What specific skin care issues have you had and what products have helped and what hasn’t?

For acne, topical prescriptions (clindamycin and Differin) helped combat both hormonal breakouts and milia. Recently, for dry patches, Tatcha’s Indigo Smoothing Cream has worked wonders for me. I’m working on hyper pigmentation right now, and I am seeing encouraging results with Biologique Recherche PIGM 400 P50 and Sunday Riley Good Genes.

— Christine
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My biggest concern is my hyperpigmentation that occurs on both of my cheekbones. Of course, I also have wrinkles and sagging skin given my age. I saw a dermatologist when I first noticed the hyperpigmentation and he recommended I try some drugstore treatments. I started using the Olay Regenerist Line including their serum. I used pretty religiously for about a year and had seen some improvement but then it seemed like it just stopped working. I wasn’t using sunscreen and didn’t realize that I was continuing to do damage to my skin. About 2 1/2 years ago I started on my age fighting skin care search. I have tried several products and have eliminated some and kept others. I have seen the best response to Sunday Riley Good Genes and Tidal. The Good Genes has really helped to decease the texture in my skin and makes it feel incredibly smooth and the Tidal has been great for moisturizing my dry skin. Good Genes is also having an effect on my hyperpigmentation. The areas on both of my cheeks are smaller and lighter. I have also used Boscia Tsubaki Gel/Cream moisturizer and like it a lot also. I use Nerium on select areas of my face, mainly on wrinkles between my eyes, crows feet and nasolabial folds. I hate the smell of it though!! I added Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic and Retinoid Eye Gel about 6 months ago and have noticed a definite tightening of the crepey skin under my eyes, a decrease in wrinkles and dark circles. At the same time I added Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye which has really decreased my under eye dark circles. In fact, most days I don’t need to use under eye concealer at all. I have just recently, about 1 month ago) added Nivea Skin Firming and Smoothing Cellulite Gel Cream with QO-Q10 to the bags under my eyes, the small bags on my lids, my jowls and double chin. Amazingly, I am already seeing some changes in those areas.
I have also just within the last month added derma-rolling to my treatments. I am using the smallest size roller primarily to help with better absorption of my other products but depending on how it goes I may increase to a deeper needle. Juries out on whether this will help so will have to report later.
I have also just added a few products from a couple of Korean skin care brands but haven’t been using them long enough to determine whether they are helping.
I have heard some buzz about the product Biologique Recherché both here on the blog and other blogs so am interested in finding more information on those products. I also want to try Tight Eye and Tight Neck. I don’t believe they are treatments that have lasting effects but rather aide in smoothing the skin temporarily to aid in makeup application.
Nothing that I have tried has had any effect on my lip lines and so I just started adding the Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic and Retinoid Eye Gel to my upper lip sort of as an experiment to see if there would be any effect. Again, too soon to tell if it will help at all. I was a little concerned because some people report the product has darkened their skin tone overall in the areas of use but I haven’t noticed that on my eyes so feel like it is safe to try on my upper lip.
I am super anxious to see what concerns other people have and what treatments have worked for the.

I am curious because I think we are about the same age, have you tried a prescription strength Retin A cream or gel? I know some do not tolerate it well but it has done more for my skin issues such as texture, hyperpigmentation and lines than anything else I have ever tried.

I tried a retinol probably in my early 40’s and did not tolerate at all. My face was stripped, red and painful and so I stopped using it . I have noticed a lot of YT videos regarding how to use retinols without the irritation but I haven’t taken the step to talk to my Doctor. The closest dermatologist is about 2 1/2 hours away and my Doctor, (actually PA), isn’t very forthcoming with ordering anything she doesn’t think is absolutely necessary. I am at a point where I think this is the next logical step for my skin if I really want to be thorough in doing everything I can to stave off the onslaught of aging and early skin mistakes. Thank you for the suggestion. Would it be helpful in the treatment of my upper lip lines which are becoming more cavernous everyday, LOL? I have stopped using straws and have never smoked so I assume I just tend to purse my lips unknowingly. What effect has the retinol had on your hyperpigmentation?

In my case, it’s almost a “what skincare issues *haven’t* you had”! Sad, but true.

