Friday, December 16th, 2011

By Cecile, Cosmetic Chemist

Cécile is 28-years old and is half French, half Belgian. She spent most of her life in France, with a little in Belgium and Cyprus, but she currently resides in Switzerland. For the past six years, she has worked in the cosmetic and perfume industry after she obtained her Master’s in Chemistry from ISIPCA (founded by Mr. Guerlain himself!), with an emphasis in cosmetics. She prides herself on her extended knowledge of cosmetic ingredients, skincare products, and European cosmetic legislation. She has been developing cosmetic products like skincare and suncare and is wise to marketing claims.Cécile has a natural curiosity about everything in life. She loves cooking world food and anything related to nature and animals. Her two cats, Guinness (Cyprus) and Guru (Siamese) are always there to keep her happy!

A Look at a Cosmetic Chemist’s Skincare Routine

My skin care routine is pretty simple:  I like to say that once you have found the products that suit your skin, it’s good to keep it simple–less is more!

In the morning, I use Noviderm Boreade Cream Cleanser ($10.95), which is a soap-free facial cleanser, and then I apply a soothing serum and light, hydrating cream followed by an eye contour cream.  Once everything has absorbed, I apply my makeup.  Before going to bed, I like to use Bobbi Brown’s Cleansing Oil ($39.00) to remove any makeup and then use Boreade Cleansing Cream to cleanse.  Then, I repeat my morning routine and use my serum, moisturizer, and eye cream.  Now, let me tell you why these products have become my morning and evening staples!

I have combination skin with pores that tend to clog, sometimes even breaking out, so I need to ensure my skin is well-cleansed.  Both in the morning and after I remove makeup, I use a mild, soap-free facial cleanser: Noviderm Boreade Cream Cleanser ($10.95).  It’s very effective in the long-term, used once or twice per day.  There are three active ingredients:  one that helps re-building or preserving the hydrolipidic film of the skin, which means no dehydrationor no irritation; one that has mild anti-bacterial properties to help minimize breakouts; and one that helps regulating the sebum secretion, which helps combat blackheads. It also helps to remove any impurities left, like pollution.

When I wear makeup, I love using cleansing oils to remove it; they clean the face so well and remove all kinds of makeup without drying out the skin, since they are soap-free and very mild.  My favorite is Bobbi Brown’s Cleansing Oil ($39.00); the texture is nice–not too thick, easy to spread and massage on the face, and it’s easy to emulsify and rinse off.  It has a nice essential oil scent, and it’s the most effective makeup remover I’ve come across.

To hydrate, while I haven’t found my holy grail moisturizer, I have been trying Avene Thermal Water Soothing Hydrating Serum ($34.00) for a few months now and really like it (though I am still trying out different brands and textures!).  The Soothing Hydrating Serum soothes away redness and irritations, is perfume-free, and developed to reduce the risk of allergies.  It has been helping to keep my skin hydrating without feeling oily.  It does need a moisturizer or cream on top, so I have been using Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse Anti-Fatigue and Moisturizing Cream ($35.00) for normal to combinations skins. I haven’t yet tried this one for long enough to make a full judgment, but it has been working okay so far.

During the day, it’s important to protect your skin from harmful sun rays.  If I’m only going to and from work, which means I’m only out for a few minutes at a time, I find the SPF 15 in my foundation sufficient.  If I’m going to be outside for an hour or longer, no matter the season (sunlight passes through clouds!), I apply a minimum of SPF 30.  My favorite is Lancaster Sun Beauty Care SPF 30 ($65.00).  It’s lightweight, not oily at all, spreads evenly, and doesn’t clog pores–it also has anti-aging properties and can be used before makeup

I’m still searching for the perfect face and eye cream–do you have a product to recommend?

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10 thoughts on “A Look at a Cosmetic Chemist’s Skincare Routine

  1. Great post Cecile :-)

    I am still struggling to find a good moisturiser too, although my skin is so oily it is ridiculous.

    I am a big fan of cleansing oils, I like Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse, it really made a difference to my skin when I used it as a first step to remove make-up and grime, before cleansing my skin.

    Have you tried any Dermalogica products? I am a huge fan, although they are a bit expensive for my student budget :-(


  2. rhonda

    There is a line called Kleraderm – highly recommend their products. Only a few select Nordstroms in Michigan sells it, I believe it is from Italy and Joanne is very helpful.

  3. Carolina

    Hey Cecile, great post! I also use Boreade Cream Cleanser. For face/eyes I’m using Darphin’s Arovita line (serums and creams). They are hydrating creams for first wrinkles and signs of age. They are expensive, but the textures are amazing, they last quite a long time, and, in my own opinion, they do work subtly. Of course they might not fit everybody’s skin, but I’m quite happy/impressed with Darphin so far (have been using it for 2 years).

  4. NeenaJ

    I enjoyed reading this post! My skin is dry and prone to an occasional breakout and redness. I never get everything I want from a single product, so I tend to layer.
    In the AM, I use my serum dujour then apply a barrier cream (Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion), then an actual moisturizer (Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost). Once that’s all soaked in, I apply Shiseido sunscreen which doubles as my primer.
    I recently went “water-free” with my cleansing as I understand it’s much less drying to your skin. At night, I use Bioderma as my cleanser although I augment with Neuotrogena Eye Makeup Remover if I’ve got a lot of mascara or liner on. Then, I layer serum, a mild glycolic or lactic acid moisterizer, aloe vera gel and when that’s all soaked in for about 20 minutes, I add a heavier moisterizer (Cereve PM). Once every 7-10 days, I replace the acids with Retin-A.
    For eye cream, I take the Cereve PM and mix it with the contents of a Vitamin K-1 capsule to ease the bluish color under my eyes. I try to keep the ratio of K-1 to 1%, so I mix it up and store it in a sample jar.
    I’d love to simplify things, but my skin is really responding well to this routine. As it stands, I’ve resorted to keeping a chart LOL!

  5. Teresa

    I’ve been using a Salicyclic 20% gel peel by Skin Laboratories (Amazon $16.95) for the last 4 weeks and it has really helped with my oily skin and breakouts. I apply the gel peel a few times a week (depending on how oily my skin is) for maybe 5 minutes and my face feels so amazing after. I use the Proactive Oil Free Moisiturizer after I apply a nutralizer to restore the PH balance to my skin. For a deeper cleaning I do a latic acid gel peel (also Skin Laboratories from Amazon $18.95) once a week. My skin as never looked so good!

  6. Cecile

    Thank you so much for these nice comments !
    And thank you guys for the recommendations ! I’m going shopping today in France and i’ll look if i can find some of the products you mentioned !
    Salicylic acid is too harsh for my skin, i tried it out and all i got was the initial break out, and then red and dry patch on the chin and between my eyebrows…
    That’s why i try to keep up with simple products that are for sensitive skins usually !
    But again, thanks so much !

    • Mallory

      I use Estee Lauder’s advanced night eye treatment
      it’s amazing!

      for moisturizing I use creme de la mer’s gel version

  7. Jenny

    Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Eye Cream is very good and reasonably priced. It feels very nice on and absorbs quickly. It doesn’t leave behind any greasiness and doesn’t irritate my eyes which are the only part of my face that have sensitive skin.

  8. Nice cleansing oil is from Shu Uemura.
    I have 3 brands of eye cream…Clarins, Sisley (2) and La Mer.
    I use La Mer face cream and Santa Maria Norvella.