My skin care “incident” last week with using full-strength argan oil (see my previous blog post) is almost over – I am pretty much recovered. This reaction, coupled with a drop in outside temperatures to below freezing, prompted me to make a change to my skin care routine. Gentle and Protect are the key words when dealing with, AHEM, middle-aged skin in wintertime. You want to provide a barrier for your skin to protect it from any outside elements, as well as holding in the moisture of your skin. So this is what I use:
I used Aquaphor Healing Ointment on my face and neck after my skin reacted with redness and inflammation to using argan oil. Aquaphor is fantastic for healing and skin protection because it is so gentle and soothing. It really does soothe and protect, as it says it will, and works quite fast to restore smooth and healthy skin. It is clear, fragrance-free, and contains no weird “natural” tree nut oils, which can cause contact dermatitis. Good stuff! I only use it on my face when I need to deal with a skin issue, or use it as protection in outside cold weather, since it is on the greasy side.
I now use the original Nivea Creme both morning and night. It is the most amazing stuff – quite dense and thick – but feels fantastic and smells heavenly. It consists of water, mineral oil, petroleum, glycerin, and microcrystalline wax. Not very sexy or exotic, but man does this creme work! Kind of like the blue collar worker of skin moisturizers – just gets in there and does its stuff. The English, who are noted for their lovely complexions, are big users of Nivea. The Queen, and more recently, Kate Middleton, are known users of Nivea Creme. They certainly have beautiful skin, and are good advertisements for the product.
For cleansing, I found a terrific product at Trader Joe’s – it is their All-In-One-Facial-Cleanser. It is very gentle and thorough, and even cleans off my eye makeup without tears! It leaves the skin moist and not “stripped” feeling – perfect for wintertime cleansing as you want to retain as much moisture as you can. I don’t use any astringents or toners after cleansing – they are way too rough on your skin. Remember, gentle is key!
About once a week or so I use a gentle exfoliant on my face in the form of Baking Soda. Yes, good old-fashioned Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda. I have actually used this technique for decades – it really helped when I had more oily, acne-prone skin – but it also works fantastically on older skin too. After cleansing your face and leaving it wet, pour about a teaspoon or so of baking soda in the palm of your hand, add enough water to moisten it and apply it to your face. Again, gentle is key! Gently rub the baking soda mixture over your face once or twice and rinse, rinse, rinse. It really gets all those bits of dried skin that are hanging around, and makes your skin smooth. Pat dry, and immediately apply your moisturizer.
Here I am today, after a week of using this skin care routine to recover from my allergic contact dermatitis. It feels good to have healthy skin again! I plan on doing this routine all winter long because there is nothing better than having glowing skin. 🙂