1.) Aging: Retinols​, hyluronic acid based nighttime moisturizer Hada Labo Plumping Gel Moisturizer, SUNSCREEN for daytime FAB Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 40, and now I’ve added The Ordinary Buffet for that purpose. I also incorporate 2 oils into my anti-aging skincare regimen; Marula and Rosehip oil. I now need to chillax with my oils for a while, because I have 2 breakouts.

2.) Breakouts: again with retinols, always taking every bit of my makeup off at night, always having tea tree oil and Neutrogena’s Rapid Clear because salicylic acid does work.

3.) Hyperpigmentation: Ole Henrikson Truth Serum, rosehip oil (pretty sure it’s helping?), and one more time: sunscreen!

4.) Puffy with dark circles under eyes: Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream for day really deflates allergic puffiness and keeps my lids moisturized just enough, Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid & Retiol Eye Serum addresses circles and fine lines extremely well!

5.) Foundation or a good coverage BB/CC cream cover up acne scarring (I had cystic acne from 12 y.o. until menopause) and whatever my skincare couldn’t get rid of entirely.

I finally found an AHA/BHA that actually works – and now all the little bumps I had in my hairline are gone. It’s a Kbeauty product called COSRX AHA/BHA clarifying treatment toning mist. And it’s not super expensive.

At Ulta (thanks to me, seriously.). That is a 20 star for me, too. Although I use other Cosrx, including the bha blackhead liquid. Cat from Snow White and the Asian Pear prefers the Mizon, which has alcohol. Although the Mizon is ‘back,’ not sure I want to try it. ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fixit…’ If you like the toner, you would probably also like the good morning low pH gel cleanser. I have others of both, but they are my staples. Cheap and effective. Far better than the HE stuff I used for decades with little progress.

Stridex (the pads in the red tub, sold as an acne treatment but it’s just a BHA/chemical exfoliant) perfectly treats my seborrheic dermatitis! Before I learned about it in r/skincareaddiction, I was an oily, red, flaky mess. Just swiping my face every few days makes my skin smooth and free of flare-ups.
Ketoconazole shampoo (prescribed by my dermatologist) has done the same for my formerly miserable scalp.

Hey Christine: for pigmentation issues, try adding in Vit C into your program and alternate with other products (Your P50 PIGM for example). I have a high potency vit C serum which is granular in texture and meant to be worn at night. It’s amazing and helps with pigmentation and also makes my skin look so incredibly bright. DCL Dermatologic C Scape High Potency Night Booster 30. You can find it a eskincarestore.com. This is a pick from Caroline Hirons on a youtube segment geared towards pigmentation issues. I had actually never heard of the company before, but I’m impressed with the product as the S Cape has managed to minimize a really annoyingly small kidney shaped dark pigmentation spot on the bridge of my nose. Her other recommendation; a good quality retinoid.

Thank you, Wendy! Would you add vitamin C if already using Sunday Riley Good Genes? I actually just ran out of Good Genes (holy goodness, that bottle is TINY… or the bag in the bottle, really), though, so I guess it doesn’t really matter…

Sunday Riley is just a different type of acid (lactic) as is your P50 Pigm (it’s a combo of lactic, citric, salicylic, etc). So you wouldn’t use them in conjunction with one another; meaning at the same time, but you can definitely use an acid during the day and a different one at night and vary them up.

In this case, DCL S cape NIGHT booster is specifically a night formulation due to hefty vit C so you would use either your Good Genes or P50 for day use and DCL at night.
I use DCL about 2-3 times a week at night and I do a serum (Jack Black protein booster.. it has Matrixyl 3000 in it) followed by the DCL and the top with a night moisturizer cream. I prefer creams over the DCL instead of oil due to grainy texture of the acid.
Note: My daytime acids I alternate between P50 (aggressive) and Zelens PHA (gentle).
It never hurts to vary your acid unless a person has a specific intolerance and/or wants the simplicity of using only one product. Nothing wrong in that.
Hope this helps. Just think cleanse, tone (acid), treatment, moisturize, SPF. That’s the general gist.

Sorry – should have been clearer! I meant whether it’s necessary to have that many types of acids (but obviously not used together) in one’s routine or if the Vitamin C should replace the Lactic Acid 🙂

Do you use any retinol products?

Thank you, Wendy!

