Jenny: The Skin I’m In

I’ve always had terrible skin.  Bad acne until I gave birth at twenty-five, scarring, big bags under my eyes, awful.  Of course, I did have a great personality, but you know how that is.  So I basically ignored my face since I had enough hell to deal with in the first forty years of my life.  But when I was forty-one, I decided to make another change in my life (I’m good with change), and I started to write fiction and I quit my teaching job (loved the kids, didn’t like the hours or the authority stuff) and my life got much, much better.  By the time I was fifty, I was pretty happy, but the toll those first forty awful years had taken was etched all over my face.  So I went to a plastic surgeon.

Fortunately, I got a great plastic surgeon.  At the first consultation, she said, “Why do you want to do this?” and I said, “I’m really happy now, but there’s forty years of misery on my face.  I don’t care if I look younger, everybody knows how old I am, but I don’t want to look so unhappy when I’m in such a good place.  So I want a face lift.”  She said, “No, your jaw line is fine.  We can take the fat from under your eyes, do an eye-lid lift and a brow lift and that’ll give you want you want.”   I still felt guilty about doing it: as they were wheeling me into the operating room, the nurse asked me what I was there for, and I said, “Vanity.”  My plastic surgeon, coming in behind me, said, “No.  Maintenance.”  I thought, Yeah, maintenance.

I have never for one moment regretted that surgery.  She took all the misery off my face and left me looking pretty much the way I had been before; nobody looked at me and said, “My god, you’ve had work done.”  (Part of that it is because she’s in Columbus, Ohio, and as she warned me, “Your face won’t be as tight as it would if an east or west coast surgeon did this.” )  I didn’t do it for other people, I did it for me, so when I looked in the mirror, I looked as happy as I felt.  That was over ten years ago and I’m still happy with it, but starting this blog with Krissie is making me look at my skin again, not in the Oh-my-god-your-skin-is-awful punishment kind of way, but in the old I’m-happy-so-I-should-look-happy kind of way.

My skin’s always been super-oily, but now, like my hair, it’s drying out.  I’ve never used moisturizer–I buy it and never use it–but last week when we started this, I thought, Hell, give it a try.  So I dug out a moisturizer pack I’d bought at Sam’s Club on a whim–Roc–and started using the face and eye cream.  I’ve used it twice in four days–I have problems concentrating on things like that–and the weird thing is, it feels good.  I’ve always objected to stuff on my skin.  There was always so much oil on there that adding anything else just made me feel drippy.  But now that I’m drying up in old age, the stuff really does feel good.  However I have this sneaking suspicion that anything–Vaseline, olive oil, Crisco–would feel just as good.  I don’t know.  I’m a complete blank when it comes to skin care.

So I’m throwing this open to the Re-Fabbers.  What’s worked for you on your skin?  What do you recommend?  What do you hate?  Because I think it’s time to do some of that maintenance again.  (Oh and don’t feel compelled to talk only about dry aging skin; this is the place to swap ideas and recommendations for everybody.)

66 thoughts on “Jenny: The Skin I’m In

  1. Ook. That’s a tough one. I used Clinique religiously from about 14-28. Having Irish skin and living in the So Cal desert always equaled dry, albeit very clear, skin. Then I moved to LA and stress + pollution = adult acne, which WTF?

    Fast-forward umpteen years, and the crescendoing horribilus of 2011 has gifted me with a full-blown case of rosacea. I now look very Irish-drunk without makeup. Ick. Ew. Harrumph.

    I’ve lighted on Philosophy as a great brand for sensitive, dry skin with oily adult acne areas, and go back to Clinique for their redness treatment as well. Given that your skin is so different than mine, I’m not sure how either would do for you, but both brands are high quality.

  2. Jenny, living in the Florida Keys is great for the soul but hell on the skin. I go to an esthetician and get a facial about every six weeks or so. (should go monthly). That’s great forth soul with it’s feel-good self-care aspect plus great for my skin.

    Last year she started me on hyaluronic acid serum which our body produces but, production lessens with age. It’s a hydrator that soaks up Moisture and carries it into your skin. After cleansing I splash some water on my face, apply a dab of H.A. and my skin is wonderfully hydrated. I don’t use moisturizer any more.

    I get Dermaquest cleanser from her too which does a great job and isn’t wildly expensive. My skin is in excellent condition now.

    I’m also careful about making sure I put on a good sunblock.

