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What brands or products have treated your skin the best as you've gotten older or as your skin needs have changed?


What brands or products have treated your skin the best as you’ve gotten older or as your skin needs have changed? Share!

Knowledge has really helped me over time, because I’ve actually learned about skincare (but I am by no means an expert) and have a better grasp of what ingredients are well-received, which ones are less so, and ones that most try to avoid. Brands like Origins and Kate Somerville have worked the best for me over the long-haul, and they have a good diversity in product range that I can adapt my routine based on my skin without having to go far. Softer brushes have helped minimize dryness/flaky skin on my problem areas when applying foundation, blush, etc.

Thanks to Janie for today’s question! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

38 Comments

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Katherine T. Avatar

I’m +40 with good skin, and here are my fave brands:
**Paula’s Choice-her retinols have erased years off my face, especially around my eyes. I used to have a lot of crepey skin on my lids, no more. Bring on the shimmery shadows! Her product line is huge, and she has products for every skin problem.
**Peter Thomas Roth –his peels (Firmx Peeling Gel and 40% Triple Acid Peel) are HG for me. I got micro-dermabrasion once, but I swear his stuff works better, faster, and is cheaper. Also his 10% Glycolic Acid Gel shrinks my pores until they are almost invisible
**First Aid Beauty – love their well formulated, fragrance-free, alcohol-free face creams. The Firm Sleeping Cream is my current fave
**Korean & Japanese brands – Hada Labo Tokyo Hydrating Face Cleanser (sold at Ulta) and the Belif Moisture Face creams (sold at Sephora)

L Avatar

I’m curious, what do you use on your eyelids from Paula’s Choice? I have enjoyed her serum products but tend not to put them right on my lid but maybe I should…I thought maybe you weren’t “supposed” to do that.

I’m in my early thirties but years on the water have gifted me with rippling eyelids already hah

…never thought to rub the sunblock on ’em either I guess!

Katherine T. Avatar

Hi L! I use her Resist Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum (comes in a gray cylinder) and on the label it says “perfect for use around the eyes”. It’s a clear oil that sinks in pretty fast and is very gentle. If you get some irritation or dryness, just put a regular moisturizer on top until your skin gets use to it. I didn’t start using retinol until my early 40’s, and my lids were really crepey when I started, so it’s never too late! I have oily lids, so I use her Resist Superlight Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF30 on lids – it soaks up oil, is non-irritating, and doesn’t interfere with my primer or eye makeup. You can use on face too but it’s too mattifying for my face. She usually has sample packets you can buy for like $1-$3, or you can get free samples with every order. Hope this helps.

L Avatar

It took me all week to get back here and say it – thanks!! I have that serum and I don’t know why I thought “around” meant only “under”! So I’ve been using it on my lids too and they already seem less dry. When I need to replenish in a month or so I’m going to reference your answer again for other things to try with it ๐Ÿ™‚

Katherine T. Avatar

Awesome! Glad to hear it’s already working for you. If you try other stuff with retinol, just remember that glycolic acid and Vitamin C shouldn’t be mixed with retinols, as it reduces retinol’s effectiveness. I usually do PTR 10% Glycolic Acid one night, then Paula’s Choice Retinol the next night. Then I use either the PTR Firmx Peel or the PTR 40% Triple Acid once a week. If you ever try PTR 40% Triple Acid Peel, it says to leave on for 2 minutes, but I’ve left mine on for 10-15 min with no issues, just feel like I need more exfoliation. It’s really pricey, $80 for 12 vials, but I usually wait for Sephora sale/Ebates, and each vial has so much product, I can use it 3x. I picked up a tip from Sephora customers, put a toothpick through the vial to save it for next time.

Ryou Avatar

Apart from learning about ingredients and being good about sunscreen, I’d say switching Neutrogena and Paula’s Choice have done pretty great things to my skin. Previously I was using some really harsh anti-acne products from a dermatologist.