Acid types: depends on who you ask. I like to change things up personally and use different forms because they react either more aggressively or less aggressively on my skin. Last night used Vit C and this morning Zelens PHA because it is more gentle. Tomorrow P50.

Yes, I use retinol as well, but not every night and then in varying strengths. I do not use the Vit C night treatment with retinol. Too much for me.
Super Light retinol night = Sunday Riley Luna
Light retinol night = Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic plus Retinol
Aggressive retinol night = Kate Sommerville Liquid Lift, Kate Sommerville ResAsphere on top

I had prescrip retinol for awhile, but it gave me terrible dry eczema like patches. I prefer the lower dose commercial products that combine other benefits/ingredients. I think it is a product that works over the long run and has aggregate effects. I particularly see the benefits around my eyes (I use the Gross ferlic+ret specific eye treatment for that area).
Definitely prescription is effective and far far cheaper, but you can also go a bit overboard very easily on it.

I’m 53 so.. you know.. it takes the whole kitchen sink. Retinol in my opinion more of a go to when you get well into your 30’s because it thins the skin. It’s obviously up to the individual and I’m sure there is a barrage of opinion out there. Looking at your photos, I don’t really feel you need it, but better to take the advice of a professional.


Gentle cleanser, a BHA Liquid and Benzoyl Peroxide has the only thing that has helped. I use Cerave cleanser, Paula Choice BHA Liquid and a Clean n Clear Benzoyl Peroxide topical cream. I do use a moisturizer. A lightweight one with Spf during day. A gel or liquid at night. Lotion based ones even if for oily skin have proven to be terrible for me and do nothing but clog my pores regulars of brand or price. My skincare routine is pretty simple. I have added a retinol serum. But I don’t need much to keep acne at bay and my skin is in the best state of my life. Never thought it possible and luckily is not in need of prescriptions, chemical peels etc

What truly has not worked on my skin and has not improved until I rid my skincare of these things:

SD Alcohol/Alcohol Denat: Dries out your skin and makes it over produce oil ie you get acne. Biggest cause of acne and just should not be in skincare anything

Again, lotion based moisturizers etc. Clogs pores, milia, blackheads etc

Plant fragrance ie lavender, willow bark, citrus, menthol, gerinol , rose. Etc. Just bc it is natural doesn’t mean it has any proven benefits other than fragrance. Most natural companies load products up with plant fragrance bc good plant extracts are too costly but that doesn’t make it good. It’s an irritant and bad for skin.

Fragrance. Yup synthetic or natural it is bad. Especially worse the higher on the ingredients list. Just think, if it is listed in the middle or higher, there is a lot of it and the greater the risk of reaction and irritation ie acne

You read and digested your Paula! Good. That’s exactly why I like the Cosrx over the Mizon toner. I try to avoid alcohol, even when low on the list. Knowing about ordering pH dependent acids is important. Snow White atAP has very good posts. In the past decades, the salicylic acid products were all formulated with too high a pH to do, well jack shit. For big money! Snow/Cat also as a good post on the difference in labeling laws between AB/KB and US ingredients lists. I use the resist bha, bec it’s less oily or the Cosrx, in addition to the toner, ams. Nights, differin. Which I don’t dare put anything over. Has significantly cut down on my product use! I don’t dare use the Cosrx aha or the derma e (which gets five stars on beautypedia and is cheapish.)

Hoo wee, I could go on and on about this but I’ll just mention one skin care issue. I’m 58 and many years ago I started getting the dreaded age spots aka “liver spots” on my hands. For some reason those gross me out so I wanted to prevent them if I could. I started using a hand cream from Neutrogena called New Hands, which contained several sunscreen ingredients and which promised to prevent age spots and fade the ones you have.

Well, sure enough, it worked. When the company discontinued the hand cream and didn’t have a comparable replacement, I started using one of their facial lotions that has the exact same ingredients. Slightly more expensive but not bad. And I tell you what — I have zero age spots on my hands. None. Nada. And I’m the only person I know my age who doesn’t. I apply the lotion every single day, usually twice a day. It has become an ingrained habit, like brushing my teeth. Your hands can really age you; don’t forget them!

What a great tip. I’ve just noticed some of these spots appearing on my hands, and today will go look into Neutrogena’s product. thanks.

