I'm back today with more on Skincare! So you know my first three rules - #1 Sunscreen, #2 Wash your face #3 Stop being a drama Queen. Now honestly, if you just practice those three things you will have better, healthier skin for the rest of your life. But if you want to really take care of it, you need a serum, a moisturizer and a problem solver.
So what is the difference between a serum and a moisturizer - A LOT. A serum is a treatment and a moisturizer is a humectant. Serum treats problems (wrinkles, dullness, acne) it DOES NOT moisturize, you need a moisturizer on top. It can go deeper into the skin so it treats problems down at the "root" so to speak. The key is to find a serum that treats your main concern - I know they promise all sorts of things but you really can only treat so much. Some of my suggestions (that I have seen work well) are:
L'Oreal Youth Code - good for drier skin it helps brighten and allow your skin to take in moisture, good for "younger" skin, because it helps you retain moisture it will make your skin smoother as well. Lancôme Genifique is it's more expensive older sister.
I personally have to worry about wrinkling so I use a serum with the best wrinkle fighter out there - Retinol! You need to use sunscreen when you use Retinol in any form - so we get back to rule #1 anyway (see how important it is!) You want your wrinkle serum without a lot bells and whistles. I use Protect & Perfect by Boots No.7. It helps to get the skin producing collagen and elastin, helps you retain moisture and it's also hypo-allergenic.
Now onto acne - yes there's a serum for that!
The Mario Badescu serum is a holy grail product for many. It helps kill bacteria that causes acne, salicylic acid (in controlled amounts!) helps exfoliate and get debris out of pores.
There are also serums for more mature skin that help firm and lift - the new Renergie Serum from Lancôme is nice for when you know the wrinkles are there to stay but you want to smooth (as much as possible) make the skin get back some of it's glow and firm it up.
Now for a moisturizer I like as simple as possible - honestly the serum is doing the work, right? So a light layer for day of moisturizer day and night over my serum makes my skin happy!
There's moisturizers like Olay Complete (normal/combination), Boots No 7 Beautiful Skin (oily skin formula), Lancôme Bienfait Multi-vital with SPF 30(dry skin) and others that are simple yet sooo effective.
You also need an eye cream! the skin around the eye is the thinnest on our body, it needs a special formula. Under eye circles are VERY hard to get rid off unless you drink enough water and get enough sleep in addition to using a cream. For more info - check out this post I did on the PROPER way to use Eye Cream!
Finally there is the problem solver - All of us no matter our age are going to get hormonal acne and stress acne. (This one's for you Pang - a wonderful beauty blogger, go check her out, I'll wait)
Hormonal Acne and stress acne tend to appear on your chin, and forehead. They are made worse by over washing and harsh treatments. Also stressing out about it doesn't help - but relaxing and drinking a glass of water does! The best way I have found to fight it, is to be prepared when you very first feel it (this means taking good enough care of your skin through gentle cleansing and exfoliation that you will be able to see and feel it coming). I use Origins Spot Remover gel. It dries clear on the spot and I can cover the redness that may be starting to appear - and then the acne never shows it's ugly head!
Or I have used the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
The key is to get your skin in to a "stable" or "normalized" enough state that you can feel and prevent breakouts.
I know this is a lot, and your skin won't fix itself overnight - it takes about 30 days to see the results of a good skincare regimen, because that's how long it takes your skin to turn over. So it's not instant satisfaction - but it can be a lifetime of satisfaction if you are willing to give your face AND neck (always do to your neck what you did to your face) the care they deserve!
Hope I helped!