I have a feeling moving to a drier climate also helped curbed my oiliness somewhat, although it does give me dry spots every now and then. Cleansing with Foreo Luna Mini and mixing rosehip oil with my serum/moisturizer have been quite helpful at eliminating those spots, thankfully.

Natalia Avatar

I have to start by saying that I’m too much into makeup, so the skincare budget suffers because of this little addiction. That is why I will not be mentioning anything like Lancรดme or La Prairie here ๐Ÿ™‚ Sigh.

From what I can afford, The Body Shop skincare seems to agree with me pretty well (especially the Vitamin E range), so I would have to go with that. I did like the effect of Korean skincare (Tony Moly, Mizon), so I will gradually be getting into those more, instead of The Body Shop.

For makeup its MAC hands down (especially the Mineralize stuff), except for foundations. I looove the finish they provide, but I do not feel like my skin is too happy after the entire day of wearing them (tried all of them, except for the new Pro Longwear one). MUFE Liquid Lift and NARS Sheer Glow seem to agree with my skin much better. Also tried Smart Capsule CC Cream from The Face Shop and… this is going to be my next everyday base, after I’m done with my Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer for sure, loved it.

Alisha Avatar

my skin is still oily and acne prone at 30 but for at least the past 6 years I have also been focusing on antiaging. I have been using a lot of paulas choice and I also use her reviews for other brands. I stopped using cleanser with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide because according to her, you are just washing it off and it isn’t really helping, which conflicts with what ive heard other places and my dermatologist even sells their brand of 10% bp wash. Plus many of those acne products are harshly formulated. I now use CeraVe foaming cleanser which is nice cuz it can be used as a makeup remover as well…and it is cruelty free…yay

Sun Avatar

I’m totally with you on the softer brushes. It wasn’t until I discovered the better makeup brushes like Hakuhodo, Chikuhodo, and Wayne Goss that I realized how scratchy my makeup brushes had been, particularly my old eye makeup brushes. I can’t believe that I put up with scratchy brushes for so long.

As far as skincare is concerned, I’ve gone back to Paula’s Choice skincare in the last two or so years after a long period where I had strayed from them. Honestly, their stuff just works on my skin, it’s good quality and the company has excellent customer service. I wouldn’t say that every skincare item that I own is from them, but the vast majority of it is. My must-have items: the 2% BHA (liquid or gel), the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment (I’m 44, so I need all the help I can get), and perhaps their number one item for me is the Resist Super-Light Daily Defense SPF 30, which is my must-have sunscreen and is the best physical block sunscreen that I’ve found; it doesn’t make me greasy or look like a ghost. Whenever there is a sale, I stock up and am so paranoid about running out that I always have at least three backup tubes in my cabinet. They just had a “buy one, get one free” sale for sunscreens and I purchased three for a total of six sunscreens — I was overjoyed!

Raeanne Avatar

I’m 26 and have had oily/acne prone skin for many years. I’ve really learned how to address my skin issues through quality skin care, and what makeup works best with my skin type. In particular, I’ve learned the value of a great oil free moisturizer (I use the green tea brightening one from Alba cosmetics) and gentle acne treatment products. One thing I haven’t figured out is a great method or products for reducing acne scarring. ๐Ÿ™

Sarah Avatar

Paula’s Choice has definitely saved my skin over the last 4 months. I had horrible cystic acne before, at least a dozen blemishes on my face at all times, that would take weeks to heal . It’s totally gone now, except around my time of the month, and those blemishes disappear in a matter of days! Last week a coworker actually asked me why my skin was so smooth and if I had a facial! I was blown away, lol. I’m working on fading scars now and smoothing my skin to that “wow” level now with some of her more intensive products.

Michelle Avatar

As a rosacean, I’ve discovered that it’s not about any brand loyalty, but about purely effective formulations that don’t contain irritants. All fragrance, denatured alcohol, chemical sunscreens, scrubs and essential oils are all irritants that cause imflamation and must be avoided. Being older has taought me to learn which exfoliants are best.. it must be beta hydroxy acids at the correct pH and concentration levels. You really have to do your research, Beautypedia is the best place to do that.

