I did a lot (A LOT) of research on choosing the right products for my age and choosing products that aren't full of chemicals that are expensive and do nothing. (Don't waste money on stuff that won't work or that you don't need yet in your 20s- also I hate being tricked) The products I chose have ingredients that have been tested multiple times in double or triple blind randomized controlled trials in the literature that was not payed for by the companies making the products (if that means anything to you, you biostatistics nerds). I think it's fun doing this type of consumer research - that's why I spent so much time doing it. It's also tricky because some companies don't have "enough" of these active ingredients to actually be beneficial, like if they put .000001% in it or something.
I never believe claims I see on fancy expensive beauty products without reading the ingredient list and dissecting each individual ingredient. For example, if I see a silicone chemical as one of the top five ingredients on the label then no thanks. It's a cheap easy way to fill in fine lines but I don't think it's so that great for your overall health of your skin (I can write a different post about that) and companies can overprice it if you don't know what you're doing as a consumer.
<<if you click on the pictures they are less blurry - idk why it's like this>>
Every night I wash my face with this soap found at Target, Walmart, or drugstore. Every 2-3 nights I'll use the Clarisonic (Got it last year, used it wrong so I hated it, now I love it) with this head (nonirritating and soft). The Vanicream soap is a very gentle cleanser with great make-up removing power.
You will need some sort of moisturizer after cleansing to replenish that oil you scrubbed off (if you don't your body will over produce oil and you could get pimples) - I use a moisturizer with antioxidants described below.
Thirty minutes after I wash I'll put on Tretinoin Cream (generic for Retin-A) (this is for my acne, I've been using it off and on for a year or two ...but I also use it for slowing my wrinkle fine line progression). I'll put this on now every 2-3 nights. You can read more about the many benefits of this ingredient from a dermatologist here. It's basically magic for the skin but if not used correctly (or wrong concentration doses at prescription strength) it can cause a lot of irritation. So put it on at night and WAIT 30 min after washing to prevent red irritation - you will hate it if you don't wait.
My Tretinoin Cream is from a prescription, but over the counter retinol options exist at drug stores. It definitely doesn't need to be expensive like so many are. (I like the prescription because it's regulated and I know exactly what's in it -- it was less than $20 with my insurance) I'm sure you could ask your doctor about it at your next annual physical exam to see what she or he thinks if you are interested.
Serum or Moisturizer with antioxidants - very important!
Antioxidants go around and stop the things causing damage to your body (free radicals) from causing any damage. On your face, the damage will eventually equal wrinkles, sagging skin, brown spots years down the road. They aren't miracle workers, but if you just find a moisturizer that has them in it - you can kill two birds with one stone and delay some of that damage by stopping some of the causes in their tracks. They're proven to work and MANY products contain antioxidants.
Antioxidants you might see on products: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Green Tea, beta carotene, CoQ etc.
They are also in vegetables and berries - go make a smoothie.
Don't get tricked: packaging of antioxidants is important for them to remain active. They are inactivated by light and by air. So don't buy them in a "tub" or "jar", buy them in a container with a pump and something that isn't see-through or clear. Numerous studies have proven this as true, don't waste your money buying the "antioxidants" if they won't work!
The serum that's transformed my skin to whiter, brighter, clearer, NO DRY, and glowy-er skin is the Chanel Hydra Beauty MicroSerum loved by me for its hydration + antioxidants + anti inflammatory (for the pink tint I used to always have to cover with makeup). It will last 5-6 months at 1-2 pumps per day if you are skeptical about the value. (I got it January and it was half gone at the beginning of April) It smells like heaven and Chanel's main claim is that it's immensely hydrating. When you put it on you definitely notice it plumps your fine lines and feels like a baby, especially when you wake up in the morning! I only use it at night, it claims to last 24 hours and I agree it does. I love it! (No antiaging - I think it's great for your twenties if you have DRY skin - it may make oily skin pimple-y I've read reviews of that.)
This serum I use is see through (which I said is bad)...I store it in the box and in a drawer in my nightstand and only take it out at night when it's dark. .
Science: The studies I found through Pubmed of the 2-3 main ingredients in that Chanel product show that they bind matrix malleoproteinases, are antioxidants, stimulate collagen production, decrease inflammation by decreasing production of TNF-alpha, inhibit COX1 and 2, inhibit iNOS and NO mediated inflammation response, inhibit excess melanin production, suppress free radical generation, anticarcinogenic (ginger), sodium hyaluronate (for moisture and it has better skin availability than hyaluronic acid).
(Jake likes this antioxidant/sunscreen/moisturizer every morning )
I have been using this Citrix Vitamin C antioxidant eye cream nightly for about 5 months. Eye cream in general is controversial amongst the experts (some say use your face cream on your eyes and that it doesn't matter, others disagree). This one has Vit C and green tea (antioxidants) and then is a nice moisturizer. It doesn't have anti-wrinkle or anything - if you are older then 30 (35?) you may want something with more ingredients. If you're younger this works great.
I put some sort of extra moisture around my mouth in the morning and night to keep it moisturized and slow down these from forming. I use regular lotion or that Nivea Cream in the picture.
Bonus - Moisture Mask
I bought that Peter Thomas Roth Blue Marine Algea mask last winter(?) for dryness with some Sephora credit and still use occasionally. It has some good antioxidants and the seaweed is a nice barrier to keep moisture in for a long time. It has ingredients "scavenged from Arctic Glatial Ice" -- whatever that means. I'm pretty sure all of PTR's masks are great. I haven't needed to use it much since my new skin care routine fixed all my dry problems though. I like it on Sunday nights the most after a long weekend.
In summary: wash daily, moisturize daily, antioxidant daily + morning sunscreen daily
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