You’re welcome, but I see I forgot to say which one I use. Duh me! It’s the Neutrogena daily moisturizer with sunscreen, SPF 15 (but I think I’ll look for a higher SPF next time I buy a bottle). Active ingredients are: avobenzone 1.5%, octisalate 5%, octocrylene 3%, and oxybenzone 4%. I know some don’t like to use these chemicals but it’s a personal preference.

Willing to go for that, thanks. Though have to admit I don’t use the Paula age spot treatments, that would probably de-pigment pretty well, if I used them consistently. They took a big spot way down…on my forehead that scared me a tad, bec my mum had a precancerous area right there, and everything is hard wired. Tend to overlook it due to bangs. Stupid. It could become a bcc or scc. Not exactly a cosmetic problem.

Very dry skin, loosing elasticity and firmness. I combat these with Korean serums, essences, creams and sleeping masks. I’m reluctant to name them, cause they work just fine, but I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that they are not anything out of this world to recommend on the forum. What I would recommend however, to combat dry skin, is Korean serums with Hyaluronic acid. They do help a lot. The brands I like are Mizon, Tony Moly and The Face Shop.

Prescription retin A and topical antibiotic have helped me with ageing and breakout issues. SK-II cellumination mask-in lotion has been a perfect toner in fall, winter and early spring when I need a little hydration and to counter sometimes too-drying toners. Origins’ clay mask works wonders on clogged pores; PC’s niacinamide 10% also great for clogged pores and ‘refining’ in general. La Prairie cellular eye cream is excellent for fine lines around my eyes. I slather on La Roche Posay Anthelios 60; a claim is it ‘melts’ into skin and I don’t know from that but am happy with the no-oil finish and effectiveness; I use on face and body, this matters because of a skin cancer concern. A few years ago I started consciously drinking a lot of water daily, and it’s made a huge difference in a clearer, healthier skin. (For reference, I’m mid-50’s and have had oil/acne issues all my life and even still a little bit; maturing skin; fine wrinkles around eyes. )

I have been on a HUGE skincare kick and am still experimenting with the best routine but I think I’m getting close. My major issues are redness (my skin is fairly reactive) and clogged pores. I’ve started using acids, niacinamide, vitamin c, retinol and other ingredients to try to work with it, alternating nights and never going too crazy too many nights in a row.

I’ve also eliminated certain things, like chemical sunscreen (which I had been wearing every day – technically there is still some in my makeup and moisturizer but it’s minimal and I’m easing it out as best I can). And trying to make sure that my cleanser is low ph, cloth cleansing and just researching the heck out of ingredients.

So generally, I’ve revamped my entire routine and it’s hard to pinpoint specific things that have helped.

I’ve tried some of the REN redness line. I’ve found the mask really does take the redness down, at least temporarily. I’m not sure the moisturizer has been overly impressive and I don’t love the texture so I’m still searching.

The one product I’ve found where generally without fail I wake up looking amazing is Pestle and Mortar’s superstar oil. Unfortunately I don’t love all the ingredients in that, so I’m not sure I’m going to keep using it. But we’ll see.

For acne flare ups (which fortunately are pretty rare, although there have been more recently as I’ve been playing with my routine) I’ve been pretty happy with Kate Somerville’s eradicate, although I’m also about to start trying to use the hydrocolloid patches.

I’ve had a lot of success with hydrocolloid patches. FYI I liked some that Walgreens has recently discontinued in stores here (not sure if still available online); I’ve found some pretty good options on Amazon; but otherwise have had trouble finding and certainly none around here in stores. Unless they come by some other description.

Yeah, but it is so easy to use them too early. Many times Asian marketplaces carry them. Cosrx ones are not at Ulta, but yes on Amazon.

I am 28 years old and used to get hormonal acne on my chin. Well, NOT ANYMORE, FOLKS! After struggling with this for half my life I finally found something that works. Differin gel is now available over the counter and it WORKS! I’ve tried dozens of treatments from all price points and they never did anything besides dry my skin out. I’m so happy to finally have a solution!

I’m 59 and pretty sure I won’t get any Botox or plastic surgery, so have accepted my wrinkles and sags. I’ve got more sagging than wrinkles, though. I think maybe it’s because I had pretty oily skin in my younger days, plus my face was much fuller. So now my face looks normal (not really sunken) and wrinkles are more associated with facial movement than with age.

