Best Face Forward

I’ve been struggling with my skin. I’m 39 and I still have occasional break outs. How cruel is that? To have laugh lines AND acne? Very, if you ask me.

I go to a great esthetician for waxing and she told me that my skin is dry. This was news to me since I am all about moisturizing morning and night. “Stop treating your skin like it’s 16 years old” she told me. Apparently all my efforts to zap the blemishes were drying out my skin. Instead of getting rid of the zits, it was creating this parched desert on my skin which only made the break outs continue.


So I ditched all my Neutrogena products (she says they are very drying, fyi) and am now on a regime that includes Aveeno Positively Radiant products, some Mario Badescu night lotion, and one very expensive serum.

She swears that if I use these products my skin will be picture perfect come my wedding day. And while that’s important to me, I’d just like to get a handle on it for every day.

What’s your skin regime?


33 thoughts on “Best Face Forward

  1. I have no regime. I will turn 50 this year and I should be embarrassed to say I’ve never taken care of my skin. I don’t wash my face before bed, and in the mornings I wash my face with Ivory soap and use a light Neutrogena face cream. I’m anxious to hear what you think of Aveno. I’ve never been bothered by acne, but I do worry about my skin being too dry as I age. Maybe I’ll give it a try if you like it.

  2. Oh skin. It’s a never ending issue (even though I thought that after puberty and well into adulthood, I should have no more problems! NOT the case).

    I use neutrogena face wash in the morning and usually put on a small drop of La Roche Posay’s Effaclar face lotion which I absolutely love. That’s it really.

  3. My mom had never stressed the importance of proper skin care but a very sweet esthetician shared some advice with me, and I have had a simple but effective (and maybe pricey) regime since. As I have a twin sister I can accurately see what my skin would look like if I didn’t take care of it (she uses soap and water most days and Oil of Olay for her day lotion). Estee Lauder’s skin care lotion with 15 SPF is my day cream, used with an under eye cream for the bags. At night it’s an uber hydrating cream, that kind of smells like Play Doh, but what a difference! Soft, clear skin! And while there are a few laugh lines, the lines are small and not as plentiful as my sister’s (sorry sister!).

  4. I’ve had this exact issue. For the past three years, my skin has exploded from November until January. Primarily, it’s very likely stress. But I was certainly using drying products, which was making the situation far worse.

    Right now, I’m using Jurlique’s skin soothing cleanser. It’s a free sample, and I may need to bite the bullet and go buy a full size bottle. It is amazing. I use my Clarisonic in the evenings. For moisturizer, I’m using Jurlique’s calendula cream. It feels sort of sticky going on, but it makes my skin feel great. I also have these Beta Hydroxy pads (can’t remember the brand), which I use once a week. Oh, and Neutrogena dry touch sunscreen. I am still looking for a night cream and an eye cream that I like.

  5. Mmh, that is good to know about the Neutrogena products. I am using their pink grapefruit cleanser and love it (no break outs), but I also tend to have dry skin, so maybe I should switch to something else?

  6. I use the Neutrogena Cream Cleanser every morning (and most nights although that’s the first thing skipped if I’m too tired); in the morning I use an SPF30 lotion with a light tint (I don’t wear any coverup/base/foundation/blush/etc.) that I don’t remember the name but it’s common drugstore fodder. Although I’m thinking of changing it out to an anti-aging with a high SPF and buying some liquid foundation to add a tint to it [I read this in a magazine a long time ago and have since seen it pop up on Pinterest a few times]. At night if I remember to wash my face, I apply Burt’s Bees Radient Night Cream, which smells amazing and makes my skin feel incredible. I always remove my eye makeup as the liquid liner fucks with my contacts something awful. And I use Burt’s Bees Naturally Ageless Smoothing Eye Cream on them each night.

    Whew! That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? I always think I’m low-maintenance in the Girly department but perhaps I’m not. I will be 28 in a few weeks and I have no desire to succumb to plastic surgery (being from the South, we are big believers in Botox and breast enhancement).

