Monday, September 17, 2012

Skincare and Makeup for Late Summer Into Fall

My skin is experiencing its usual reaction to the change in season. Although outside it's still pretty sunny and warm, and nights are barely cooler, I'm well into my yearly oilies and breakouts attack.

Gently, My Dear
This year, rather than spend way too much money on a dermatologist, like last year, who anyway prescribed the same type of products available over the counter, I am going to go gentle into that night.

Gentle means:
  • no scrubbing
  • no acids
  • no drying products
  • no pretty much anything

One of the things I've learned over the past several years is that, at least for my easily-irritated skin, the gentler the cleanser and moisturizer, the better off the skin. It's a good thing I just  caught myself and my skin at the onset of my annual attack, so I can take care of business.

What Did I Do Wrong?
I recently tried out two "troubled skin" cleansers which may have unbalanced my skin: Mario Badescu's Botanical Facial Gel cleanser and Murad's Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser. I should know better, by now, to steer clear of treatment washes. I've also used on and off Murad's Skin Perfecting Lotion--a potential other irritant.

I need to carefully review the ingredients and determine what's irritated my skin.

Where to Start?
I need to get gentle stars in my gently revised (get the pun? heh!) skincare toolkit: a solid cleanser (which I kinda have already) and a gentle moisturizer. Plus a solid skin disinfectant for the acne flareups.

I am running out of my trusted CeraVe foaming face wash, and finding it in stores lately has turned similar to spotting a unicorn. At Target at lunch today I decided to try Neutrogena's Ultra Foaming Gentle Daily Cleanser (I've never seen this before!). At $8.99 for 12 fl oz, it's a total celebrity death match candidate for my CeraVe foaming, which is usually $11.99 or above for 12 oz. I'll cross my fingers and hope the Neutrogena cleanser works.

I am also going to look for a good, oil-free moisturizer which doesn't sting. This particular combination, plus which doesn't break the bank, is another unicorn spotting expedition. I've had some success with Juice oil-free moisturizer--which I grabbed at Whole Foods--so I may go that way again if I shop around a little. The bottle runs at around $28 for 2oz, ouch. Right now I'm using my serious skin care emergency ration of Atopalm intensive moisturizing cream. At night, I find a little bit all over serves an intense dose of moisture and healing balm qualities to unbalanced skin. I dab any excess on my cuticles.

What to do about active breakouts, spots, and hyperpigmentation (aka, acne scars)? I'm using Thalgo purifying extracts dotted and massaged onto the affected areas. However, for those painful and red irritations that take some serious elbow grease, I bought today the Target generic (Up & Up) 10% benzoil peroxide spot treatment--a dup for the Neutrogena On the Spot treatment. I also bought an elf concealer brush ($1) to help dot this treatment several times a day: after morning regime, on top of makeup during the day, and after makeup removal at end of day.

Other Tips
Should my skin begin to look dull or be in need of some exfoliation, which it undoubtedly does, and since the benzoil peroxide tends to flake and dry skin, I can use my Mia Clarisonic with sensitive skin head with a light touch or just add some raw sugar to my facial cleanser and use my fingertip pads. As odd as it may seem, the raw sugar's larger crystals seem to do less damage, especially as they melt in lukewarm, never hot, water. I will also make a point to splash my skin with cool, not cold, water at the end of cleansing and prior to moisturizing, to close up pores.

I will also watch in the shower to make sure hair cleansing products don't go on my face, and to make sure the water temperature is not excessive. I will also pull out a dedicated washcloth to use to pat dry my face rather than use my body towel.

Making Up is Hard to Do!
It's no wonder I'm having difficulty with my favorite powder foundation and tinted SPF lately.  It's best to use a light hand when applying cosmetics, even though the skin is irritated and one would like to hide it under layers of concealer and foundation. I need to let my skin breathe as much as possible. I'm using the interval until it improves to play around with eye shadow colors and gradients. And eyeliner! I'm playing around with pushing dark eyeshadow into the lashline to replace or supplement eyeliner. I'm also trying out flicks at the outer ends to perfect my sucky cats-eye. Meanwhile, I can pull off golds and corals into more jewel toned looks as the weather gets cooler.

Let's see if I can get my skin back in top form with these little tricks and these lighter makeup tactics.
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