Monday, December 31, 2007

Dark Circles, Fine Lines, and Wrinkles Oh My!

Today is New Year's Eve; usually a time for reflection where we make a list of goals and changes we want to do in the new year that, lets face it, we (and I mean me) never follow through with. Sadly, I've come to the realization that my skin is not the same it was when I was 20. I know you're thinking, "Gee, really? You don't say?". Sarcasm aside, I think I took for granted the fact that I was blessed with good Asian genes. Most Asians are known for aging gracefully. My mother is a good example. My mother is big on skin care and I'm not sure why she never really instilled it in me while I was growing up. But I did get my love of makeup from her and between the two being a skin care junkie might have been better. When I think about it, if I calculate how much I've spent on makeup since I was 10, I probably could have bought the best in skin care 10 times over! It may be an exaggeration but it's pretty close I'm sure.

In my early 20's, my skin was smooth, wrinkle and blemish-free. I didn't have to use an expensive cleanser or moisturizer to make my skin glow. And even with all the late nights and the occasional lazy nights of sleeping with my makeup on, my skin still looked great with the random zit. It wasn't until this past year that I really noticed my skin changing. When I was pregnant, my skin was in the best shape it had ever been in due to healthy eating and multi-vitamins. After I had my son, I'll admit that I started slacking in both areas including drinking water. My fluid consumption has now been replaced with a couple mugs of coffee and the rare glass of water (usually when I'm dying of thirst and by that point I'm severely dehydrated already). Having a baby has definitely aged me faster and I'll only be 29 this year! I'm not even 30 yet and grey hairs, dark circles, wrinkles and fine lines have crept up on me! It wasn't until recently that my grey hairs and fine lines have started to really bother me.

I'm at this point now where I'm putting on way more makeup than I used to in hopes that I'll conceal those flaws. But the fact of the matter is, and I've always believed this, if you're not taking care of your skin no amount of makeup will help! And because I have been applying more makeup my skin has been breaking out more. The little blackheads on my nose are more noticeable and blemishes and old scars are more pronounced. My skin has also been more sensitive lately resulting in red, dry and sometimes itchy patches. I know most of this might be due to drier winter weather, but the fine lines and wrinkles are becoming a problem.

My skin just looks dull and lifeless. :( And while I love my Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer it just doesn't seem to be cutting it. The cleanser is perfect for someone that has sensitive skin and doesn't wear too much makeup, but since I wear more I need something a little more heavy duty. The moisturizer has been great at soothing my skin flare ups, but doesn't really do anything to reduce or minimize wrinkles and fine lines. For the longest time I had been using M.A.C.'s Fast Response Eye Cream which was great for calming my puffiness but it didn't really hydrate the eye area or minimize the dark circles. A few months ago I ran out of it and decided to try something different and a lot cheaper. I picked up Aveeno's Positively Ageless Eye Serum on sale and was confident in the product since many from the line have had rave reviews. It definitely brightens up my eyes and has a nice cooling effect perfect for morning puffiness, but it doesn't give me enough moisture and my fine lines seem more prominent. Even when I have let it set, I've found that my makeup has flaked off when applied over top of the eye cream. So, to say the least I'm not happy with it.

There are many areas of my life that I'd like to improve and keeping my skin looking as youthful as possible is one of them. I'm not into plastic surgery (but I never say never) and prefer to age au naturel with the help of some really great skin care and healthy living. Here is my beauty resolution list (don't laugh, I'm sure you have one too right??!):

1. Drink 8 glasses of water a day
2. Take multi-vitamins
3. Start eating more healthy and cut out all processed foods
4. Sleep earlier and get at least 8 hrs of sleep.

5. Change my facial cleanser. I'd like to try Philosophy's Purity Made Simple. It's supposed to be gentle yet strong enough to get rid of makeup and deep cleanse the pores. I've read many rave reviews so I'm hoping I'll love it just as much!

6. Change my moisturizer. I've also been reading rave reviews of Philosophy's Hope in A Jar. It boasts to bring a more youthful and radiant glow to the skin.

7. Change eye cream. I'm not scared to spend a lot on eye cream because the eye area is where my aging is the most noticeable. However, I would prefer not to spend over $100 on one. I know more expensive doesn't equal better, but I've tried drugstore and have had no success. So, I think I'm going to try Clinique's All About Eyes eye cream. I've seen a lot of reviews, some bad but mostly good and I'm willing to give their smaller pot a try.

