I don’t have perfect skin. It’s sensitive, somehow dry and oily at the same time, and prone to occasional breakouts — which I thought I’d have grown out of long before now. No such luck. I think it’s hormonal.
But one thing I do have going for me is that I’m in my mid-40s and so far I’ve been successful at delaying the onset of any major wrinkles. I credit that to purposely avoiding sun damage, but also to certain products that I’ve used daily for many years. For several of these items, since my 20s!
Here are six of my tried-and-true, all-time favorites. I’m listing them in order of when I use them during my day.
1. St. Ives Fresh Skin Invigorating Apricot Scrub
I keep this in the shower, and use morning and night. St. Ives does an amazing job of cleaning and exfoliating, and makes my skin silky smooth. I use it on my face, neck and chest.
6 oz. tube, $3-4
After the shower, I use Pond’s Cold Cream around my eyes to remove all traces of makeup and mascara, applying then wiping off gently with a tissue. This is simply the best eye makeup remover I’ve ever tried. It’s non-irritating, and works without having to apply pressure to the delicate area around the eyes.
3.5 oz., $4-5
Next I use a round 100% cotton pad to apply Olay toner all over my face, to remove any unseen traces of makeup. I find that this step is really important. Olay Oil Minimizing Toner is witch hazel-based, and feels great on my skin without burning. Even though it’s called “oil minimizing,” it is not drying. It’s soothing and helps prepare my skin for the next steps.
7.2 oz., around $4
As far as I’m concerned, Alpha Hydrox is the best-kept anti-aging secret! I use Alpha Hydrox in the morning before applying makeup, and at night after cleansing.
I first discovered this wonder product in my 20s, and I am so glad I did because it is definitely a big reason I don’t have wrinkles yet. Back then I could get it at CVS. Then CVS quit carrying it and I could only get it online from the manufacturer, Neoteric. In recent years, I’ve been able to find it at Ulta but have not seen it anywhere else.
Aside from the effectiveness of this product, what is shocking about it to me is that it is so reasonably priced. At about $11 for a bottle, which lasts for months and months because you only need to use a little bit at a time, it is one of the best anti-aging beauty buys there is.
This product contains alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and if you’ve never used Alpha Hydrox, I will warn you that it stings a little bit after you put it on. But for me that only lasts a few minutes at most, and the minor temporary discomfort is worth the results. I do not use this on my eyelids though; be sure to not get this product on or in your eyes.
6 oz., $10.99
This is a wonderful hand lotion. It absorbs without being greasy, and the results last and last. I keep a large bottle on the bathroom sink vanity, on my desk at work, and a purse-size bottle in my pocketbook. Especially in the winter, when my sensitive skin becomes dry, I’ll use this a few times throughout the day. I also use it after washing my hands with any type of public restroom soap, because those really irritate and dry my skin. It’s great stuff!
21 oz. $5-6
My lips are not only prone to being dry in general, they are extremely sensitive to the cold. So much so that if I go outside in the winter without lip balm on, I’ll pay the price for that dearly and suffer with terrible chapped lips for days after.
Softlips is my favorite lip balm. I keep a tube on my vanity, in my purse, in the car, and even in the storage tray on my treadmill. In the winter I’ve even been known to keep one in my coat pocket.
As part of my morning routine, I use it before applying makeup, and it makes a great base to soften and prepare my lips for liner and lipstick.
In addition, Softlips contains sunscreen — important to use year-round.
The thing about lip balms is that I’ve tried ones that actually make my lips dryer, but Softlips does not. It’s also lightly flavored rather than overpowering, and just feels great on. I’ve tried several flavors, and like them all except for the tinted and shimmer varieties. The shimmer is too opaque to be useful for me.
Softlips are typically in two places in the store — with the other lips balms, and in the checkout aisle. When I find one of my favorites (vanilla, coconut, or one of the berries), I grab a few to stock up.
With the exception of Alpha Hydrox, I can usually find all of these products at WalMart or Target.
Do you have a favorite tried-and-true skin product? Please share in the comments!
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