  3. Ylva Hedin says:

    Ok so I live in Sweden and probebly you dont have the same stuff like we have… but I absolutley fell in love with a cream made mostly out of beeswax. It makes my skin soft without it being oily… Its organic and it smells like summer… I know people that love Body Shops Bodybutter but I dont use it on my face too fat I think…

  4. Micki says:

    I bet Burt’s Bees would be a little like the Swedish beeswax stuff. I tried their orange cleanser, and really loved it, but it made me very . . . shiny. Which might be a good thing, now. It smelled absolutely delicious, but was neutral about my adult acne (didn’t seem to help, didn’t make it worse, though). They have a line for older women — or at least did a few years ago, and they had it in a sampler pack, so you could try it out for a month before committing.

    California Baby has a calendula cream that is working wonders on my hands, and I’ve used it once in awhile on my face. It’s meant for babies. Good smell (see a pattern here?), and it actually seems to soak into my skin and do good temporary things for it.

    I haven’t used Mary Kay in a long time, but not because I hated it. It was good stuff, and they had this great corporate story to go along with it — I heard they cut this story, BUT, apparently Mary Kay’s father (or someone) was a tanner, and used these chemicals for creating butter-soft gloves, and she started using them in her cosmetics to create butter-soft skin. Anyway, if you can find a MK-lady who isn’t too pushy, you might be able to buy a week or two worth of samples from her. (-: They are FREE samples, but jeez, accepting free cosmetics is the first step to major obligation; better to buy so you feel you have the freedom to choose, I think. (I was a MK lady for three months (-: World’s worst saleswoman, but it was a very educational experience.)

    I’ve known a lot of women with great skin that swore by Clinique. Don’t know if that is the chicken, or the egg there. Maybe they started out with great skin . . . .

    Herbalists say a lot of good things about olive oil. I find it works great in scrubs (olive oil and sugar, for example, for a face scrub or olive oil and sea salt for a cuticle scrub), not that great as a hand cream. Coconut oil is supposed to also be very good — haven’t experimented with it so much yet.

    Right now, I’m using a soap that my dermatologist gave free samples of (the free sample seemed to help my acne; the paid bar just can’t seem to overcome my working stress!), and a little California Baby when the spirit moves me. I need to get with a program, though. I use the Biore whitehead removers (leaves pits; I wouldn’t use them if I were wearing makeup), and there’s a substance that I picked up at the hot springs — a kind of gel that seems to dissolve fats from the blackheads, and then it rolls up into balls and snakes like eraser leavings. Very peculiar stuff, but it seems to help with acne.

    Oh, and of course, be sure you are eating proper fats with your meals, and getting enough vitamins. Exfoliation of one sort or another is a good thing, too. And exercise, and sleep.

    LOL, so not helpful. I’ll be checking back to see what others say.

  5. JulieB says:

    I use Neutrogena. I usually don’t wash my face with soap. If anything, I might use a little Vaseline if I have to get make up off. But I found that when I quit soap and all the other expensive stuff, my life got simpler. I’m almost 47, and my skin has been drying pretty much since I turned 40, but I’ve always been very bad about maintenance. I have used olive oil too. 🙂

  6. JulieB says:

    * Meant to type Neutrogena for Sensitive Skin. I’ve actually been trying to wear less makeup since seeing one of the “Story of Stuff” videos on cosmetics. I still use eyeliner and mascara, but I’ve never bothered to use much and am pretty skeptical about many of the new products out there.

  7. stephanie says:

    Like I mentioned before I hadn’t used anything on my face until a couple of years ago and that was because I’m very fair and figured some sunscreen everyday would be good in the long run. I’m also part German, to go with the part Scandinavian, and my cheeks are always ‘pink’. Or if I exercise I look like I’m gonna have a heart attack. I’d like to wear make up to tone down the ‘pink’ but I hate the feeling of goo on my face and I hate the way the stuff smells.

    That said I’m picky about what goes on my face – it can’t smell gross or make me feel like I’m leaving fingerprints on my face when I touch my skin. A couple of years ago I found a Clean and Clear moisturizer with SPF that I used. Of course, the don’t make it anymore. Sometimes I use Cetaphil, ’cause it doesn’t have much scent and it feels light on my skin. I also don’t mind the scent of the ProAge by Dove.

    In a perfect world I’d be able to find a tinted moisturizer with SPF that didn’t feel icky on my sky. I think Philosophy makes one now but I have tried it yet. That’s on tap for my next paycheck.

  8. I’ve always had good skin. My mother was a nurse for a dermatologist who had the radical idea that we should do as little as possible to our skin. So I never washed my face unless there was visible dirt on it, because he believed all that scrubbing would just irritate and inflame the skin.