I used to have rosacea much worse when I was in my 30s-40s, especially on my cheeks. That has also diminished so it’s now a small spot of red on each cheek. I baby these spots, not using some of my skincare products on them. When they seem more red, Paula’s Choice Ultra Rich Moisturizer always lessens the red. Many people don’t even know that I’ve got rosacea.

Aside from the small rosacea spots, my skin is pretty clear so that I’ve actually been asked by people what I’ve used to achieve this. What may surprise them is that I’ve got pretty sensitive skin. So many products can irritate it. Forget those “natural” and even organic serums and oils that have supposedly beneficial ingredients like lavender, citrus acid/oil, etc. Or those with “no fragrance” that have fragrant oils like sandalwood, florals, etc. Yikes. These days, I can pretty much eliminate most products just by reading the hyped-up marketing first and then the ingredient list second. I’ve sometimes wondered if my avoidance of problematic ingredients over the years is the reason my face looks so clear and healthy now.

The last few years I’ve gotten a new problem crop up though: Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD). This is an autoimmune skin disorder that makes the skin react to certain metals, chemicals or other substances that are commonly found in cosmetics, clothing, and similar products used on a daily basis. In my case, I got very red irritated eyelids and one large red scaly spot on my neck. T.R.U.E. patch tests revealed I’m allergic to some metals (including chromium that’s a green dye used in eye makeup and in processing leather) and a couple preservatives (MCI and MI) used in lots of skincare and personal-care products. ACD requires eliminating exposures to any allergens, so now I’ve got to study ingredient lists of all skincare and personal-care products, even more so than I used to have to do with just the super sensitive skin. There’s no cure for ACD and with each exposure to an allergen, the reaction becomes quicker and more intense. [Special note to Christine if she’s made it this long in my write-up: thank you for posting photos of ingredient lists! :)] When I am accidentally exposed, there is an Rx gel that can be used but it’s got black-box warnings so I try to avoid it; I usually just ease off on using all products on my face/neck except the Paula’s Choice Ultra Rich Moisturizer and some Vanicream.

Despite having the ACD and minor rosacea, I’m pretty content with how my skin looks as I near 60. I’ve managed to avoid getting any age spots too. Maybe it’s my genes…

Oh, expletive deleted! I really don’t want to go there, but ACD might be something I have to rule out. Just last weekend became intolerant of deodorant. OMBFG! Have scaly patches erratically on both eyelids. Thought it was prob psoriasis, but it isn’t sun responsive, which my psoriasis usually was. Does respond to Rx corticosteroids, but who needs thinning eyelids? Also developed a severe allergy to chem sunscreens…not willing to figure out which ones, just avoid. I ‘subscribe’ to the general Paula principles. With allergies to benzoyl, Benzyl salicylate, and even aloe, I had to become a research freak out of necessity, too. I have to get a new pcp, and I think it may be a rheumatologist, despite my 2 arthritises are under control….it’s the REACTIVE arthritis that is getting me. Well, another 100 hours on the net about a medical topic is nothing out of the ordinary for me. Thanks for possibly putting me on to something. Currently, sun exposure or exercise with 50/mineral makes me look like cellulitis of the left cheek and min inflammation of the right. And I get effin sick of telling people it probably is not a sunburn.

Kjh, the eyelids are pretty much the most sensitive skin areas of the body. It sounds like you may want to look into having ACD. If so, be sure you see a doctor who’s familiar with the T.R.U.E patch test– this is not the same as food pinprick/patch type tests. The doctor has to know how to interpret the results. Some dermatologists have been trained in it in and are familiar, but many are not. In my case, I saw an MD who specializes in Allergy and Immunology.

Sunscreens contain colophony, which is one substance that is tested. Not sure what’s in your deodorant that could be an allergen. The T.R.U.E test only tests for 36 substances (the most common allergens), so as my doctor told me, there are many more things that someone could be allergic to. But perhaps your already having arthritis makes it more possible that you could have ACD too. Hard to say. It’s a PITA to live with but I was relieved to learn that what I had could be attributed to something that I could avoid exposure to, it that makes sense.

