I was very lucky through my teenage years and didn’t have problematic skin. Though when I reached my early 20’s, things started changing and I needed to put in a little more work than my basic face wash and warm water. Since then, skincare has been one of the few things I don’t mind splurging on.
My first visit to a dermatologist was about a month ago for just a basic check up. I grew up in Florida wearing tanning oil instead of sunscreen (I know, I know!) and I just wanted to make sure everything was on the up and up. While I was there I asked her about my facial skin and how I could even out the tone and clear up a few of the red areas around my nose and T-Zone. She recommended I use a retinol cream which will help with both of my concerns. I had read about retinol serums in magazines but mostly as a solution for fine lines in wrinkles. Nonetheless, I walked right out of the office and over to Sephora to find my miracle cream.
Imagine my surprise when the kind woman directed me to two options and both were going to cost me roughly $100. Now, like I said, good skincare products I am willing to splurge on. But if I’m going to spend $100 on a serum, miracle or not, I need to first make sure it works, amiright?
The two serums I brought home to try were Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil and Glow by Dr. Brandt Overnight Resurfacing Serum. Per the instructions I would apply the serum after washing and drying my face, wait a moment to let it soak in, then apply my moisturizer. It feels likes a thick layer on your face when you’re about to lay on your pillow, but it does absorb. I didn’t notice any difference right away, but found they both had very similar effects after a week or two of use. I would wake up the next morning with visibly plumper skin, no redness around my nose or chin and my pores were much smaller. HOORAY!! Mission accomplished! Dr. Brandt’s Overnight Resurfacing Serum has a strange smell to it, and often tingled when I applied it. They both did what they were supposed to do, but because of this my personal choice it to commit to Sunday Riley over Dr. Brandt.
If you plan on trying out a retinol cream yourself, keep in mind everyone’s skin is different. I’ve heard and read about women who have used retinol and their skin became a bit flakey and dry, irritated, or broke out. These are strong potions with 2% of retinol so be sure to consult with a Dermatologist or the women at Sephora who can recommend a product that will work for you.
When my dermatologist recommended I try a retinol serum, she also advised I use a sunscreen because retinol can make your skin extremely sensitive to the sun. When the woman at Sephora emphasized the same caution, I knew I needed to take it seriously. Luckily, in my little goodie bag the doctor sent me home with was a sample of the Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 50. Now, when I think of sunscreen on my face I imagine thick white cream that does not absorb and leaves a white film on your skin. Not a good look. And the thought of putting make up over that… forget it! Well, this little sample was a pleasant surprise. It smells like sunscreen at the beach, but absorbs in to the skin like a normal moisturizer. And the fact that the rest of my body is about 2-3 shades tanner than my face right now is a testament to the fact that it really works. When the sample size ran out I did not hesitate to march right down to CVS and buy the full size. If SPF 50 is a bit much for you, there is also an SPF 30 option.
The last product I want to share is the Loreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation. A lot of beauty bloggers I follow have been raving about the Infallible Pro-Glow foundation, but I prefer more of a matte look, and it’s 100 degrees outside so I’ll be glowing by the end of the day whether I like it or not.
I’ve never been a full coverage foundation girl and had been using a tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier for the past two years. But when that ran out I thought I’d give this a chance since it seemed to have amazing reviews, and is also half the price of my coveted tinted moisturizer. I totally see why everyone is loving this collection of foundations. It’s extremely light with a powder-like finish, and I don’t feel like I have a mask of make-up on, which is what usually deters me from foundation. It’s easy to apply and you can build up if you prefer more of a full coverage. I tried it for the first time this weekend and my cousin told me my make-up looked flawless…. SOLD!! I’m converted. I haven’t fully tested the 24 hour staying power, but after about 7 hours it was still in tact so I think thats a good sign.
What are products you’ve tried recently that surprised you?