    I still don’t wash my face with any cleanser, but I do use Clinique eye make-up remover and moisturizer, because my skin is dry. I could use to moisturize all day, but it’s usually just after I shower.

    About a year ago I looked in the mirror and noticed red spots around my mouth and nose. I had never had acne as a teenager, so I was pissed that I had it at 45. I blame everything on menopause, even though I’m not actually in it, but I wanted to rule out rosacea because I’m also Irish. Turns out the bumps are peri-oral something or other, which clears up on an antibiotic.

    I have stood in my Costco and eyed those Stri-vectin bottles and wondered if it’s time. I asked my husband what he thought, who replied without hesitation that I did not need it yet. What good husband would answer otherwise? But each time I go there, I stare a little longer.

  9. So I NEVER would have thought this would work, but I’ve been using the Oil Cleansing Method. It sounds intense, but you only have to do it every 3 or 4 days, and the rest of the time, you just sort of ignore things. I am a big fan and my skin has never looked better. (No one paid me to say that or anything– I just like it!)

  10. Erin says:

    Well, I’ve never fiddled with my face – frankly, when having to choose between sleeping in or waking up a half hour early to do make up, I’ve always chosen sleep.

    That being said, my sister is HUGELY into makeup and dragged me to an expensive makeup store in Seattle so she could get a free consult and the guy gave me some really good advice while I was there.

    Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize. So, for the cleanser, I use a pretty cheap version that can be found in Walmart called Cetaphil, and I love it. No residue or tightness on the face at all.

    For the exfoliator (sp?), I use a green tea acne scrub from St. Ives, also found in Walmart or Target, and I only need to use it about twice a week, but it’s AWESOME.

    Finally, I always hated moisturizer for the same reason you did – I tend to have oily skin and I didn’t want to feel anything on my face. The guy recommended Mario Badescu moisturizer, which has a 17 SPF, and it is amazing. The stuff is expensive (about $23 per 2 oz bottle) and hard to find, but it’s worth it. I go through 1 bottle every three months, so the money isn’t even that bad. You can’t feel it on your face 5 minutes later, and it makes my skin look soft and clear. It’s hypoallergenic and I never break out with it, which is a major plus.

  11. I’ve used oil of olay forever. Seem okay. has spf. Not so very expensive. I was lucky with acne, although I have a couple of nasty chickenpox scars. And maybe rosacea – my face gets hot and red.

    But I wish I didn’t age so much the past couple of years. I thought I was going to look young forever, like my mom. Don’t know if they’ll do elective surgery on a diabetic. Probably not, or I’d get my eyes done in a heartbeat.

  12. Sharon Bates says:

    I had very dry skin as a child and teen-you remember how parents would say”no chocolate, gravy or oily foods” for teens with acne?-they never said that to me. At 13, my aunt sat me down and said that I would always have dry skin so I could no longer use soap on my face. She gave me a jar of Nivea to use instead and told me to never use tissues to remove makeup-they are made of wood which will scratch the skin. [Think about how sore your nose gets during a cold!] She also started me on Mary Kay products which I have used ever since. But, like my aunt told me,”You must use it every day, morning and night. It won,t do you any good sitting on the counter! Always, always, always use the ceanser and moisturizer twice a day and ALWAYS take makeup off before going to bed.”

    I know alot of women do not like makeup-“too heavy, slides off my skin,too much trouble”-well, you are wearing the wrong product for you! Makeup can and should feel weightless on your skin. I put mine on every day-yes, even if I am just at home-I consider it my “armor” against the elements. Granted, I don’t put on eye shadow but I do wear tinted lipbalm and eyebrow pencil-for some reason, probably age, my eyebrows are sparser and shorter.

    I go to a dermatogist every year for a body scan and to remove any suspicious spots. I did have roscea at one time-he gave me a topical ointment for it. I use unscented body wash when I shower and I stay out of the sun as much as possible. If I have to be out, I wear sunscreen, a large brimmed hat, long sleeves and slacks. Yes, I sweat but that’s better than melinoma. As my aunt says,”your skin is the part of you that other people see. It’s your job to take care of it and make it look the best it can be.”

  13. I’ve bought a lot of clinique over the years but their moisturizer has never been right for me. Then again, Crusie and I have very different skin. I just noticed Burt’s Bees has some new stuff for sensitive, aging skin that was very tempting. Too expensive at the moment, but eventually I’ll try it.
    Then again, good old Oil of Olay has done it for me for years. They had some fancier stuff that came out in a kind of foam that i loved, but then started having a reaction to (my face got completely sensitive about two years ago). I’m allergic to Philosophy’s face stuff too.

