As Summer turns to Fall, I always quickly shift from thinking I’m a sun-kissed goddess to feeling like a literal raisin. Here’s an easy how-to for a post-summer skin regimen, paired with some inspiring words on beauty :)
There’s good things and bad things about aging. I’ll start with the good news: growing up means gaining wisdom, being able to afford a good colorist, moving beyond the hell of living with Craigslist roommates, more respect at work, better sex, better conversation, better clothes—better lots of things! But growing up also means occasionally looking in the mirror and thinking “When did I become the cryptkeeper?” This is especially true in the hangover of summer, after you’ve spent the two months baking on the beach in a margarita haze. (The sun is evil FYI. Wearing anything less than SPF 50 is self sabotage. Just use bronzer, clearly.) It’s the time of year for some skincare damage control.
It goes without saying that women have to engage in immaterial-yet-exhausting labor every day just to appear publicly presentable. We tweeze, peel, shave, blowdry, straighten, curl, and apply the seven million steps of makeup that are required to simply look alive. And when we don’t wear makeup—either in an Alicia Keys move, or simply because we don’t care and are happy with the way we look—we get a litany of comments from Are you tired? to Are you OK? Yes, bitch—we are fine! At the same time, beauty products are really fun, and there’s something so soothing about applying a rosehip face oil while drinking a green smoothie and watching an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians (don’t lie — it’s entertaining).
Now that I’m 30, skincare has become somewhat of a daily meditation for me–it now feels like a way of treating myself, rather than a chore. But before I launch into my skincare regimen, I just want to namedrop one product that changed my life this year: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel. It noticeably reduced the lines on my face and I have since bought it as a gift for every member of my family. It’s kind of expensive, but not if you use it sparingly. (The directions say to use it every day but I use it once every five days and it’s fine.) It also helps to clear away zits.
Although the word “facial” has become sort of awkward because of Porn 2.0, facials are still a necessary part of our regular skincare routine. Here’s an easy how-to for the perfect post-summer skincare regimen:
At-home Facial Instructions: To begin your at-home, non-pornographic facial, prep by gently cleaning your face with hot hot water and a cloth. After that, the first step is to exfoliate. Since microbeads are bad for the environment (they sit in the water and harm animals), avoid buying products that contain them. Instead, use an exfoliating face brush, like this one from Dermalogica, which won’t pollute the oceans (#gooddeeds). Since dead skin can create those random red patches, exfoliating is a necessary step. For men this tool is really important because men are prone to getting ingrown hairs from shaving, obvi. Using this before shaving minimizes the risk of ingrown hairs.
(Sidetone: It’s important to say here that skincare isn’t just for women. We’re in the Millennial age, OK? There’s no reason our boyfriends (if you swing that way) can’t hang out in face masks with us. And if you plan on being with your guy for a while, it’s in your best interest to teach him some skincare basics. Like, say you’ve found the perfect boyfriend. He dresses like Jerry Seinfeld, has read Audre Lorde without bragging about it, and watches Kate & Leopold with you on a Saturday night. But because of heteronormativity, men are taught that it’s weird to care about skin, or anything that has the word “beauty” in it. Well, beware, because your bf might be super cute now, but pretty soon he’s going to look like a melted handbag.)
Shia LaBeouf and Mia Goth, AKA the ultimate alt couple. We can’t say FOR SURE, but we strongly believe that these two Netflix-and-facial together.
After exfoliating it’s time to cleanse. You can try Obagi’s Nu-Derm Gentle Cleanser, which is especially made for very sensitive skin types. Following the cleanser, get masking. A great mask for emotional restoration (oh, and skin restoration) is Éminence’s Coconut Cream Masque. For some unknown but magical reason, the thinking lines on our forehead disappear when we use this. And wrinkles are whatever — they show that you’ve smiled, that you’ve lived, and that you are a human. But sometimes we feel like Tan Mom Reincarnated when our skin is dehydrated and wrinkled from not drinking enough water and ignoring our skincare routine. Skincare is basically a remedy for the abuse we inflict on our skin and bodies.
Once you’ve removed the mask, there’s the toner quandary. Which one? Yon-Ka’s Dry Skin Toner has cypress oil that can minimize redness. If your skin is looking dead, the toner’s thyme oil will give a glowing complexion. After you’ve dabbed away the cleanser and mask residue, the toner’s glycerin will lock in moisture. At last, moisturize. (Seriously, you must.) Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion is a great anti-aging moisturizer (bonus: it smells like green tea). There’s collagen in it that plumps and smooths, and honestly I’ve become slightly obsessed with his products recently, as you can see. Or, if you have an epically dry face like me, opt additionally for a face oil for more moisture.
Taking care of your face is important—come on it, it’s literally your face. You’re not allowed to be lazy about your face. And if you don’t care about how you look, then at least moisturize for the rest of us, because we’re the ones who have to look at you. Thanks.
By Karley Sciortino and Kristen Cochrane
This post was brought to you in partnership with Dermstore and Violet Grey.