Skincare essentials - updated

I've blogged past skincare and beauty regimes here and here. My favourite products have evolved a little since then, so I thought I'd share my updates. I'm always a little nervous sharing these recommendations; skincare is such a personal thing and there's no "one shoe fits all" rule. A lot of my best recommendations (mostly beauty, but also skincare) have been found in recent years through Lisa Eldridge and I really appreciate that she's so down-to-earth, recommending drugstore finds nearly as often as department store ones.

My other source of amazing recommendations, sound advice and all-round feel good indulgence is a local boutique called Gee Beauty. Between the two, I get a research jumping-off point and some in-person advice and care. I think it's really important to listen to a professional, especially when it comes to concerns like congestion, dryness, pigmentation etc.

But I also pay attention myself, not locking too hard into a rigid regime. Instead, I notice what my skin needs, how it changes day-in, day-out, during my monthly cycle. If it's dry, I switch to a gentler cleanser, ease up on exfoliation, wear a moisturizing mask. If it's congested, I use products Dermalogica products with gentle acids (I don't like anything too "scrubby" and decided against getting Clarisonic after my last post). I also massage my skin daily; a habit I got into when I first started using Eve Lom cleanser. And I've become a big believer in serums; I wear a serum + sunblock during day instead of a moisturizer.

Some notes:
Concerns: I do not have great skin, but I've definitely seen it improve with care. With certain concerns magnified by age, I'm also really trying to take care of myself. Recently, that has meant a few trips to the dermatologist and a beefed-up SPF regimen. My skin is pale, but pinkish rather than porcelain, and now prone to pigmentation. It can be both oily and dry and I sometimes get hormonal break-outs. My face also "caves in" when I'm tired, with my eyes hallowing and my skin leached of any colour - grey almost. I wear make-up, of course, so that helps. But I prefer for make-up to be playful rather than necessary.

Scent: The products I use are more dermatological. I used to use skin creams with the texture of souffle and the scent of roses but it was obvious the formulations were designed to be sensual rather than effective. My picks may not as "pretty", but I favour performance. Still, I know from reading reviews that some people find the smells off-putting. Sunday Riley Good Genes, for example, smells like Refresher chews (which I happen to love). And Skinceuticals Ploretin CF, smells metallic, like copper.

Price: I haven't tallied the cost of all these products, but I know my regime isn't cheap. Some products I use more often than others. I've had my Eve Lom cleanser for over a year now and it's still half full. I use it only when my skin feels really dehydrated and drawn so its value is spread out over a long time. But, honestly, it's more than that: I've spent so much money over the years that I'm really more interested in using the right products that perform for me. These are just worth it to me.

The products:
Cleaners: Bioderma Sensibio (a very gentle make-up remover, including waterproof make-up - I always remove make-up with this and then cleanse, effectively double-cleansing). Dermalogica skin-resurfacing cleanser (an exfoliating, deep cleanser with Lactic Acid for aging skin prone to congestion). Eve Lom cleanser (the most gentle and decadent cleansing ritual of all).

A.M.: Sunday Riley Start Over (eye cream, a.m. and p.m.), Skinceuticals Phloretin CF (a protective and defensive serum), Institut Esthederm Photo Reverse (sun block designed to address existing pigmentation while preventing new - I believe it prevents new brown spots forming, but it hasn't reversed existing for me).

P.M.: Sunday Riley Start Over (eye cream, a.m. and p.m.), Sara Happ Lip Slip (I use this all day, but really love to apply some at bedtime. I was never loyal to a lip balm before this one), Sunday Riley Good Genes (serum; my newest addiction).

Specialty: Dermalogica creme exfoliant (more of mask, no scrubby bits - full of Lactic acid), Dermalogica overnight clearing gel (my break-out remedy), Kiehl's Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating mask (for when I'm especially dry), Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque (really deep cleaning traditional clay mask).

I know I included beauty in the last versions of this post (I could share separately if you're interested?) but there was so much to say in this post, I thought I'd better limit it to skincare. But for past beauty recommendations, see those two older posts here and here.
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