  14. Oh, there’s on for sensitive skin? I’ll have to look. Haven’t used soap on my face in decades — I’d end up looking like a lobster.

  15. Celtic skin, pink, super sensitive. My mother always claimed her father was native, he looked it, she looked like some blond haired blue eyed viking had more to do with Newfoundland natives than history indicates. I take after my Celtic ancesters. Good genes and a really lazy attitude make me look at least 10 years younger than 55 (so I’m told). Sometimes, when I’m feeling that I should be doing more for my skinI buy disposable cleansing cloths, always for sensitive skin. I have paid big time in the past for going the “wrong” way. I started out at about 25 with Clinique moisturizer, I also bought the cleansers and toners which sat in my medicine cabinet for years before I replaced them with new stuff that I also did not use. Usually, when I wash my face it’s with a good clean facecloth, I tell myself it’s exfoliating as well as cleaning. No soap. Sometimes I use an under eye cream but mostly I’m too lazy and just slather on whatever day cream was on sale last month. I figure they are all the same anyway. Right now I am using Youth Code, last year I went through an Argan oil phase, before that Yves Rocher, the list is long. I have to say, I haven’t seen much difference in products. There is a big difference if I don’t use them. I think unless you have supersensitive skin you should go with whatever you like even if it’s just for the scent. Because if you are as lazy as I, if you like the product you are more inclined to use it.

  16. Age is funny like that. I think we go for long stretches looking a certain way and then things catch up with us. Then another long period of okay.
    I was about to say you need to think more positively about age, but I shouldn’t be telling you what to do.
    However, it would make us all happier if we made peace with the fact that we’re getting older (though we shouldn’t stop treasuring ourselves and refabbing ourselves) because there ain’t no alternative.
    She sez.

  17. I’m of Irish/French/Scottish extraction. Yeah, a mutt. I also have oily skin, well combination really, drier on the sides, oily middle panel. Never had acne as a teen.

    I’d used Dr. Murad’s treatments for years. Starting with his Vitamin C therapy, moving on to age defying, and now on Redness therapy. Love them but they are expensive, however a little bit goes a long way. I always recieved compliments on my skin. But,(you know there’s always a but)about three years ago I started cutting back expenses. (Fear, you know how that is.) I had turned sixty, I figured nobody was looking at me anyway so why spend the money. I used inferior products and never liked any of them.

    This year at age 63 I developed Rosacea. I hated it. I was so stressed every time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I tried everything. I went to a dermatologist, he said “Your own bacteria is fighting with external bacterias.” Little bastards. He put me on antibiotics that ripped up my stomach. Nothing worked.

    I told my daughter before Christmas that I hated my skin and wished I could afford Dr. Murad. She bought it for me. ( Redness Therapy, a soothing gel cleanser, recovery treatment gel, and correcting moisturizer for about $100) and within one week of using it the Rosacea disappeared. I can even drink red wine again without flushing. : )

  18. Terri Osburn says:

    I’ve always had oily skin and had horrible acne until I entered my 30s. Proactiv is the only thing that ever cleared that up and I still use the Repair cream nightly. If I skip a few night, the little bumps come back so I never skip. I also have the bags under my eyes and L’Oreal Eye Defense. Works wonders and you see results almost immediately.

    For my birthday I bought myself some Bare Essentials foundation and primer. I used it before but funds got tight so I gave it up. I’m very happy to have it back. The primer works great at keeping my forehead and nose from looking like a grease slide by lunchtime.

  19. MC says:

    I use Dermalogica and I love it. For years I did nothing, and then my aesthetician told me that the Dermalogica line was simple and easy and I got a starter kit. I actually had people tell me that I was glowing (not pregnant glow) and that my skin looked great. I use their daily cleanser and then added in the daily microfoliant during a shower, then spritz with toner and rub two dabs of moisturizer on my face. It isn’t the chepaest, but it isn’t any more expensive than Clinique or other make up counter brands, and I love the way my skin feels and looks.

  20. Courtney says:

    My sister is hugely into makeup (runs her own bridal makeup business and used to work for Sephora). For me, she recommended Clinique moisture surge and I love that. I use Aveeno under my makeup during the day.

    And my sister says eye cream is essential past 30 (so I’m a decade late there and it usually stays in the cabinet). I wear contacts so it’s hard to put on.

    My aunt, who lives in Vegas, wears straight up Vaseline on her face and looks amazing for her mid-70s.

    My best friends swears by Cetaphil but it felt too oily to me when I tried it a few years back. May try it again now that I’ve crossed the 40 rubicon.