  7. I’m a Mary Kay girl, believe it or not, and have been since college… I’ve also used some Philosophy products, but try to stay clear of harsh soaps in general… And for occasional breakouts, I use toothpaste (yes, really)… 🙂

  8. Well, many years ago I decided that washing my face dried it out. So I only ever use plain warm water on my face. Only. Tho most days I use a wipe to get rid of mascara under my eyes and refresh it. I use benzoil peroxyde on the occasional zit.
    And that? Is all. Kind of a non-routine I guess.
    btw – grey hair and zits is one of the cruelist cuts in life.

  9. I saw an esthetician before my wedding, too. She completely changed my skin regimen, because I also had super dry skin. All I will say is, don’t expect any miracles by the time your wedding rolls around and let’s hope this change shows improvements in the next year. My regimen did nothing to change my skin in a year, so I ditched the expensive products and went back to my drugstore products. I figure, if I can’t miraculously change my skin, at least I can save my wallet. =)

  10. I have combination skin, some areas are oily and others are dryish. So I also get breakouts now and then, especially around my period or if I go on a chocolate binge. I started out using Clinique in my teens and twenties and an esthetician told me those products aren’t good for people with tendency to have big pores, so I ditched those and have used Oil of Olay ever since. I sometimes change things up and use things like clearasil, clean and clear, or St Ives. I find my skin gets “bored” of using the same product and they start losing effect on my skin, so I vary them. My granny, who has perfect skin, swears by Ponds, she says every night cream is based on ponds, so why spend more? But I find ponds a little too oily for me. I hope aveeno works for you, I’ve never tried it, but I’ve heard good things about that brand.

  11. Are you on birth control? That could be contributing to the problem. I was having break outs all of the sudden and after a trip to the doctor and a med switcharoo, it’s all better. Good luck!

  12. Philosophy Purity and Shelter. I have Rosacea and most products do not work. Stress makes my face red and blotchy and I get dry, flaky skin around my nose, so I worry about trying anything new. I’m curious how you will like Aveeno products…I’ve loved their body lotion in the past…

  13. Plain old water and maybe some pure coconut oil if my face feels dry. I use coconut oil for all moisturizing now though. I don’t use lotions and stuff anymore. It smells good, it absorbs nicely, and it it more cost effecient than all that “beauty stuff” .

  14. Neosporin, believe it or not. I have disastrously dry skin, which leads to acne, and no amount of casual moisturizing will do the trick. Forget expensive serums — things like olive oil or Neosporin (which is just intense cocoa-butter type moisturizers with an antibacterial element) have worked perfectly. I switched from olive oil to Neosporin because it’s less messy/runny, and my face has been clearer for months than it had been for five years prior after trying every moisturizer in existence.

  15. I never really did anything and had positive results (great skin) until I turned 40… Then it dried out and wrinkles, discoloration, under eye darkness oh my…it’s like everything happened overnight. I now use Clinique 3 step, mild facial soap, mild clarifying lotion and then dramatically different moisturizing gel. I put on sunscreen everyday and wear China Doll Foundation by Napoleon. It appears to be helping a little, but staying out of the sun is key for me.

  16. In my thirties my skin went haywire, and I tried all kinds of moisturisers to get it to settle. In the end though, it wasn’t til I found Dermologica cleansing gel that I found it cleaned my skin so well, that it doesn’t matter what moisturiser I use. I do like Neutrogena healthy skin night cream with retinol, as it leaves my skin dewy fresh in the morning.


  17. L’occitane soap for washing and Clinique superdefense spf 25 during the day + Sampar hydrating fluid during night. None of these products irritate my skin, I almost never use foundation/makeup. But I still get dry patches in my face, so might look for something more heavy duty to put on at night; or maybe I should try drinking moree water before bying expensive creams? Best wishes for the wedding day! And the lifetime journey that follows! 😉

  18. I’ve been lurking on your blog for YEARS and skin care is the thing that brings me out of the shadows, imagine! (you’re one of my favorite internet strangers. Hello.) I work for Kiehl’s so I get lots of skin care training and education as part of my job. It’s true that your skin is probably just really thirsty and is creating more oil in an attempt to heal itself – causing breakouts. Since I started working at Kiehl’s I’ve become an absolute convert – not a single zit and everybody comments on my skin (a little creepy, but nice all the same). The good thing about that place is you can go in and talk to them and they can “prescribe” the right treatment plan (we wear lab coats! so we’re official!). I love it when brides-to-be come in and want to look better by their wedding because it’s totally possible. Seriously, they don’t pay me to comment on people’s blogs, I just work there for a little extra cash, but it’s a good place with good products. 🙂