Sezea Khatun Avatar

Im 34 and I’ve been using the Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Intense range since my late 20s. I’ve used other brands nothing compares.
It is a Retinol based skin care range, prevents and even gets rid of fine lines.
Once I’ve cleanced my skin I apply the serum all over my face even under the eyes, I let it sink in for about a minute then I apply the eye cream and face cream. I use both night and day cream (has SPF 15).
I do not have any issues with my skin at all, I would say my skin type is normal with a slight bit of ouliness by the end of the day. I dont suffer from, acne, dryness, or have any visible pores. I dont have any age related issues either, and I’m sure this skin care range has something to do with it ๐Ÿ™‚
I don’t see myself ever using anything else.

Laura_Lou Avatar

For my body : Sanctuary Spa salt scrub and Ameliorate skin smoothing moisturiser have completely changed the skin on my arms which had really bad KP.
For my face : Clinique dramatically different moisturiser, The Body Shop vitamin C microdermabrasion face wash and Vichy idealia serum have really helped my dry skin.
I’ve been using these for about a year now and my skin has never looked better.

Lotus Avatar

Hmm.. It began with 12 years of Clinique. Flawless. Hit early twenties and wanted more algae based power, so I then went with La Mer. After years of use, it turned on me. Korean skincare helped the rut yet still there were problems now for the first time Enter Drunk Elephant. Boom! Fantastic! After using that for quite a long time, results were not continuing so I tested Sunday Riley and immediately found results that are now still serving me well today! ๐Ÿ˜€ Also, the DE Shaba Eye cream gave me a face lift and my tell tale eyes do not show I’m sick! They’re wide open, lifted, baggies and puffiness, darkness gone! Well, as best as I’ve ever seen and I’ve tried EVERYTHING. And I finally found the greatest SPF for me with RADICAL skincare. KGD Spa Water has been a kind step-in, of course I forgot Shu oils! Oh how they have been kind! And lastly, KGD base, CdP & By Terry Base, the last two currently especially, have really helped! I was literally just at the doctor and everyone told me how much better I looked. Makeup & Shaba eye cream.. That’s what I’m talking about! ๐Ÿ˜€ I barely look 20 and I’m now 35. And a day. Skincare always comes first. <3 XOXO!

Eileen Avatar

I’m turning 71 and find that as my aging skin becomes thinner and drier, layering serums is far better than using a heavier cream. By using multiple–but compatible–serums, I get better penetration and have the opportunity to adjust my skincare to best meet my skin’s need at any particular time. Morning: I start with SKII Cellumination Mask In Lotion followed by Cosmetic Skin Solutions CE Ferulic serum, followed by Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Hydration Booster, followed by Jack Black Protein Booster Skin Serum, followed by the beauty oil du jour. All total, I use five products before sealing everything in with an emollient mineral sunscreen. it might seem like a lot, but the serums penetrate quickly so my routine really isn’t much longer than it was when I used to use the standard serum-cream-sunscreen protocol. Night is simpler. I start with La Mer The Treatment followed by a soothing and emollient, prescription strength retinoic acid cream that I get from my dermatologist. About 30 minutes later, I apply a beauty oil and then it’s sweet dreams ๐Ÿ™‚

Apropos Paula’s Choice, I really wanted to like her products but they didn’t work for me. Based on my skin type, I purchased the Skin Recovery toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen and the Resist facial oil and the lip balm. I also selected various samples with my purchases. Everything was no better than mediocre. It’s not that her products are bad, it’s just that there are far better products available elsewhere that go much further in meeting my skincare needs. I’m not bringing this up to slam Paula’s Choice (although PC doesn’t hesitate to slam other companies), but rather to illustrate how a beloved product for one person can be a total dud for someone else because of personal chemistry, environmental factors, and even application methods.

Bottom line: Know your skin care ingredients, learn to seperate fact from advertising fiction, read bonafide research on how ingredients work (The Beauty Brains is a fun, consumer friendly site), learn to recognize your skin’s ever changing needs, don’t be afraid to mix things up now and then, and don’t forget your neck and dรฉcolletage.

