What were some of the first skincare products you purchased?

I know my mom bought Clinique’s famous three-step system when I was a teen, but I can’t remember what the first skincare products I actually purchased were… I want to say MAC because that was my go-to brand, so something like Prep + Prime, Strobe, Cleanse-Off, etc.!

— Christine
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My first ‘serious’ skincare products were from the Shiseido Benefiance line, which launched in the early 90’s. Before that, I can’t remember.

Probably Pond’s hydrating face cream! Oh god it was terrible for my sensitive skin lol. Then i moved on to slightly more expensive things like Neutrogena cleansers (the orange one!) and then French skincare brands Avene, La Roche Posay etc. 🙂

My earliest memories of skin care was in the 70s. Products like Noxzema (the tub of cleansing cream), PhisoDerm, Sea Breeze, etc. Then there was a 4-piece set by Mary Quant that contained a cleanser, a moisturizer, a toner, and something else (can’t remember).

I flinch, when I think of it. Nothing that could go anywhere near my skin now. My fave (eeey yi yi) was Charles of the Ritz Dual Lotion, a potion of virtually straight alcohol and menthol! The Clinique three step, the toner of which was also loaded with alcohol, the soap was stripping….they must have modified the program by now, knowing what we do. Sea Breeze. Ten-O-Six. Admittedly, I was an oil slick, but the idea that no derm told me that was not the way, is unreal, in retrospect.

The toner still has alcohol as one of the top ingredients. That product is so old, I’m wondering if they can change it without people complaining.

Here too, it was Clinque’s 3-step skin care (I remember when Clinique first opened up in Canada – I think it was 1971 and the price for their soap was something I had to budget for). But before that, I remember buying some Max Factor face products that were geared to teens – can’t remember the name of the line now but this would have been way back in the 60’s. In highschool, I remember buying Merle Norman Miracol – it was a paint on “mask” that burned and stung like nobody’s business and probably was, for my complexion, the first step on the road to broken capillaries. Oh, I also used Weleda Skin Food and something they used to make that also came in a squeeze tube – it was called Skin Tonicum. And because I was “hippy-ish” and also idolized Julie Driscoll (anyone else remember her – she sings the version of Wheels on Fire that is used on AbFab) I dabbled with some Beauty Without Cruelty products (not many were available in Toronto at the time). I’ve gotta say, Christine, that this trip down memory lane (and some of us have a pretty long lane to travel down) is so enjoyable.

In high school, my Mom’s aesthetician advised using the orange Neutrogena bar and following up with white vinegar on a cotton pad as an astringent of sorts, so that’s what I did. It worked until it didn’t, then I found my own aesthetician and bought dermalogica for many years. I also mixed yonka in there somewhere.

That’s harder to remember. I think the original Noxema cleansing cream, and Ten*0*Six astringent. This would have been in the early ’80s.

OMG, I was just going to answer with Ten-O-Six. All three of us kids used to use a lot of that!

Stridex Pads, Seabreeze, Noxema and every acne fighting medicated spot concealer I could try! Beginning at 12, I began to get my first breakouts. By 14, I had some serious acne all over my face, upper back and sometimes on my decollate, too. Therefore, the only skincare I could be concerned with during my teens and 20’s were all anti-acne products.
I only began using Oil Of Olay Unscented (in the Light formula) in my early 30’s as a preventative measure. And a L’Oreal eye cream in my late 30’s.

My mom used to buy me Stridex pads back in the early 90s. I think the first thing I purchased myself was Clinique’s 3 step system. They convinced me to buy the one for oily skin and the toner used to burn my face so badly!

The first skincare item I EVER purchased was a tub of SkinFood Cappuchino Cream Scrub that I bought at the ripe old age of 23 when I was living in Shanghai. Some people find this hard to believe, but until my early 20s my skin was so fussy that I NEVER washed my face. I would let the suds from my very gentle shampoo just kind of skim over my face as I rinsed my hair, and that was all it could handle. I couldn’t even use a washcloth. And then things changed, like a lightswitch, and suddenly soaps and scrubs and toners, and even oily serums are all fine. I have no idea what changed things, but I like to give credit to China because it’s the best.

When I was in high school which was from 1968-1972, I used all Borghese skin care. I don’t remember specific products but I would get serious sized testers from my best friend’s mom. When I went away to nursing school and was living in a small town that didn’t have anything except what was sold in the supermarket or Osco Drug so I used Noxema, Ponds Cold cream and I didn’t suffer any obvious skin issues using these two products. Towards the end of my nursing school education I started having trouble with cystic acne. It got really bad and for a short while, a matter of a few months, I was a skin picker. Trying to pick and squeeze cystic acne is a recipe for disaster and luckily I stopped doing that. It kind of grossed me out given that I was a nurse and was spreading all these germs around. I think the cystic acne was mostly related to stress as my final semester in nursing school was incredibly stressful and then the first year or two of working was also stressful. You are constantly worried about whether you are doing the right thing or not. Anyway, somewhere along the line there I discovered Benzoyl Peroxide in the 5% strength. My skin responded really well to it and my cystic acne cleared up within about a month. I used it religiously for about 10 years, always worrying that if I stopped my acne would return. I used whatever moisturizer from the drugstore until I discovered high end makeup and skin care in the mid 70’s. For most of the 80’s I used Clarin’s Milky Cleanser which is the only name I can remember but I also used their toner, moisturizer and Beauty Balm. I used that product line for a long time and then added a couple of Olay products for more hydration. Since my breast cancer in 2000 I have pretty much used only HE skin care and a mix of brands. I was most recently faithful to Sunday Riley then switched to Drunk Elephant and now I mix a lot of traditional western brands with Korean brands. So after all that rambling, the short answer is Benzoyl Peroxide

All those alcohol drenched drying soaps and astringidents. A big “no no”.
My $75 Sisley soap finally calmed my skin. I used that soap so sparelingly (sp) due to its cost. Then I found a different low cost brand similar to it. Until Clarins came along, I had Clinique 3 step, Estée Lauder, Payot, Orlane, and everything in between.

I remember purchasing an Elizabeth Arden daytime face moisturizer. I think it was called “Dramatically Different” ( I hope I’m not getting the name confused with a Clinique product.) I had a friend in college whose mother had given her a bottle. She encouraged us to try it and I fell in love with the scent and how silky it left my skin. I ended up buying many bottles after that-but then moved on. When I finally decided to try it again it had been discontinued. I do wonder if I would like it as much now as I did then.

Probably my first skincare product was a cleanser, probably Pond’s Cold cream or something like that. There was not much available around back then.

I can’t remember prior to my 18th birthday but I remember my Mom took me to Macy’s and let me pick out skincare that I wanted. I remember getting a few things from Origins. She also bought me a foundation & powder. I ended up not liking anything and the cosmetics matched horribly. The first skincare; I believe I purchased was the Clinique 3 step.

Noxzema, then various cleaners and toners. Other than Noxzema, I’m not sure I ever bought the same thing twice in a row. I also used quite a few benzoyl peroxide products, but ended up with such a benzoyl peroxide sensitivity that putting any amount, any concentration, on my skin caused blistering (continues to this day).

Since I was selling Avon at 15, I’m sure I tried everything from Avon. Even things that weren’t appropriate. I also remember a Love’s Baby Soft facewash that I bought. It was sooo drying, but my sister told me I had to dry my skin out to stop getting zits. She’s an idiot, and I had little flakes all over my face. Noxzema was another one I used a lot. And Clearasil.

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