  19. Not to be too graphic and gross (and I’m sure you’re already trying this) but If your skin is dry the best cure is to drink more water. Like so much that you have to pee every twenty minutes and it is clear (after about a week the errr, volume of output does seem to reduces..). Then throw on some oil of olay regenerist for day and night. That stuff works and will make you all glowy. That’s the switchup I made at 35 – sorry its so graphic.

  20. If this is the same serum that Katrina gave me as a sample a couple months ago, then I’d say you’re going to be pleased with the results. I think she took pity on my horrible breakout mere days before my best friend’s bachelorette party in May, which is why she gave me a sample of that stuff for free. Within just a couple of days, my skin was back on track, and I found myself Googling this product to see if I might be able to justify the price tag. (Ouch!) Still got a few drops left in the sample bottle, but I may have to take the plunge and get some more. That shit’s good.

    I also use Aveeno Positively Radiant and CeraVe lotion during the day. My skin’s looking great!

  21. I use products from Paula’s Choice. Paula is a consumer advocate for skin care and cosmetic products who reviews brand name products for safety, effectiveness, and affordability. She has her own line of products that are effective, affordable, and not tested on animals. I love her cleanser and sunscreen/moisturizer.

    She gives a lot of good info on skin care in her books and on her blog. Love her!

  22. I have always had oily skin and breakouts occur at my ripe old age of 38, so I know what you’re talking about. I was very happy with my Cetaphil Gentle cleanser and moisturizer and then a friend suggested coconut oil – EVCO, as the parlance goes. It seemed wack, putting oil directly on to oily skin, against every instinct I’ve had since teenagehood. I am a complete convert. I told my husband I may never put something on my face I couldn’t conceivably eat again – it just feels right, in that hippie way I never really had , you know? I tried on my old moisturizer the other day and it felt and tasted like chemicals. Since I started EVCO (I got the Dr. Bronner’s type at PCC) about a month ago, no breakouts, even at period time. It smells great, my pores look smaller and I use it for everything! Deep conditioning my hair and my kids, moisturizing all over…I never thought I would comment on skin care or fall for they “hype” but I love it. Love it! Also, $9.99 a jar that I can see lasting me about 3-4 months.

  23. I used to deligently take care of my skin in my teens, 20’s and 30’s. Now? I sleep in my make up, reapply spackle between takes and power wash with whatever is in my shower. I’m sure I’ve aged tons these past few years.

  24. I have pretty oily skin, but I don’t shy away from moisturizing. For daytime, I use Olay daily moisturizer. At night I use a fantastic night cream. It’s Boots brand that I get at Target for like 6 bucks. It’s AWESOME.

    I actually wash my face with baby wash! It’s gentle on my skin, but still cleanses it really well and doesn’t leave it super dry.

    I used some Mario Badescu products in the past and was really happy with them!

    What’s the serum you’re using?

  25. I have to concur with chezjulie. I have been reading Paula Begoun’s books and columns for years now, and even if you don’t use her Paula’s Choice products (which I usually do), her reviews and observations can save you a lot of time, trouble and money.

  26. Seriously: OZMOTICS. You know I went through terrible issues, right? I got hooked up through my blog with them, they are from Denver and I spent the afternoon with the founder. I cannot speak more highly of them. They are a little pricey, but it lasts so over all ok. It’s the copper line you want, especially the gellee wash and the blue copper face serum. I cannot stress how good this stuff is enough. She talked to me about how it makes the cells in your face act like proper brick and mortar to keep the good stuff in and bad stuff out – but all I know is my face is clear and is smooth like a baby’s butt. I am so serious here girl.

  27. Also, do NOT use proactiv or anything benzoil based at our age. Our skin can not handle the drying and will not bounce back. That stuff is fine for younger people – but it really does not work for people in 30s and up.

Comments are closed.