Dude, I had a rollickin’ good time last Friday night. I watched an episode of Law & Order: SVU, ate a massive bowl of Rainier cherries and, totally not kidding, stayed up until 1 (which is late for me) reading about skin care and taking notes, because I have officially decided that — drum roll, please — this will be the Summer of Skin Care for moi.
How serious are you about your skin care?
Some people are real-deal serious about it, and I wanna get serious about it, too, even though I’ve mostly ignored my skin for the past two years, because when I got pregnant, I stripped my skin care routine down to the bare bones. I just didn’t have it in me to think hard about ingredients and multi-step processes. I still did cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen and my acne medication, but that was it.
Pregnancy and having a baby wasn’t just a nine-month thing. I was talking to someone recently about mentally “bouncing back” and, gosh, it’s taken me a really long time. People told me that it would, but I didn’t really get it until it was happening to me. Connor is going to be 15 months old in a couple weeks, and I only now feel like I have the mental breathing room contemplate something like skin care again.
I’m also turning 42 next month, which is another reason skin care is on my mind. I’ve definitely noticed more sun spots, and my fine lines are getting…finer.
Anyway, I read a bunch of interesting skin care articles the other night (linked them down below in case you’re interested) and learned some fascinating things!
Order is important
The main skin care lesson I came away with after my jaunt through the Interwebs was that if you’re going to layer a bunch of products, the order with which you apply them is REALLY important, especially if you’re using active ingredients and compounds that can potentially conflict with the others.
I wish I knew the intricate science behind it, because I was deep in the chemistry trenches in college, and I think it would be fun to break it all down on a molecular level.
But the gist of it is this: some active ingredients deactivate others, so you can’t just layer things on your face willy-nilly…although, to be honest, that’s what I’ve been doing lately.
I haven’t been putting much thought into it (I want to start putting in more), but I figured that doing something was better than nothing. As it turns out, though, maybe it wasn’t, because I’ve been using this Drunk Elephant Vitamin C serum, and I think I’ve been using it wrong this entire time. I’ve been layering it on top of a glycolic toner in the morning and, apparently, these two things don’t play together well.
Being aware of the active ingredients in your skin care and the order in which you apply and layer them is a big deal! I’m hoping that figuring out the best order to apply the products I’m using and which ones work well together will improve my skin care game.
Alpha and beta hydroxys
I did some reading on the difference between alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids, and the different types, like glycolic lactic acid and salicylic acid.
I think I’m going to start adding glycolic acids into the mix because they’re supposed to be great for aging skin.
Chemical and physical sun screens
I also researched sun screens because I needed a refresher on the difference between chemical and physical ones (this article helped a lot).
Five-second summary: chemical sunscreens absorb and scatter the sun’s rays, and physical sunscreens reflect them.
The next day I went Sephora and grabbed Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Protection SPF30 with 20% zinc oxide, a physical sun screen.
I just really want to get to the point where I feel like every product and step in my skin care routine serves a legit purpose.
As for makeup, I still love wearing it, but as I get older, I prefer the way my skin looks when I wear less, especially less foundation, concealer and powder. I just can’t keep piling it on anymore. Like, I can’t get away with full-coverage foundation the way that I used to. And three or four years ago, I loved that sh*t! Now I feel like it ages me.
I’m trying to get away with the least amount of face makeup possible, and I hope that stepping up my skin care game will help me do that.
I haven’t written much about skin care on MBB because makeup has always been more interesting to me…but maybe The Summer of Skin Care will change that.
How do you look at skin care? Is it on your radar screen? Is it something you’ve been aware of for a long time, or was it something you got into when you reached a certain point in your life?
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,