It gives me great pleasure to bring back the ultra fabulous Fernanda, who you met earlier this year when she relayed her heartfelt and inspiring style journey in two parts. Beautiful Fernanda, who has lovely and well cared for skin, has finally found a regimen that works for her epidermis. It took a while to fine tune her routine, but after her skin settled, there was no turning back.
Angie: What is your skin type? Has it changed over the years?
Fernanda: I have combination skin that used to be a problem when I was younger. Now that I’m older, my skin has thankfully normalized. During my teenage years and early twenties I was always breaking out, especially in the T-zone. Then in my late twenties, I went through hormonal turmoil, which obviously showed up on my skin. I broke out in apparently dry zones like the jaw and neck area, and sometimes on my cheeks too. As soon as the hormonal problems were fixed, my skin entered into a peaceful era which I’m luckily still enjoying. The hormonal treatments really helped my skin.
How did your Mother influence your approach to skincare?
In the most strange but helpful ways! My Mother used to be a beauty products junkie, and always fell victim to sales representatives in department stores who talked her into buying the whole line of an expensive skincare brand (day cream, night cream, mid-afternoon cream… you get the picture). I remember her coming home with all these fancy jars, that never failed to cause some kind of rash, dryness or break out. She ended up giving everything away and returning to her old big jar of cold cream. So I learned from her to be very aware of the harmful effects of the wrong skincare products, but also to be wary of products that cost a fortune and promise you the world. I am often suspicious of this type of thing. Sometimes you’re just paying for the pretty packaging, the buzz and, of course, the name on the bottle.
Also, my Mother loved to be tanned and enjoyed baking in the sun. In those days, we weren’t aware of the harmful affects of sun damage. I was more the indoor type. I didn’t like to get all sweaty, which happens when you lie in the sun, so I stayed indoors with my books. Turns out that my indoor habit did my skin a huge favour.
At what age did you start thinking seriously about skincare?
In my mid-thirties, when I realized that good skin was a combination of good health, good habits and, most importantly, a set of products that address your very specific skincare needs. I started seeing dermatologists, and discovered a whole different approach to skincare. Like you Angie, I believe in dermatologists. They are doctors after all, and my experiences with professional skin doctors has been very positive. There is a HUGE world of skin products out there, and you have to match up the right products with your skin type. It’s not easy, but a dermatologist helps you find your way. All I have to do is be disciplined about sticking to the routine.
Are facials part of your skincare regimen?
Not anymore. They used to be when I didn’t have a specific skincare regime, but on many occasions I spent more time healing from the break outs caused by the deep extractions, than enjoying the supposed benefits of a facial. I learned from my dermatologist that the excessive deep cleansing part that comes with facials often causes extra sebum production, which is not a good thing for my skin type.
What is your current skincare routine?
I always wash my face at night and first thing in the morning with a very gentle cleansing mousse. If I wear make-up and mascara, I use an electronic cleansing brush that helps remove every speck of make-up. In the morning I apply a thin layer of vitamin C serum, (the best thing in the universe), and always, always, sunscreen. I do not use moisturizer because that causes my skin to break out, but the sunscreen also acts as a moisturizer. I do not use toner. At night I use a retinoid cream prescribed by my dermatologist, followed by a clearing serum to reduce skin discolorations and spots. I also use an eye cream, and exfoliate a few times a month. Sounds like a lot of stuff but once you get used to applying it, it becomes routine.
How has your skincare routine changed over the years?
It has become more targeted and I don’t simply go and buy stuff just to try it out. It’s a relief to be able to walk straight through skincare counters because I already have what works for my skin. I stick to my regimen and re-evaluate with a dermatologist once a year. It’s so liberating not to be tempted by every single new product! (Not to mention good for the pocket.)
Were there any big sudden changes in your approach to skincare?
I became religious about removing make up, washing my face, and applying sunscreen. Sometimes I don’t apply some of the other products, but I ALWAYS clean and apply sunscreen (which doubles up as a moisturizer for my skin type).
What are the most important things that you have learned about skincare?
That there is a risk of overdoing and over applying skincare products. In my case, for example, rich moisturizers are a ticket to breaking out. Our skin does a good job of self-regulating, and sometimes we tend to strip away its natural moisture, or clog it up with things it just doesn’t need. Also, my skin is unaffected by what I eat and drink, or how much I exercise. But as soon as I don’t get enough sleep, you can see the unfavourable affects on my skin. Sleep is my kryptonite!
Where do you purchase your skincare products?
I buy all my skincare products at a specialized dermatological store here in Mexico City, where I can also get the creams and serums that are prescribed by my dermatologist. I love that they come in very simple bottles and tubes. I like this kind of no-nonsense approach to skincare.
If time and money were no object, how would you improve your skincare routine?
I don’t know if it counts as skincare, but I’d get more massages, body scrubs and body treatments. They’re soooooo relaxing. And when I’m relaxed, my skin looks best. In regards to my face, I think that my routine would stay pretty much the same, although laser treatment would probably get rid of my skin discolouration. I wouldn’t say the same about clothes, however, where I’d surely go crazy buying this and that if I had a larger budget!
What’s your number one skincare tip?
Keep it clean (not squeaky clean, just clean), and wear sunscreen. Learn to read the signals that your skin sends you. No matter how expensive and well rated the moisturizer, if it feels too greasy, it’s simply not good for your skin. Let your skin breath and see what happens. The same with other skincare products. Your body always knows best. And lastly, see a dermatologist if you’re concerned about your skin. It’s worth the time and expense.
Comparing my own experiences, to those of Kendall, Karen and Fernanda has been very interesting for me. Our skin types differ, and therefore our routines and skin products differ. But in many instances our regimens are very much the same, like being ultra disciplined about twice-daily-cleansing and applying sunscreen. Furthermore, we all wholeheartedly agree that inexpensive drug store products can be fabulous and that dermatologists are underrated.
I’ve learned a lot from interviewing these three wonderful ladies and thank them for their time and willingness to share their skincare experiences. As a result, I’m going back to my dermatologist early next year to ask about retinoid cream and Vitamin C serum. I’ve also been drinking more hot green tea, which I actually find quite yummy.
Ladies, if you have anything further to share about your own skincare routine, skincare experiences and skincare challenges, please do so in the comments section. Your thoughts on the subject throughout this series have been especially thoughtful, meaningful and informative.