Joining the skincare cult
Ashamedly and because I’ve thought there were better things to do with my time, I’ve never spent much time focusing on skincare. In fact, I blogged / bragged (blagged??) about that back in 2015. Ahh, the innocence and ignorance of youth. Now that I’m in my mid-30s (god that feels weird to type) and my skin has decided to wave the white flag and start showing the ravages of time, I’ve realized - oh hey it is okay to pay a little bit more attention to yourself and take care of your skin. I have dark spots and syringoma around my eyes, which is caused by benign growth in sweat glands and is more commonly occurring in Asian women. The syringoma is permanent - no amount of lasering or removal will last and they’ll just come back so that’s fun. I have one persistent dark spot that I can’t seem to clear up with the vitamin C serum so I’m looking for something that can tackle that. I’d love to hear any recommendations from you all on things that you all use or find effective. I could spend months digging into skincare forums on reddit or reading reviews of products but TLDR and once folks start talking about ingredients, my eyes glaze over.
Even in middle age, I am not one of those who has a seven step morning skincare routine and still don’t spend more than five minutes on it. But there are things that I’ve found effective and affordable that do make a discernible difference.
Instead of washing my face, I use these facial wipes from Yes To (hint, order a bulk pack on Amazon. Cheaper than picking them up individually at Target). After cleaning my face, I apply three drops of this vitamin C serum. I haven’t noticed any reduction in hyper-pigmentation however I have noticed less breakouts and clearer skin. I’ve never used any of the fancier (read more expensive) vitamin C serums so I can’t comment on whether or not this one is better or worse. It is $17 though and that’s enough for me to keep using it. After the serum is absorbed, I apply Farmacy Green Screen SPF 30 sunscreen and that’s it. I really like this sunscreen - I’ve used this SPF out in the Texas sun and haven’t ever burned. It has no scent (bonus) and also lasts throughout the day. I’m not a makeup wearer, nor have I ever been, so I can’t comment on how the SPF layers with makeup. I used to use the Glossier Invisible Shield SPF 35 but that one smelled more like pool sunscreen and didn't seem to be as effective. Way back when, I used Boscia sunscreen but they no longer make the product that I used.
In the evenings, I wash my face in the shower with Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser. Don't worry, it doesn't smell like Greek yogurt nor is it as thick. The scent is quite mild as well as the face wash. I used to use this First Aid Beauty one and it was more harsh than the Korres. It took about a week for my skin to adapt to the Korres face wash and my face feels less dry after I wash it and doesn’t have that strong chemical scent. I have this Binchotan charcoal face scrub towel for exfoliation. You can throw it into the washing machine so the towel should actually last you quite awhile. After the shower, I apply this COSRX snail mucin as a moisturizer and BOOM, I’m done.
Other than that daily routine, I’ll do a weekly sheet mask - so far I’ve really enjoyed the ones from Tony Moly and they’re actually large enough to cover Bryan’s big face as well. With some of the Korean sheet masks, he had to tear the eye holes so they would lie flat on his face.
I’d like to think that as we age, we get less focused on the superficial but this feels different than superficiality and more like self maintenance. Coming to terms with spending time and money on yourself, god forbid, is a work in progress for me. We won’t blink at coughing up $200 a month for horse shoes or buying a special spray for mane and tail but a $50+ skin care product feels like a luxury. It's okay to take care of yourself, inside and out, and okay to put yourself first as a priority every once in awhile.