  21. Bonnie C says:

    This is awesome! I’m of the “ignore it and maybe it will go away” persuasion. FWIW, it’s never actually worked for me. Sigh. When I hit puberty my skin said, “Um, yeah. Eff off.” Dry/oily/acne – disgusting. I never really grew out of it. You name it, I’ve tried it: Clearasil, Proactive, Neutragena, Aveeno, St. Ives, Philosiphy, Dermalogica, Clinique – the list runs on. Basically if it came from a drug or department store, I’ve slathered it on my skin at one point or another praying for a miracle.

    For a long time now (because I just can’t be bothered) I’ve used St. Ives Apricot Scrub to cleanse (every couple of days) and warm, wet wash cloth or baby wipes in between. No moisturizer, no make up. I have 3 kids under 7… a “skin regimine” is so far off my radar it’s just not even funny.

    But this year I turn 40. Maybe it’s time to rethink this whole skin care thing. Although people are always surprised when they find out my age… I apparently present as “much younger”. Of course, that could be due to my wardrobe of snarky tee shirts and jeans.

  22. I always hated moisturizer — it felt great on freshly washed skin, but by the end of the day I felt like I had an oil slick on my face. And then…

    I started using Boscia’s cleansing gel, which is gentle, soap- and other crap-free.

    And my face was happier. When I added Thayer’s witch hazel and aloe toner… well. I never feel dry, or oily. It’s awesome. And gentle.

  23. JulieB says:

    I should have said moisturizer. I typed too early this morning. Anyway, it is a moisturizer for sensitive skin. It is the one with the white box and the lavender rectangle.

  24. I’ve been a Clarins woman for many years – but I’ve moved from oily-normal range to super-rich creams for dry skin. I am pretty religious – creamy face wash first thing in the morning, super-quench SP15 cream and then tinted moisturizer, taken off at night with rich creamy make-up remover, toner and then night cream. For eyes I use Clinique All About Eyes (the rich version) because I wear contact lenses and am always messing around with my eye area. I’m 47 and am told I’m holding back the years reasonably well ;-). I’m not lined, but my neck is definitely getting scrawny.

    the DH is a Clinique man – and believe me, if you can get your guy to moisturize, it pays off. He’s beginning to look around 40, but compared to many chaps nearing 50, he’s in very good nick.

  25. I’ve used oil of Ulan for decades. They have some lovely new ones out now Regeneres — can’t remember the spelling. My sister in-law gave me Clinique, she’d spend x amount and get their free pack. Thoughtful of her but rather than ‘moisturize’ the stuff used to dry my skin terribly… sorry Clinique people, but my skin became rough and flakey. My daughters had the same thing happen.
    I’d go have some Maintenance any day. 🙂

  26. Carrie says:

    I’ve had sensitive skin for ever so I gave up using anything but Oil of Olay, and that was only when I remembered (not often). Then a few months back I tried a new brand called Beauty Cycle and I decided if I was going to do something I might as well do it right, so I’ve been cleaning toning and moisturising morning and night for 2 months (my god the commitment!) and it is actually working really well. I used to have a dry flaky forehead and a really oily nose and very red checks and its all – gone. No more flakes, a lot less oil, no more red. Happy happy Carrie.
    They do 3 lines one for dry skin(water), one for oily/combination(earth) and one for maturing (air) and then a Fire range which is special treatments (loving the renewal serum and the eye cream after late nights and early mornings with the kids).
    Their website is if youd like to take a look. The virtual makeover is great for a laugh (and actually very accurate once I stopped playing with stupid hairdos and used it properly)

  27. Brandy says:

    I have pale skin with pink cheeks (Scottish heritage.) I’ve always had good skin, but have also never taken it for granted. I’m allergic to shea butter and lanolin, so that leaves a lot of moisturizers out. About five years ago I would get small itchy bits of skin on my face out of nowhere. They’d come up within minutes and last for an hour or so. So, I guess my face can be allergic to air? I lived with it, but then tried Philosophy’s Microdelivery Face scrub. The itchy patches stopped and I love it. But, like another poster, I can’t stand to put on lotion and feel it. For that I use Oil of Olay for sensitive skin, but not the one with the SPF because it causes my skin to sting. For daily facial washes? Um, I’m weird. I use plain Dove soap for sensitive skin. Oh, and no make-up. I’ve never liked it or how it feels (or smells). It must all work for me since most people can’t believe I have a sixteen year old. 🙂

  28. Clinique has great face soap. (I know the whole idea of soap is out, but trust me, it’s great.) A giant bar is only $15 or so, and it is truly giant and especially great for teenagers with skin problems. Lasts forever.