Darcy Avatar

Sadly I agree about Paula’s Choice, I really wanted to like this brand too. The idea of including all the “proven” ingredients without all the marketing cost and fragrance is very appealing. It just did not agree with my 58 year old skin. Broke me out and led me to having larger enraged pores- really bizarre. I tried it on three separate occasions trying to make it work. The only thing that I can come up with is that perhaps the underlying belief on things like parabens or other ingredients that they do not believe are harmful, may not be harmful, but may be irritating to my skin. On the other hand, Dr. Hauschka, which routinely gets low marks by Paula’s Choice/ Beauty Pedia is my stand out brand for aging skin care- and their fragrance does not irritate my skin at all. Go figure. Maybe because they grow/control the production of all their herbal products? I have also heard the same thing about Dior and have had excellent results with their skincare too.

Alison Avatar

I did a lot of research and ended up buying a couple of products that are fairly widely liked (I quite like the 2% BHA liquid [Note: it works equally well for me as Dermalogica’s BHAs, only less expensive – I get the same results, though the Dermalogica products are given scathing reviews], though the weekly resurfacing treatment is a bit much, and I haven’t noticed any difference from using her 1% retinol yet – no matter how diligent and careful I am about using these products, they don’t replicate the effects of sonic cleansing brushes, either), but I agree – I don’t like the way that Paula’s Choice is so keen to slam other brands. With Paula’s Choice, it’s always their own products that are best, and any brands that don’t fit with their logic, regardless of people generally receiving them well and getting good results, are wrong. I have some absolute favorite, HG products that aren’t recommended for my skin type are staples in my routine. I also don’t like the way she so harshly states that the products I like are too expensive, or that one of the few moisturizers that calms my skin down will only cause breakouts. You’ll always find that her own products are considered the best, and that the “best” in category products she recommends don’t always get the greatest reviews once people actually try them. She’s very quick to dismiss almost every herb/natural ingredient (except the few she uses) or new ingredient she doesn’t use as “gimmicky” or as just being “fragrance”. I know that Paula thinks that her logic is right, but I don’t like how quick she is to be scathing about other brands. If it works for you, it works for you!

Rachel R. Avatar

This is good information. I never really understood what serums were supposed to be for. Your explanation about the layering makes sense. Just with the few things I’ve used, I had to research how to layer them correctly so they work and absorb the right way. I know I’ll just be adding more as I age. (I’m 45 now.)

Nicole Avatar

I have learned to be gentle and patient with my skin. No scrubs.I use a clarisonic with the cashmere luxe brush head a few times a week at most. Chemical exfoliants are the way to go. I like PTR 10%Glycolic Acid Moisturizer a few times a week. I usually cut it wih an oil as my skin is dry and 10% is pretty strong.1x a week I try to go full strength and then when it is burning too much , I apply my night cream and it stops the tingling. Sunscreen is a must at all ages, every day! Vitamin C is I think the best serum if you are going to use one, get yourself a good vitamin C that your skin can handle.It does so much for your skin.Try to get a retinoid in your routine. I like Sunday Riley Luna oil 2-3 x a week. I tried to use a low percent retin a. It just dries the heck out of my skin and it just makes me quit. I think the consistency is more important. I had a bit of a skincare meltdown this past winter. I did a lot of research online, saw a dermatologist, and consulted an aesthetician. So, this was very basically is what I got. Other than that, I think there is no one plan. You have to find what works for your own skin which can be frustrating and time consuming. Just try not to stress about it because that shows up in your skin and your back at square one!

Nicole Avatar

Did I answer that wrong? I think it was supposed to be Brands. I change brands a lot. I am 39 and have probably tried every brand under the sun. I am really not loyal to one brand. I mentioned a few of the brands I am currently using above.

