My face has been in a strange rut recently, and I think I’ve chalked it down to two main problems: overusing products, and obstinately trying to make the wrong ones work.
The first is fairly straightforward. When you’re not as advanced in age and layer on a rich anti-ageing essence (Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Oil in Essence – divine, smells very sophisticated, but ultimately a bit too much when layered), a Vitamin C serum (IDS C Plus – I’m not seeing any real benefits on the hydration or brightening fronts), Clinique’s Repairwear Uplifting Firming Cream (mostly good on moisture but a little too thick and presented no real lifting), followed by Origins’ Youth Renewing Face Oil. The oil I’m particularly sad about because while it does make my skin soft and hydrated, the morning after is usually a tiny bit ruddier and red.
Anyway, the solution was thusly to cut back to the bare basics.
That is, dutiful and thorough cleansing followed by a straightforward return of hydration and a small smattering of actives. That meant throwing out things that weren’t working. So the Clinique and Origins were going – if they weren’t doing anything for clear, bright, plump and happy skin they’re not worth the effort to make work. Which solves my second problem!
I’ve rejigged the whole process down to:
Cleansing with Alpha-H’s Balancing Cleanser coupled with their Gentle Daily Exfoliant . The cleanser on its own is a simple milky affair that just feels like a tiny step up above Cetaphil. Mixed in with the exfoliant though, it becomes a more effective and gritty thing. Not bad, but I’m mostly working to finish this then look for something that will blow me away.
(I have my eyes set on something like the Fresh Soy cleanser or something milky. French pharmacy perhaps?)
Acid exfoliations, if ever, with my trusty Somme Institute Transport Pads. I can’t believe I haven’t finished my tube of it yet, but no complaints.
I start hydration with Somme Institute’s Serum. It’s apparently chock full of Vitamin C (which I firmly believe is a very of-the-moment ingredient, but I’m getting quite bored). It stinks a little of vinegar, but spreads cool and easily and pats into the skin very quickly, leaving a slightly sticky film. It does its thing well, ie. reparative and lightly lifting darkness.
On top of that sticky film, I rub in a tiny pea-sized amount of Omorovicza’s Blue Diamond Super Cream all over my face. And I say tiny and pea-sized to emphasise how little I’m using. This stuff is preposterously pricey and meant for people, say, two to three times my age. Used not too liberally, though, and I really get what I want – soft, hydrated, healthy, and happy skin.
Funnily enough, after working through a glut of products for work’s sake, I’ve settled back into a less-is-more approach. I’ve gotten quite immune to the FOMO of products – the Ordinary’s low prices didn’t even sway me!
But what I’m getting at is that perhaps we take our skincare neuroses down a notch. I certainly feel happier now that I don’t scream at tubs of product when they’re clogging me up.