    I’m using Burt’s Bees now, and I really love it. $17 for day radiance and $17 for day radiance.

    Some stuff really doesn’t feel good on my skin. This does.

    Other thing I’d highly recommend is Bare Escentuals. Their make-up feels like nothing on your face, and they make skin care products, too.

    Get sample sizes or go to the store and have them put it on you. See what feels good to you.

  29. I’ve gotten very low maintenance. I’ve been using olive oil. It feels warm and comfortable when I put a very little on — and then I rub the remains on my hair. It’s good olive oil, though.

  30. Micki says:

    Oh, yeah, Dove’s pro-aging was also a nice face cleanser. Sometimes these tried-and-true brands really are the way to go.

    I keep switching around, trying to find something perfect, I guess. (-: I’ve found some useless ones (at least for my skin), too.

  31. Micki says:

    I really want to try this . . . . It’d go well with the massage techniques I’ve been hearing about, too. Thanks!

  32. PS:
    Don’t use anything on your face but face creams. About a year ago I’d used too much hand cream and thought, Oh well, I’ll just slap it on my face. Next day I had a horrible eye infection…knowing me it could have been an allergic reaction.

  33. Karen Poling says:

    I use Dove the bar for sensitive skin. There’s a book out about makeup for older women called Makeup Wakeup. Before the book if I tried make up I looked like an aging hooker so I used nothing and watched my face disappear. This book rocks and has wonderful ideas for all budgets. Highly recommend

  34. Tabs says:

    This may be incredibly obvious and helpful to no one but man did my skin clear up once I started taking long soaking baths 2-3 times a week. Acne was constant and painful for me but is now an every-once-in-a-while occurrence. My skin hasn’t ever felt this good.

    Plus, I get lots of reading done. Added bonus.

  35. I don’t wear a lot of makeup most days, but when I do, it’s Bare Escentuals. Gives me a great finish on the face. I like their creamier eye shadows when I want to be a little more glamorous.

    I love their Buxom lip plumpers/glosses!

    I no longer wear mascara now that I’m using Revitalash which has spurred my eyelashes to grow longer and more full. My esthetician then perms the lashes. Long, full, nicely curled — all without mascara, which is a blessing in the heat and humidity. No raccoon eyes!

  36. Rae says:

    Paula Begoun rates everything. “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me” is the book of hers that has all the info, it’s in the 8th or 9th edition now. There’s also an online newsletter you can subscribe to, which I don’t because it costs (not much, but still),and I’m just not that into make-up and face cleanser info most of the time. She’s very fair and explains all the ratings, looking at the scientific evidence for the ingredients used and the claims made. Pretty much all the cosmetics lines have some good, some bad products. She also has her own line of products, Paula’s Choice, and I LOVE that. I have acne and it’s the only thing that ever worked for me. You have to order online (, but even in Canada (she’s based in the US), stuff arrives very quickly and they deal with any issues (happened once in about six or seven years of ordering) very well. She also has products to address various problems, including aging skin, rosacea, blackheads and so on. You’d think that would mean that she disses everyone else, but not at all – she raves about plenty of stuff other companies make, as well as, um, debunking unwarranted claims.

    When I found her book, years ago (previous edition), I felt for the first time that I wasn’t groping in the dark for what might work for my terrible skin. Which is actually pretty good these days. Plus it resonates with my scientifically trained soul, because evidence is actually presented and examined using that paradigm. Okay, rave over, but seriously, buy that book.

  37. Jen Wyatt says:

    My best friend has the kind of thick, oily skin that not even a chemical peel could tame, and she’s been using Dr. Haushka products with stunning results.
    I worked in department store cosmetics for ten years. Each line has something good to offer. The trick is finding the magic combo that works for you and then pray to God they don’t reformulate it into something new-and-improved that makes your face explode.
    I use a Chanel eye cream and a Merle Norman face cream. I scoffed at Merle Norman as being for women ‘of a certain age’ until I actually tried it and liked it. The Luxiva Nightly Moisture Cream glides on like buttah but isn’t greasy. I guess it’s more like Crisco, less like lard. Ha!

  38. Jen Wyatt says:

    Hi Megan, For what it’s worth, the price at Costco is the best price on Stri-vectin if you’re going to take the plunge. When I worked in dept store cosmetics, the best seller was the original Stri-vectin. The ladies who loved it, really loved it.

  39. Amy O says:

    For face cleaner- I use Philosophy Purity Foaming Facial Cleanser, and I love it. It is really good for combo skin. It doesn’t dry out my dry spots or make my oily places worse.