Rachel R. Avatar

I’m 45. I have very fair skin; burns and freckles, but doesn’t tan. I was super-oily and acne-prone from age 12 on till I was in my late 30s, where it was oily until I reached 42 or 43. Now, it can be anywhere from combined type with almost dry cheeks to oily. The last month I’ve been in an oily phase. No deep wrinkles or excessive wrinkling, but getting fine lines, some forehead creasing, one deep crease under each eye, and some sagging around the jowls (age and weight loss).

Nu Skin and Eslor for skin care: I’ve needed more help with fine lines, and firming the skin, and hormones making my skin type bounce around so often. I also fine my body skin just gets drier and drier, especially my hands and feet.

Makeup: BareMinerals is very adaptable for me, and their newer BareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 and Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream have color matches for me and are great for dryer-skin days.

Georgia Avatar

Paula’s Choice RESIST line has become my HG. The 5% AHA Serum, the 10% weekly peel, the daily moisturizer with SPF 25, the toners, the C15 serum, the oil serum, the new hyaluronic serum. My skin ahs never been better!

miekogirlie99 Avatar

i kind of jump between brands when it comes to skincare. sometimes i use tony moly while other times i use nature republic or Body shop vitamin E serum. I also started using this chemical peel that really brightened & smoothed out the bumps on my face. That has really helped in how my makeup applies. I also noticed anything with hyaluronic acid has helped settle the dryness in my skin. i want to try paulas choice because i hear such good things but need to use what i have first!

Lezlie Avatar

DHC skincare line from Japan has helped my skin more than anything. It completely cleared my adult acne and has kept is clear for 15 years. Their natural skincare lines have helped my aging skin, treating everything from excessive oiliness, dry patches, rosacea, and fine lines. The best thing about them is that they will send you good sized samples so you can try before you buy. Their products are available in the US at dhccare.com. I highly recommend the Olive Oil moisturizer. It is great for any skin type, even oily.

Beth Lincoln Avatar

Paulas Choice Resist line. It’s the only skincare line I will use. I supplement it with her Retinol, AHA and BHA products as well. Her products are nothing short of amazing. Nordstrom carries it now as well.

Genevieve Avatar

As I have aged I have found that I needed to use different kinds of moisturizers on my skin
QV range – Australian for gentle cleanser and daily moisturising cream (with SPF)
Cetaphil – moisture cream
Natio – serum. I have to be careful with serums that they don’t irritate my skin – this one is fine.
I must try Paula’s Choice – everyone is raving about it.

CL Avatar

Paula’s Choice BHA products. I have the new Resist 9 BHA, and it really took care of a milia spot I had on my cheek for ages. I regularly use the 2% BHA liquid, too.

calimom Avatar

I change my skincare when my current routine doesn’t seem to work anymore. About six months ago I started using Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM and it has become my HG nighttime serum! My skin hasn’t felt this smooth and soft for years, maybe never! I also use Philosophy Miracle Worker eye gel at night. Then I top all this with an inexpensive night cream. I’ve found that if I start my skincare with a great serum I can use inexpensive moisturizers over them. The serums are a treatment and the moisturizers job is to add moisture to the skin.

Laura H. Avatar

Just wanted to add my vote for Paula’s Choice skincare, especially the Resist line! I’ve used her products for many years, and since they’ve been improving/expanding their line I now use PC almost exclusively for skincare. Almost everything I’ve tried works beautifully, and they have such great customer service so they will take back anything if you’ve tried it and it doesn’t work for you. Plus, it is now sold online at Nordstrom.com!

Anne Avatar

I use a combination of Kiehl’s, The Body Shop, Lush and Origins for everything from daily products to masks and treatments. I haven’t changed it up in a while except with certain products that are new/ish releases:

AM routine:
Lush’s Aqua Marina Cleanser
The Body Shop’s Neutriganics Drops of Youth Concentrate
Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Bright with SPF 30 moisturizer
Kiehl’s Creamy Under Eye Treatment with Avocado

PM routine:
Lush’s Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser/Exfoliator
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye Cream
The Body Shop Bouncy Sleeping Mask

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