I’m also sensitive to aloe. I’ve been told by people who love aloe that it’s likely the preservative or other items added to aloe products. I’m skeptical so plan to find an aloe plant someday to test straight aloe. I find I can tolerate aloe in some products (especially if they’re washed off right away like cleansers or the aloe is further down the ingredient list),but 99% aloe and heavy aloe products are problematic.

Acne: Prescription Retin-A (.025%) and prescription sulfacetamide-sodium something or other have totally taken care of my acne–it’s been fantastic.

I was getting a lot of breakouts around my jawline. My foundation also used to break up and settle into the lines on my face and at the end of the day my face was really oily. I stopped using a harsh facial cleanser and switched to Clarins Extra Comfort Anti Pollution Cleansing Cream and also added the Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil after my normal moisturiser (Neutrogena Hydro Boost water gel). My skin has never been better and i actually cant remember the last time i had a breakout! The oiliness is totally under control to a point where I would actually now describe my skin type as normal and not oily. I don’t even have to blot my face during the day anymore and I have never used so much cream and oil based products on my skin!

I’ve had dry skin all my life. My face however…once I hit my early fifties I developed a T Zone. A pretty significant one. The best product I’ve found for it is Urban Decay setting sprays. I wash and moisturizer as soon as I get up, then spray setting spray, use primer, apply full face including highlighters then spray again. I’m still “dry” 10 plus hours later.

Years ago I had oily skin and Clarins Lotus Oil really helped normalize it. More recently I’ve started having fine lines and dull skin from dehydration and turned to products containing hyaluronic acid. My favorites are from French brand Institut Esthederm, but the recently released Water Drench range by Peter Thomas Roth is also excellent. For hyperpigmentation I’ve seen good results from Dr Brandt’s vitamin C serum, although one session of IPL did more than 2+ years of topical vitamin C application!

I’ve had acne since age 14 and am now 69 and still have it!I’ve tried everything except accutane(too toxic).i also have had oily skin since age 14 as well.
I finally found my holy grail…”the ordinary”by decium…a real micicle for me.
Have been free of pimples and contested pores for over 3 monthes..the products started working for me from the start.
We all have specific skin issues so you have to find your own solution…heres mine:salycilic acid 2%…azulaic acid 10% and niacinamide 10%.i switch these around on a daily basis…also aha 30% once every few weeks.thats It!
Also their caffeine under eye serum is totally awsome…works right away for under eye water retention…amazingly affordable and super effective..for me anyway..

Lol. Haven’t suffered as long as you. From ~age 20 to 69. I use differin at night, and usually the ordinary niacinamide/zinc (my lack of smell is due to total zinc deficiency) over Cosrx toner and under the Paula or Cosrx bha in the am. No topical atbx ever worked, and those expletive deleted derms always insisted on using them, to zero effect. Even when I said they work-ed not. Retin A did, but now differin is otc. It’s slow, but to me not sensitizing. I do the ordinary aha/bha peel weekly. And the Paula 4% bha biweekly and s.t. As spot treat. Allergic to benzoyl. Can’t use whatever they call pocket derm now, , bec aloe in the base. Damned if you do… I inherited my father’s skin, and believe there might be a hormonal mismatch going on. But he also gave me the gene to keep my hair color, still basically blonde, so I ought not bitch. I have general reactivity, and if I get any infection, the acne, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and gastrointestinal problems all flare. Always say I’m glad I’m playing the back nine. Think I’ll add azelaic from the ordinary. My skin loves acids.

My skin issues mainly is slight discoloration nothing major from years of sunning but I don’t really do anything for it because it isn’t bad at all my husband says he doesn’t see any discoloration also looser skin a couple of wrinkles. Mainly aging skin I am 59 years old but I am told that I look a lot younger I don’t know why I tanned most of my life but stopped all together a few years back. I just started taking care of my skin through at home skin care. I don’t do facials or botox. The past few months I have been using Dr. Dennis Gross, Perlier Hyaluronic acid, and also a couple of Tatcha products just to try and keep my skin hydrated and combat aging. I tried a lot of skin care products the last year and most of them I don’t even use any longer. Until the last couple of years I never took care of my skin I didn’t even use moisturizers but I feel it is important so better late then never.