    For moisturizer, I use Boscia Oil-Free Daily Hydration, which is awesome because it has silica powder in it. Most moisterizers leave me feeling greasy and oily, but this one has a really nice feel to it, and it doesn’t need a make-up on top of it if I am feeling lazt and don’t want to do anything else. I have never found another moisterizer that I don’t need to cover up.

    I saw where someone had mentioned mascara. I use Blinc. Their tag line is, “Don’t paint your lashes, tube them!” The idea is that this is more of a coating instead of a paint. I work in Iraq where it gets super hot and icky, and I hate the raccoon eye look. This never runs or smudges. You don’t use make-up remover to get rid of it either, you only need water. If you splash your face, it does nothing to it, you have to get it wet and then gently rub it, and all of the mascara will come off in a long string. It is extremely odd when you first use it, but incredibly awesome especially if you are going to be in the sun or in a wet environment, you just have to remember not to rub your eyes when you get out of the pool…

  40. I swear by Bare Escentuals. When I first started using them, I noticed that it evened out my complexion. Not just when I’m wearing it, but it somehow helped balance that mess full-time. It’s light and doesn’t feel or look like makeup.

    Revitalash brought about an allergy to mascara (boy did that make me sad), so I’m considering lash tints if I can figure out if it will cause more allergy issues. Also seriously considering getting eyeliner tattoos (don’t know exactly what they’re called). One of the grandmother church ladies showed me hers after the holidays (her grandson the tattoo artist did them). I thought if she can do it, I can do it!

    BTW, how long does a lash perm last?

  41. Jill M. says:

    I have pale dry skin with freckles and am prone to eczema at times. I happen to really like Avon’s skin care line that is aimed at different ages. I use the cleanser and moisturized for women in their 40’s, but I hear that the line for those over 60 is really good.

  42. EllenB says:

    I’m norwegian, with pale, thin sensitive skin (lots of redheads in the family) on top of a more oily level. I used to have bad acne with plenty of subcutaneous pimples. A lot iimproved with age, I’m 40, but I still get the occational pimple between my old acne scars and new wrinkles! 😉
    Things improved, however, when two french brands got available on the norwegian marked: Avène and La Roche-Posay. They both specialize in sensitive and problematic skin, and are based on thermal waters. My skin is sensitive to water, after a shower my face used to be red and painfully dry for about 30 minutes regardless of how much (or which) moisturizer I used. When I quit using washable cleanser and started to us a wipe-off version together with thermal spring waters face spray from Avène a lot of my problems disappeared. These brands also have great body lotions for very dry skin. It’s sold in pharmacies in Norway, and the price is very reasonable compared to brands like Clinique and Kanebo.

  43. Kat says:

    I was going to recommend Paula’s Choice too. and, by the way, the newsletter is free now. All the product and ingredient reviews are available on the website.

  44. LeaAnn says:

    I asked my dermatologist what she recommends. Turns out it’s what she uses herself and she has amazing skin…Oil of Olay (though I’m sure a regiment of facials helps). The Revitalize line is great. I love it. I’ve tried it all; Clinique, Mary Kay, Sensaria(company went belly-up),Arbonne, Aveda. Nothing has worked as good as OOO. And now I’m using their little Clairsonic like tool and having amazing results. And it’s all available at your local Wal-Mart.

  45. Lou says:

    Merle Norman Moisture Emulsion. I love the Merle Norman products as most of the others that have been suggested make my (sensitive) skin break out. I started using Moisture Emulsion when I was about 20 (now 68) and my skin was very oily. The moisturizer is water based so did not add to the oil. I’m an outdoor walk-my-dogs, ride-my-horse kinda woman. I was carded in bars until I was 33 (truly – not because the bartender was flirting – he apologized afterwards) and even now I’m told I look about 10-15 years younger than I am (depending on how much sleep I’ve gotten). Love Merle Norman products!

  46. Put on Nivea body lotion every day after my bath. I use Olay regenerist daily lotion with sun block daily. I use a variety of night lotions. I try different types. No eye cream. No lip cream. I drink lots and lots of water.

  47. MJ says:

    Another vote for olive oil + castor oil, whatever your skin type. My husband and daughter both have oily skin, and both have been delighted with the results. Dave says he can even wear his glasses longer without feeling like he has to wash his face. He does the deep-cleaning method every couple days.

    I have pale, dry, sensitive skin and many allergies. I put on the oil mix right before showering and drape a warm washcloth on my face while I shampoo. (Interesting visual, huh?) My skin has been softer this winter, and I have a little more color in my cheeks.

