soap + water

Let’s talk about skin care.

I know I’ve blogged about it a little bit before.  I am a creature of habit, and I have been diligently washing and moisturizing my face twice a day since the tender age of 12.  I was so devoted to it, I would wash and moisturize even when black out drunk in college.  That’s heart.

I am genetically blessed with pretty decent skin (and pretty dark circles under my eyes).  And for a long time, I didn’t think much about changing up my routine.  I used a cleanser with salactic acid (blemishes, yech) and a collagen elastin moisturizer from St. Ives that I still think is pretty awesome.  I used a deep cream cleanser in the shower and every once in a while, an apricot scrub.  I bought all my products at Wal-Mart, or Target or Walgreens.

But here’s the thing about hitting 36 and noticing that your skin is drying out and that your dark circles are starting to look like bruises ~ it necessitates re-examining your skin care routine.

I’d tried some products years ago (when money was less tight) called Lumene (available at CVS and from Finland, I believe).  Lumene has a couple different regimens for different ages.  I used their Vitamin C moisturizers, and loved them.  So, armed with the knowledge that I needed to take better care of my skin, I stocked up on day cream, night cream, eye serum and toner back in January.  And I absolutely noticed a difference in the upgrade. Less dry skin, to start. My skin looked less dull, too.  Huge plus.   I wasn’t wild about the eye serum, so I trekked back out and bought myself an absurdly tiny and absurdly expensive (for me) little jar from Olay.  I was feeling kinda happy with the changes.

And then John’s cousin pitched me on Rodan + Fields.

Having already made changes that I felt happy with (and that didn’t bankrupt me) I wavered on whether or not to try this online phenomenon.  But – mostly because I’m a sucker for products – I went ahead and jumped off the cliff.  I ordered a regimen and a couple supplemental products (eye cream and night moisturizer).  Everything arrived last week in adorable packaging, with specific instructions on how to ease into these new products.

I – being super stubborn and a know-it-all — studiously ignored the idea of ‘easing in.’

The first couple days I was less than impressed ~ trying to figure out in my head what made these wildly expensive products better than my CVS brands.  But I’d spent the money and I was determined to give it a chance.  So I kept going.  I started doing more reading about natural facial cleansers (oil-cleansing, for example).  Because none of R + F’s products foam.  Not actually a bad thing, but definitely an adjustment.

R + F have 4 regimens, and I am on the Reverse one (I guess all my previous care and only being 36 didn’t score a different result ~ have to proactively prevent against aging).

I’m still not 100% on the bandwagon.  The cleansing scrub is pretty awesome.  And the Vitamin C + Retinol step is my favorite.  I am begrudgingly acknowledging that my skin looks good.  Not insanely different than it looked before.  But not bad.  I like the idea that I’m taking care of myself (within days of getting R + F I also got a new Sonicare toothbrush and if that isn’t decadent, I don’t know what is!).  I have begun to wonder if my reticense to give it credit stems more from the cult-like culture of R + F and less from the efficacy of their products.

Either way, I’m a week into my new journey.  I’m being much more skeptical than necessary.  But I’ll let you know how things are going in another couple weeks.

Till then, don’t just use bar soap ~ that’s what my husband uses, and I think Kate nearly fainted when she heard that.  😉