On Skincare


I don’t claim to be an expert on anything in life – I’m only passionately curious about almost everything. Still, there are some areas where I’ve spent enough time dwelling that I can confidently say I know enough to share a few pearls of wisdom. Skincare is one of those areas. I was blessed with acne as an adolescent. I call this a blessing because the embarrassment of feeling like you are always standing out (and not in a good way) during those fragile years caused me to become extremely vigilant about taking care of my skin. My forehead was covered in bumps and scars and redness for many, many years, but its been almost perfectly clear for the last ten or so. It’s not perfect – I have baby lines developing around my eyes and my allergies cause the skin around my nose and under my eyes to become puffy quite frequently – but as far as blemishes are concerned, those are a thing of the past. Ok, pearls of wisdom:

1) Say no to face makeup.

Unless I’m going on a date with a guy I really, really like or it’s Saturday night and I’m going out on the town, I don’t wear face makeup. This goes back to my teenage years when I was so petrified of clogging my pores that I would cringe anytime anything was being put on my skin. So I got into the habit of putting nothing on my skin. And I have to say it’s my favorite habit! I feel like I’m doing my skin a huge favor by letting it breathe.

2) Water. Lots of it.

I saw a nutritionist years ago who told me I was supposed to drink half my body weight in ounces of water every day. The easiest way to do this is by giving up other beverages. That way when you’re thirsty, you only have one option – water. Also, when I was gainfully employed, I always had a huge bottle right next to my keyboard – it gave me something to do when I was bored.

3) Stay away from products with a lot of chemicals.

I’m not an expert here and I won’t claim to use only all-natural or organic products. But I do try to avoid products that have an ingredient list reminiscent of high school chemistry. I’ve been faithful to Origins and Aveeno for years. I also just discovered the Grown Alchemist, which is awesome.

4) Retinol.

Like most women my age, I’m terrified of aging and wrinkles. I’m always reading about new anti-aging technology and products and the truth is the sheer volume of information out there is overwhelming and it’s hard to know what is true and what isn’t. The one thing I’ve read over and over, though, is how amazing retinol is. Apparently, retinol interrupts the free radical damage process that causes your skin to look older.  I get mine prescription strength from the dermatologist, but you can find it over-the-counter as well.

5) Peels.

I’m new to peels, but I just started using the Dr. Gross Alpha Beta peel and I love it. It is supposed to have anti-aging benefits, but in truth, I just like the way it leaves me skin feeling after I’ve used it.

6) Face Oil.

This one took some time for me. I have fairly oil skin so it seemed counterintuitive to put oil on my skin. But actually, for reasons I can’t explain, it leaves me skin less oily. Again, I use Dr. Gross, which contains Vitamin-D and leave my skin moisturized, but not oily.

7) Facial Scrub.

I’ve tried many facial scrubs over the years, but for the last few, I’ve been faithful to Kiehl’s Facial Fuel, which is actually a product marketed towards men. I happened upon it in my ex-boyfriend’s shower (when he was still my boyfriend). I knew I was addicted when I found myself showering in his bathroom more often than my own (we had separate bathrooms).

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