  48. I have super sensitive skin that is very pale unless I get a suntan: I was always tan as a kid in So. Cal. But mostly I look like I take after my 3/4 Norweigian mother in my fair (dyed red or strawberry blonde) hair and fair skin.

    I’ve used moisturizer since I was about 17. I developed very, very bad rosacea at 12 or so and endured the “oh, did you get a sunburn while wearing sunglasses?” comments all my life. Then my mom paid for laser treatments several years ago, which took my face from fire-engine-red to pink, altho’ a still fairly noticeable pink. It took about 50% of the redness and most of the bumpiness away and I felt awesome. Then it came back and I used 2 topicals for it because the antibiotics never worked.

    I’ve used Origins moisturizer for about 3 years or more now and it works quite well, but before xmas I bought a new product of theirs for older complexions, called Starting Over moisturizer. I used this every morning. I usually only use water and a clean washcloth to clean my face (about 3 times a week I use Origins foaming cleanser). Some nights I use a night moisturizer, most not. And my rosacea is virtually gone, just since using the Starting Over!

    I usually use some form of SPF on my face, either in the form of Bare Essentuals (SPF 15), Origins tinted sunscreen (SPF 15), or my dermatologist’s fave of Aveeno daily SPF 30 facial moisturizer. I’m 50 (51 in less than 2 weeks) and most folks think I look about 35. I think it’s the genetics.

    My mom had the same thing you had, Jenny, only at about 44 or 45. Losing my dad and my younger brother (at age 18) within 5 years of each other just did in her eyes. The grief showed. I see pics of her at the time and I don’t recognize her, because her face was pulled too tight. We lived on the West Coast, of course. 🙂

  49. PS: Origins isn’t tested on animals and uses very few ingredients that aren’t obviously natural. Only weird thing is that the Dr. Weil naturals collection did dreadful things to my face! Apparently my skin doesn’t like his cosmetics!

  50. Kelly S says:

    I also use Nivea but only once a day. It is very thick but my skin absobsit nicely. I container last a long time.

  51. The skin on my face is pretty much the same. All good except for dry eyes. I use vasoline. I read years ago that vasoline was / is Doris Day’s secret. She would even put it on her hands & feet at night and wear socks & gloves to bed.
    Added bonus – it really makes your feet warm.
    I put lightly on my eyes and my lips, also.
    Jenny whatever you did, you look fab!

  52. Monica Stecher Braless Betty says:

    I use E. Burnham ultra skin creme with retinol and sunscreen. I don’t know if it’s sold in stores, I get it thru mail order. I was sent a sample about 8 years ago and haven’t used anything since. It seems to have stopped the aging process because I don’t have any new wrinkles. At 54 however, I am noticing some under eye puffiness. I don’t think any kind of moisturizer is going to fix that. Maybe when the night-sweats end, I’ll get some sleep. For anyone with rosacea, my daughter has discovered that it can be caused by the thyroid and if topicals can’t keep it under control than maybe getting the thyroid checked.

  53. Oh yes, I love Mario Badescu as well. And as long as their product, the prices are much lower than you’d find in a lot of department store items. Plus they have a greater range of products so it’s easy to fine tune your choices for dry, oily, sensitive, etc.

  54. OOh! I’ma look at Murad, thank you so much. The full-blown rosacea is very new to me, and I am not at all happy with flaming pizza face – seems insult to injury after 14+ surgical procedures in the last two and a half years. Dammit.

  55. Rox says:

    I was about 40 when my face started drying up, so I needed to buy moisturizer, only I didn’t know what to buy. Being the information seeker I am, I bought a book called something like “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me” by a woman known as the Cosmetics Cop. She’d been writing that book and updating it through multiple editions, but the one I got was her last one. Her goal was to educate women on what was actually in the products they used, explain what the ingredients actually did, if anything, in the hopes that better educated consumers would buy the best products, not the ones with the jazziest packaging and the most hype. It was her last edition because she realized that consumers apparently didn’t care whether or not the products actually worked. What she ended up doing, though, was developing her own line of cosmetics, with rather plain packaging, at fairly reasonable prices. Which is how I ended up as a Paula’s Choice customer.

    You’ve mentioned Cetaphil cleanser and vaseline, etc. My daughter, who has had chronic eczema since she was 2, uses Cetaphil cleanser, as well as Cetaphil cream (not the lotion, the cream). For really dry patches, she uses Aquaphor. We get the giant tubs of them at Costco, but you can get squeeze tubes of Aquaphor at the drug store. It’s very much like Vaseline, sans some preservative or something. I don’t know. Best thing for chapped lips, ever.

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