I stopped getting injections when I stopped working. I find that Dr. Brandt Needles No More Wrinkle Smoothing Cream does improve my crows’ feet a bit. I’ve also been relying on The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum to plump up the fine lines. I have been using Retin-A for about 30 years, first for acne and then for anti-aging and I stopped getting sun on my face in the late 1970’s, after I noticed that it made my cystic acne really bad. As a result of the Retin A and no sun, my skin is in pretty good shape and I don’t have a lot of hyperpigmentation on my face. My hands give my age away, however. I just don’t have the discipline to wear sunscreen on them all the time.

The topical issues I have had regarding my skin is mainly uneven skin tone, patches of redness and generally anti ageing.
In past 4-5 years I have really strengthened my skincare regime and this is what has worked well for me:
Cleansing milks – work better than normal cleanser
Physicians Formula Argon Oil
Rich serums with no retinol as my skin cannot tolerate it.
Rich night moisturisers
Daily moisturiser with a hefty SPF
Eye cream
I am not denoting brands as I chop and change, but I did like Dr. Lewinn’s Ultra 4 regime.

Melasma and sun damage discoloration: full diy 50% Glycolic Acid peels, 55% Lactic Acid peels, Lactic Acid Face Scrub and Glycolic Serum has improved the issues immensely although slowly. Also higher spf sunscreen.

Clindamycin (prescription) has cleared my skin
Retin A (prescription) helped with wrinkles and spots
Clarisonic for cleansing
Sunscreen on face and backs of hands every day
Taking extreme care to get all makeup off every night
The above combination has really made a big difference in my skin

Redness/dryness: I have spent years perfecting my skincare for my red, dry skin. I have finally gotten into a good rhythm that has eliminated almost all of my redness which was a feat. Pixi Glow Tonic is an amazing exfoliator for my sensitive, red skin. Skin Inc. Revival Peel is too. And coincidentally has my favorite packaging ever. Sunday Riley Flora hydrates and pumps my skin like no other. Origins Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum and Sunday Riley Luna are total game-changers when it comes to relieving redness. I had tried dozens and dozens of products before finding items that actually work. It is like magic. Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask is perfect for my specific skin concerns. The only bad part is after I take the mask off it burns red like fire for an hour after taking it off. It actually overall calms my redness after that hour.

Under eye darkness: Clarins Eye Contour and Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream. Both are the best I have tried but I am looking for something that probably does not exist. I just started Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado tonight so I will find out about that one. I am a small business owner so I always look tired!

Aging: I am 30 and people often mistake me for early 20s. I live a clean life and have few visible signs of aging. I wear sunscreen daily. No matter what (and have for years). I am extremely fair and make sure to take Vitamin D supplements. I like ThinkBaby sunscreen. I also like The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30. I also use Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E antiOXIDANT Protect + Repair Moisturizer in the evening. It is awesone. My longest lasting skincare item is Origins A Perfect World Age-Defense Skin Defense with White Tea. I put this on every morning. If for any reason this item has been out of stock in my home, my skin suffers. It helps my skin stay young and protected.

I have a ridiculously long skincare regimine but the above products are my most effective products. I really love these products. A lot. Skincare is above my interest in makeup these days. I like feeling totally confident leave my house without any makeup on. It is so freeing.

When I was in my teens I suffered acne. The treatments in the 80’s (benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, clindamycin, etc) focussed on drying out your skin & disinfecting it. All I those harsh ‘drying & disinfecting’ever did was make my face a red, peeling, irritated mess with more pimples. Finally, I went to a dermatologist who suggested oral contraceptives to treat my acne as he thought it was hormonal in origin. BOOM! my skin was clean, clear & smooth there on out. The moral of the story: If you have acne in a beard-like pattern around your mouth, cheeks & chin (and maybe other places like your back & forehead too) no topical treatments will work. Your body is producing too many androgens & the only way to stop that is to shut those ovaries down with OCP’s.

