Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mommy's Skin Knows Best

As I mentioned in my very first post, my obsession with skincare is genetic. My grandmother, to this day, loves a skin cream, yet even way back when was skeptical of companies' claims. 

My grandfather was a very prudish man, and fathered prudish children, so my mother was shocked when in her twenties, Bábi told her, "All those fragrances and advertising they do, it's just to make the cream sexy." 

I fell over when Ma told me that one. I didn't even know Bábi had heard the word before. But she was right to be suspicious; in the end only a few ingredients have been proven to reverse damage (more on that later). 

In any case, I emulated Ma when it came to a skin routine. Her counter was always littered with jars and bottles. She washes off her Face at night (although she usually lets mascara and eyeshadow accumulate). She applies RoC every evening. My sister who was never as interested in skincare has now observed, "Ma, you don't have wrinkles!" (Pooh pooh)

But surprisingly enough, it would seem that once I was the learner, now I am the master. Ma is always happy to hear something new, and thanks to my internet research and keeping my ears open I am able to explain to her in what sequence products should be applied, which anti-aging ingredient is better than another, what she should use for her dry skin compared to my combination. 

My nighttime routine takes longer than hers. She is certainly happy about that, although she can't believe I'm so diligent. 

Elizabeth Dosoretz observed how her young boy was excited to go to Grandma's house because her skin is soft and she smells good. Apparently her mother has begged her for years to take up a skin routine, but she has never bothered.

While I am still in my 20s, I can say starting a skin routine now will certainly pay off later on. Damage can accumulate, and suddenly one day you will look in the mirror and see it, whereas now it is below the surface. Protection and maintenance will do wonders down the road; plastic surgery rarely looks natural, so please don't rely on it. 

The biggest rule? SPF. Every. Single. Day. You don't have to wear makeup, but many cosmetics has SPF built in. Sun is the primary cause of skin damage, and shielding skin will prevent that. (Just make sure that oxybenzone isn't an ingredient; there's been some chatter that it can be carcinogenic.)
Regarding anti-aging, only two ingredients matter: AHA and retinol. It doesn't have to be insanely expensive, or come in great packaging, or be recommended by a celebrity. Only those two ingredients have been proven to actually work. Apply them at night, since they can make skin sensitive, and retinol, unless formulated otherwise, will degrade in sunlight.
Along with washing your face daily, you should be good to go.
Take the long view, and check out your mother's skin. Either you want yours to look the same, or not.
Plan accordingly.  


Anonymous said...

Hat. Whenever possible.

Even the best products in the world have an easier time shielding your skin from radiation you're not exposed to. Also, unless you wear sunblock on the parting in your hair (often greasy and unpleasant looking...) you're asking for sunburn there which looks horrifically like dandruff.

Sunglasses. A lot of wrinkles around the eyes are mechanical (i.e. caused by habits like squinting) and can be prevented by *not* squinting in the glare, additionally the glasses provide an extra layer of protection for extremely delicate skin.

Princess Lea said...

I love hats but they murder my hair. After years of wearing them in the sun I gave up, but then I am barely in the sun as it is.

I became a serious sunglasses shopper. I make sure the sides are wide to shield my eyes even more from the sun. The eyes themselves, not just skin, is susceptible to sun damage, so they better be a must for everyone! I got a prescription pair that I never leave home without.

FrumGeek said...

What is so bad about looking a little older? People respect you more, and sometimes old can be a good look for you.

Princess Lea said...

Um, you obviously have never seen my great-aunts' "road map" faces.

Wrinkles don't equal automatic respect. Makeup, on the other hand . . .

Tovah said...

Do you have to get a prescription from the dermatologist for AHA or retinol? If not, which are the products you would recommend? Sorry to put you on the spot, but, AFTER ALL, THIS IS IMPORTANT!

Princess Lea said...

Tova: I have two posts on the subject.



In there I list all my favorite products. Hopefully the links are still good, but the products themselves are very much available.

Hope you like the awesome creams!

PremonitionsofanAfterthought said...

Hi Leia-
I know this comment is on an old post but I wanted to put it in an appropriate place- as a diligent reader of your blog and long time "take decent care of her skin" gal- I enjoyed the above post. I'm now almost 26 and washing daily and eucerin no longer seem to cut it. Do you have any specific (not too pricey- as in no more than 28 bucks) anti-aging night creams you recommend? I went to the drugstore armed with your recommendation "only retinol and AHA are proven anti-aging ingredients" and lo and behold could not find either in ANY of the anti-aging night creams on display! Some guidance o'wise beauty blogger? LOL thanks!

Princess Lea said...

First things first, since it makes a difference: how would you categorize your skin: oily, dry, or combination?

PremonitionsofanAfterthought said...

Hola- thanks for your response! combination Id say- kinda oily on my nose and chin but dry everywhere else.

Princess Lea said...

OK, combination: oily t-zone (chin and forehead, or just nose?) and dry elsewhere.

Since you are mostly dry-skinned, you don't have to worry (the way I do) with comedogenic products.

Roc (available in the drugstore) is a retinol cream, and highly loved.

As for AHA, you may want to work your way up gradually. It can be harsh unless you adapt your skin to higher and higher concentrations. On this post I list all of my favorite AHAs.

Also check out an eye cream. "They" like Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream.

Hope this helps!

Sunshine Dreamer said...

Thank you! Yes it helps a lot- my forehead is indeed dry- so it's T zone minus the horizontal line (I zone?) :-) thanks also for the eye cream team- i took some pictures recently- oy two Macy bags hanging out there!

Toda Raba!

Sunshine Dreamer said...

Quick product question- ( sanks in advance!) which Roc cream do you have in mind? Do you mean the "RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream"
or a more general cold cream? (The Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream looks a little harsh so I was just curious)

Princess Lea said...

Yup, that's the one I mean.

Not a general cold cream; that is strictly for removing makeup, I think.

If you find it too harsh, first apply a moiturizer like Cetaphil's (they make a lotion as well as a cleanser), then apply the Roc on top. Your forehead is dry too, which is great, since mine freaks if I put a smidge more moisturizer on there.

Sunshine Dreamer said...

Thank you so much- :-)