I feel better about my appearance when my skin is healthy, which is why well nourished skin is a vitally important component of my style. My Mum was extremely vigilant about our skincare when I was growing up so I guess the mindset stuck. It’s been a while since we talked about skincare routines, challenges and solutions and kicking off the new year by revisiting skincare seems like a good idea. 

Over the years I’ve shared my challenges with extra dry skin. It’s finally under control and my skin is in a happy place. The skin over my entire body feels moisturized, hydrated and “normal”. It’s taken a few years, lots of trial and error with different products, annual visits to the dermatologist, and patience, to get this far. The big eye opener in all of this has been that the simpler and more targeted I make my skincare regime, the better the results. 

This is how I’ve taken care of my skin over the last year: 

  • Cleanser: I use CeraVe foaming facial cleanser for dry to normal skin twice a day. I am extremely diligent about cleansing and never go to bed with an un-cleansed face.
  • Moisturizer: I apply Eucerin Original Healing Soothing Repair Creme twice a day onto a cleansed face. It’s thick, greasy and just what the doctor ordered. 
  • Sunscreen: I apply Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Sunblock daily after moisturizing.
  • Vitamin C Oil: I apply a small amount to a moisturized face every third day. By suggestion of my dermatologist, I never apply it directly onto un-moisturized skin because it’s too harsh and burns my sensitive epidermis. It works just fine layered this way and I can see the positive dewy effects.
  • Tinted Moisturizer: Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer goes on last. I do not wear foundation because I prefer the light coverage of tinted moisturizer. That way my skin looks “shiny like an apple” and not matte. 
  • Body Lotion: The rest of my body gets a good slathering of Nivea daily lotion once or twice a day. 
  • Eye Make-up Removal: I use Ponds Cold Cream to remove mascara residue every night. 
  • Soap: I use Dove soap to wash when I shower. I often take a small bar with me to hotel rooms if we stay for longer than one night. 
  • Facials: I treat myself to a facial every few months so that I can relax and get a deeper cleanse. 

That’s it. I also have a prescription facial cream that I apply to my face when it suffers from a scaly, dry rash. It’s like an eczema, but not quite. My dermatologist and I have tried to pinpoint the cause of the rash that appears every month or two or three, but we can’t seem to nail it. The cause could be a product I’m using, a detergent I do laundry with, type of fabric or plant I came into contact with, or stress. It’s hard to be sure. So until we find the cause, I apply the cream for three or four days, which successfully takes care of the rash.

Most of the products that I use on my skin, all of which have been recommended by my dermatologist, are drug store bought. I purchase the Vitamin C oil and cream for my rash at the doctor’s office, and the tinted moisturizer at a department store. 

I tried using retin A cream and ointment because it’s supposed to slow down the appearance of aging. But no matter how weak the strength, retin A does not agree with my skin. It burns and I look blotchy for days. No thank you. So I stick to sunscreen, stay out of the sun, and wear sunglasses as my way of preventing wrinkles. My laugher lines, which become more pronounced each year, are what they are and I don’t worry about those. Each day I want to laugh until my cheekbones hurt because it’s tonic for the soul. And what’s tonic for the soul increases your style quotient. Bring on the laughter lines. 

Finally, I am very relieved that I’m not changing up my skincare routine at this point. I can walk past cosmetic counters and through drugstores, browse skincare sites, listen to recommendations from friends and family, and read skincare articles, but not be tempted in the slightest to try new and so called better products and skincare approaches. My skincare routine does not need fixing, and until it does, I am not changing a thing about it.

I can’t stress this point enough. If you have ongoing skincare challenges, seek the help of a dermatologist sooner rather than later. I thought I’d sort out my dry skin on my own a few years ago, but it was all to no avail. One trip to the dermatologist and my skin was instantly set on the right track. I regretted not seeking professional help sooner.

What’s your current skincare routine, and is your skin in a happy place at the moment? Have you learned anything new about your skin and skincare over the last year?