eve Lom washcloths for the first cleanse and a lot of warm splashes of water for the second. If you need some extra eye make up remover, nothing we have ever found works as well as pads from Serge Lutens (We cut them in half to save the expense.)
You wouldn’t go to sleep without brushing your teeth, so just plan an extra few minutes at the sink to prep your skin for what comes next.
Removing the top layers of skin encourages skin cell turnover (out with the old, in with the new.) This is easily accomplished in a few ways, but every doctor we have consulted suggests that a retinoid be part of everyone’s regime. Retin A and its milder cousin Renova do the trick but some people find it too irritating. Liquid options are great and we swear by Biologique Recherche P1970, if you can take the smell. Twice a week, we like to exfoliate with a gentle grainy scrub and so a few of those are listed too. Moisturize with a serum, DNA repair cream, natural oil or old-school rich crème for your face, neck and décolleté. Add an eye cream if you choose.
- Cleanse and remove makeup
- Cleanse again
- Exfoliate or tone
- Apply serum/vitamins
Truly clean skin is the best vehicle for vitamins and moisture –it is like the icing on the cake. You wouldn’t bake a three-layer cake and forgo the icing, would you?
Following are our best bets. Being overwhelmed by your routine is not ever a good idea so we also paring down what sits on your sink so that it features only what you have chosen to use for the next months. In other words, pick and stick, and give your skin time to adjust – unless you react badly to something…. then we suggest cut and run because the cure for healthy skin does not include misery – only hope. Hope that we can put our best face forward and that it is wearing a smile.