Sunday, May 4, 2008

Skincare 101, updated

This is a long one. Brace yourself.

I've nestled into a really great skincare routine lately. One product I've been using for several months is something that I'm a little reticent to rave about. It absolutely deserves a rave, but it goes against a lot of the things I've learned about skincare and it took *me* a while to accept it, so I wonder how my faithful readers will take to it.

It's Jojoba Oil. Yes, on the face. Yes, rubbing oil onto your face. As a cleanser. Years ago I was told by a dermatologist to never use products with oil on my face, so the thought of putting pure oil on my face...well, it had me nervous to say the least. But when I read about it, and really put some thought into it, I decided to give it a try. The idea is that oil helps to attract and whisk away oil, without upsetting the natural balance of your skin. So much of the "oil-controlling" crap that we put on our faces actually makes our skin dry, and therefore it will create more oil to compensate. The oil cleansing method is supposed to gently restore your skin's suppleness and doesn't leave you greasy at all, which is sort of counter-intuitive but I assure you, it works.

Even on the first day, it *felt* right. It felt wonderful to massage it into my skin, and I noticed improvement in the texture of my skin immediately. I used it for a month, and the results were quite good. Then I got a little freaked and stopped for a few weeks. That was a mistake. I realized that using the jojoba oil as a cleanser really was making my skin soft and smooth and luminous. So now I'm hooked. I do it every morning, and I follow-up with a small dab of gentle cleanser to emulsify the oil and wash it away. I don't really need to use a cleanser afterward, because the oil itself is the cleanser. I guess a small part of me is still nervous about not getting it washed off completely. 

I use Desert Essence Organic Jojoba Oil, about $10-$15 for a bottle that will last a long time.

The other two products I've been using have reached holy grail status quite quickly:

The first is Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream. This cream was listed in Paula Begoun's media list for 2008, and got huge rave reviews from women online. I am never convinced about a product even when it has great reviews, but this one won me over completely after the first week of use. I use it at night after cleansing. It's a retinol cream, but unlike other retinols, it's so gentle and doesn't irritate me at all, but has helped to make my skin smooth and shrink pores.

The second is actually a product meant for psoriasis, Dermarest's Medicated Skin Treatment. I don't have psoriasis, but I decided to give it a try because it's really just a 3% salicylic acid BHA product and a lot cheaper than most BHA's, which tend to come in small bottles marked as "spot treatment" and cost an arm and a leg when you're using it all over your face. In case you haven't read my previous posts, BHA's are really just made of aspirin (salicylic acid) that penetrates the skin to exfoliate gently and remove dead skin cells. There are oodles of BHA's out there, some have inactive ingredients or formulas that make them worthless. This particular formulation is a gel consistency and I really love how it penetrates quickly but is easy to spread. It contains anti-redness ingredients too, which aren't necessary for me but certainly haven't hurt. This is by far the best BHA I have ever used, and I can't get over how huge the bottle is for only $10. I found it at my local CVS.

So to sum things up, here's what I'm using on my face:

Gentle Cleanser
Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream

Jojoba Oil, rubbed on face and left on for a few minutes
Small dab of gentle cleanser to remove oil
Dermarest's Medicated Skin Treatment (3% BHA)
SPF 15


Anne said...

I totally get this. I've been using the oil-cleansing method myself for quite a long time now.

Datura Slick! from Villainess is my absolute favorite product for this, though plain jojoba or sweet almond oil works just as well.

Anonymous said...

That's true (about the oil thing). I've found that using oily cleansers or oil cleans my skin better AND acts as moisturizer too. I have normal skin, a bit on the oily side so....

Anonymous said...

Hey! So now do you s'pose the Dermarest Psoriasis Medicated Skin Treatment could be used for bacne? I really want to get Paula's Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA, but it's out of stock 'til this winter. BHA body washes don't do the trick (I need something that's left on), and AHA lotions just don't quite do it for me either (I'm an oily gal). Other BHA body lotions just don't seem to exist. So if this Dermarest would work, would you recommed it in place of a moisturizer, or in addition to one, etc.? Bless you and your wise beauty wisdom.

cmykdorothy said...

I would say go for it. I haven't been using a moisturizer with this and it's been fine. No drying or flaking. You could always followup with one later if you feel the need, but I always have this feeling like it's going to deactivate the BHA. I'm weird. I know.

Anonymous said...

Well son of a gun, it works! (The Dermarest that is; I haven't been brave enough to try the oil method yet, but I'm working my way up to it.) But yeah, I tried the Dermarest for bacne and it works!!! I could only find the 2% BHA moisturizing formula locally, but I put it on after showering when my skin is still damp (instead of regular lotion), and my back/arms/chest have less acne than ever before in my life! (The only other thing I use on my body is Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash with shower pouf.) Once again your recommendations have shown us the way! Thanks bunches!