Unfortunately with the use of oral contraceptives & years of not regularly using sunblock comes hyperpigmentation. Add to that the soaring hormones of a couple of pregnancy & you have a glorious mask of pregnancy, chloasma, melasma, whatever you want to call it. I’ve tried retinols which are effective but extremely harsh & drying on my skin for the hyperpigmentation. Despite the risks hydroquinone is still used here in Asia for skin bleaching but it’s way to harsh for my skin. Vitamin C & 50 spf sunblock is now my hyperpigmentation & anti aging regimen of choice. I’m trying Kiehl’s Line Reducing Serum (basically a stable Vit C in a heavy ‘cone base) nightly along with a 50 spf sunblock (L’Oreal’s UV Perfect) under It Cosmetic’s CC cream as a foundation set with IT Cosmetics CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder SPF 50+. Why all the overkill on spf? Because I live close to the equator at an elevation of 5,000 ft. It’s a risky business here with severe UV warnings issued daily.

I have oily, breakout-prone skin with large pores and redness from past breakouts. I got most of breakouts and flaking under control with Paula’s 2% BHA lotion (recently reformulated w/o squalane, so it’s not as heavy as it used to be!) and I use it after the Skin-Balancing Toner (also from PC), which really seems to make a difference to how oily I get – my skin is so much calmer with it. I do want to try the CosRX BHAs too! But those two are the cornerstones of my regimen and the rest are subject to change with season and preference. I usually incorporate a retinol serum into my evening routine, right now testing Paula’s Resist serum. I should be more rigorous with SPF. Right now I am using The Ordinary’s Buffet serum twice a day and experimenting with various treatments: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% and Zinc 1%, Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% and a vitamin C cream plus a Lumene vit C and hyaluronic acid serum. All of this is to even out scarring and redness from past breakouts and calm down my oil production – and keep fine lines under control around my eye area 🙂

I still get breakouts during times of stress but nothing as bad as I used to (I’m 31), and I’m currently looking to find a gentle benzoyl peroxide thing to spot treat any breakouts I might get and a good (tinted) moisturizer with SPF to get me through summer.

So. As a teen, through my twenties, into my thirties – I could seriously count the number of zits I ever had on one hand. In my mid twenties, Avon came out with ANEW aha cream – anyone remember that one? It was the first time I ever heard of anything like that, and I used it religiously. Around 25 or so – so that would have been circa 1989 – beauty magazines started talking about sunscreen, and how so much of visible aging is caused by the sun, etc., and that made perfect sense to me, because all the men in my family are car buffs, and I know how much damage the sun can do to a paint job and leather upholstery. Lol. So I’ve been a sunscreen slatherer almost all my adult life – not a dotter or a dabber – a slatherer. Then I hit my mid thirties, and all hell broke loose. Hormonal acne. Now by then I had incorporated retinol, but that didn’t seem to help the problem, so I proceeded to nuke my face with every acid I could get my hands on, multiple times a day, glycolic, salicylic, lactic – not to mention TCA and Jessner peels. Pretty much what I accomplished was to dry the living hell out of my skin, but I did for the most part manage to keep the acne under control, except for the inevitable week before my period, when I would always get one or two zits. I’d always pick at them, and I’d always end up with those lovely red marks that never seem to go away. I hit 40 and decided enough was enough, damn it, so I went to my GP and she gave me a scrip for Retin A, which I’ve used since then, probably 3-4 nights a week. But I kept getting a monster zit every month or so – the big subterranean kind that swell to huge red proportions, but never come to a head. Then they finally go down after literally FOREVER and leave these dark red marks. And it was driving me nuts. Then I discovered oils, and things haven’t been the same since. I always cleanse at night, starting with an oil. Right now it’s Simple cleansing oil, but I’ve also gotten good results from grapeseed and sunflower oils. Sometimes I use a face wash after, sometimes not – depends on how my skin feels. And I just use an oil in the morning, often the Burt’s Bees one, because I don’t like that one for eye makeup removal. I know that those of you who actually read this (and those who looked at it and thought, oh hell no!) are wishing I would just shut up, already. There IS a point to this. And that is that if you make sure that your skin’s barrier is fortified and intact, your skin will get better. I never use retin a alone, for instance. I moisturize afterward, with good old Pond’s dry skin cream. Sometimes I moisturize before too, especially during our killer Minnesota winters. I’m old, so you’d have to modify any of this to suit your particular needs, but I swear it’s worked for me for the last 12 years or so, and I’m firmly in the grip of early menopause – which means my body is FREAKING THE F*** out!!! You have to get everything off every night – hence the oils – and you have to stay moisturized.

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