Archive for March 25th, 2013

Regime or regimen: What’s your system?

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I can’t keep pretending I’m 24 and that my skin is doing ok with just a daily (or so) dose of Olay’s* Complete face lotion for sensitive skin. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the lotion — I still like it — but it’s no longer enough to do the trick. I don’t know if I’m eating something different, if it’s been the jogging in the cold weather, if it’s post-partum life, if it’s always been bad and I just ignored it before, or if it’s this prolonged winter, but my skin needs work. I mean, really, people. It’s a wonder no one has said anything.**

So, I am turning to you, Dear Readers, for some guidance. My research on the Google machine has turned up what appear to be a couple of general truths: (1) I really need to be exfoliating and (2) adding a Retinol-infused product might not hurt. The thing is, though, is that all I need to know? Because I still have a million questions.

Yesterday I decided to purge some of the contents of a make-up drawer and a shelf with facial products. I found, though, a product I thought I should get back to using. “Get back to using” is a bit of an overstatement as not much had been used. So, I splashed some warm water on my face and lightly scrubbed Dove’s Gentle Exfoliating Foaming Facial Cleanser into my skin. I rinsed and applied the Olay staple. I thought, how often should I be using the exfoliator? The product says it’s to be used daily and specifically states, “Created gentle enough to use daily,” but is this true? Or would it be better to space it out? Or would it be better still to buy a heftier exfoliator that isn’t intended for daily use? I have no idea. I quickly realized, though, that my Dove product has been discontinued. I’m not going to get into when it was discontinued; let’s just say this product has clearly been on my shelf for awhile. Ok, so I need more info on exfoliation.

Today I headed to Walgreens (one of my least favorite stores but until they put a Sephora or a Target or – a girl can dream – an independent drug or make-up store on the Square, it’s Walgreens I find myself in to solve my daily product problems) for a Retinol product. At first, I headed to the small Roc section because the internet-verse suggested Roc for all things Retinol. I soon realized, though, that a million brands carry Retinol products: L’Oreal, Neutrogena, Garnier, Olay, and more. This was good and bad news. More choices should create price competition, which is especially helpful for ignoramus consumers like me, but more choices means more choices, which isn’t super helpful for ignoramus consumers like me who know little more than they are looking for something with Retinol. Ugh. After picking up and carrying around more than half a dozen products, I finally settled upon Neutrogena’s Rapid Tone Repair Moisturizer (Night). But now I’m confused. Should I put on lotion after I use this product? Can it go on when I get home from work (when I’m more likely to use it properly) or is it best to go on right before bed? Really, I’m in need of some serious assistance.

With these things in mind, I come to you. What do you use and how do you like it? What have you rejected and why? Do you feel like some products are good for some things, say anti-acne and anti-shine, but they create other problems like, say, flaking? No piece of advice or observation is too small. Please share your thoughts – I’m so interested.

In thinking about a skin care regimen, I almost always think of this priceless bit of dialogue from┬áThe Truth about Cats and Dogs in which Janeane Garofalo socks it to the woman working a department store’s make-up counter.

Make-up counter woman: We also have this new face cream which neutralizes the free radicals that attack the skin. Let me ask you: what’s your skin regime?

Abby (JG): My regime? The regime from which the radicals are trying to get free? Are we selling face cream or staging a coup?

I’ve always thought that was pretty funny.

*When did they drop the “Oil of”? I assume it was done in a sort of KFC rebranding way: Let’s take “Fried” out of our title and maybe people will feel better eating here. Let’s take “Oil of” out of the equation so those with oily skin don’t rule us out as an option.

**At least no one has said anything to my face.

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