If anyone has any other recommendations, I'd love to hear it. Well, that rounds out my list. I could have added exercise more and spend less on makeup but who am I kidding? Those are on my list every year and I've never stuck to it but I've always made an effort. That counts right? lol Do you have any new year resolutions or do you think it's a bunch of crap? Maybe so but it's not bad to make some change and have some goals. I'm really excited about my gift certificate for a total spa day of pampering that was a wonderful gift from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law (I'll be getting my first facial! Can you believe I've never had one?)! I think that's a pretty good start to the new year! I hope everyone out there has an amazing New Years!!


Naomi-Alecia said...

Happy New Year Makeup Junkie!

I've tried all the products that you have listed above and I really liked the first two. The Purity Made Simple is a great cleanser and it really does take off your makeup w/o leaving your skin feeling stripped; although I don't know how well it fares when one is wearing waterproof mascara. There are a few oils in this cleanser that work to emulsify the makeup etc off your skin.

Hope in a Jar is great cause it's really gentile and really mositurizing, at least that's what I think. It's also got, correct me if I'm wrong, lactic acid in it so you'll get a mild exfoliation from it.

I never remember to put on my eye creams on a regular basis so I can't really comment too on the Clinique product. The only eye cream that I keep remembering to put on is Origins Eye Relief. It smells like cucumber and is light and I find it to be very moisturizing.

This year I'm making a TO DO LIST and setting a deadline for when it has to be completed and I'm going to be posting it on our bulletin board in the kitchen. I never keep my resolutions but for some reason, a to do list always gets done. Go figure. lol

Special K said...

Ahhh so many resolutions so little time to actually bother keeping them. I must say however that taking better care of one's skin is a wonderful way to start. I've tried both of the Philosophy products and I have to agree that Purity is a wonderful cleanser if you don't have dry or sensitive skin. One thing you could check out as well is combining Purity with some Lush products...Afterlife moisturizer is a godsend and even the odd treatment with one of their fresh face masks is worth a million to me.

Anonymous said...

You're not too young to start using AHA products (try Neostrata line) and retinol (get a prescription). These will help peel off the dry outer layer that is probably contributing to blemishes, dullness etc. I have just started using the Brightening lotion from Neostrata (20% vitamin C) and I notice a difference already. Personally, I didn't notice any great results with the Clinique eye creams. I've also heard Vitamin E & C lotions are great for under the eyes.

Anonymous said...

Also forgot to mention to take your fish oil supplements like wild salmon. I make a smoothie every morning with Pom juice, yogourt with pro-biotics, frozen fruits like pineapple with enzymes that are good for your skin, and Udo's oil (you'll find it at the health food store) Plus, follow the new health guidelines and take extra vitamin D. A self tanner gives me an added glow, even though it's fake. Better than tanning booths.

jenlaceda said...

what a funny commentary on 'aging'. girl, i know exactly what you are saying! last week, i actually went to sephora to buy some skin care products. coincidentally, i bought philosophy's hope in a jar for sensitive skin. i also got umbrian clay mask from fresh, which i really enjoyed, and a tiny bottle of neck and jowl creme from bliss...then i spent the afternoon soaking in a tub and scrubbing my face. can you sense the desperation in me?? thanks for the lovely post.

mamaluv said...

I have always believed that beauty starts with your health, and so absolutely agree with the tips you offered (esp #1-4). Not that I follow them nearly as often as I should :(

A Mary Kay lady once showed me how to wash and moisturize your face, being careful to not pull your skin in certain directions. Since then, I have always used the technique (push toward wrinkles, don't stretch them, and use long smooth stroking motions). I have no idea if it makes a difference, but that's what I do. I also have made a concentrated effort for the last 10 years to not scrunch my face overly and instead always try to wear a smooth expressionless expression (??). That's an old wives' tale for you; when you crumple your face all the time it'll freeze into that position - lol!

Anyway, that's all the wisdom I have for you...

Make-up Junkie in Canada said...

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and advice! I shall try all the ones I haven't tried already and let you know! I'm excited to receive my products and hope my excitement won't be short-lived once I try them all!! On the beauty resolutions I've done some but not enough! I'm up to 2 glasses of water a day now! woohoo! For some reason I can never drink a full glass of water or juice but if it's coffee, tea or hot chocolate I have no problems! Weird...

Anonymous said...

Have you ever tried Skin MD Natural shielding lotion? That is the one I am using before putting my make-up on. Shielding lotions prevent moisture loss by sealing in skin's own natural oils and moisture, while protecting the skin from environmental moisture-robbing irritants (and from allergens contained in makeup products as well). It helps the skin to restore its natural moisture balance, heal and prevent dry skin problems, makes the skin supple and even diminishes wrinkles.