What fascinates me about the KonMari decluttering movement discussed here, is that it’s like a museum of your stuff and perhaps a window into your tender psyche. The items that remains speaks volumes about what works and what doesn’t. And nothing brings this more into focus than when you KonMari your skin care regime like I did.
First, lets take a look into my pre KonMari medicine cabinet. What a chaotic embarrassment of skin care products accumulated thru the years, some of which had expired, eww. Every morning I would open my medicine cabinet and find regret and shame hiding in between the products I didn’t need. It would all start off so innocently with “oh I’ll just pop into Sephora (or Blue Mercury, or Space NK or Duane Reade)” or I’ll make a mental note of something I have to try and then voila!
My friends, what you are looking at here are shelves of misguided hope and broken dreams.
Lets start with cleansers I have known and loved. Holy Cow I had three vibrating face cleanser devices and didn’t know it until I did KonMari. As you can see I went thru a big face oil period too. The multiple CereVe and Cetaphil cleansers are hold outs from when I got Fraxel last year, otherwise I don’t think they clean well enough although every dermatologist will say otherwise. There isn’t thing on here that was terrible, just some I loved more than others.
Ah, moisturizers, so this is where my retirement funds have gone. You can see my trials and tribulations with eye cream and that I really wanted to love that Perricone MD Plasma line, but alas did not. Again, all great products here but moisturizer, but it’s a lot of trial and error finding the one that’s best for you. I also had a torrid love affair with my Jenu for a while (review found here and here), but I would get lazy, forget to charge it and so it started gathering dust. I always say that a product is only as good as your use of it, and in this case my Jenu didn’t fit into my lazy life.
Wow, for someone who hates sunscreen I certainly gave this 100%. However, this should be considered a Hall of Fame of sunscreen – you have the best of the best here. I know because I’m constantly chasing my sun spots and melasma away and sunscreen is my best defense. Of special note is Elta and Vanicream for sport (I play tennis which sadly is a freckle factory for my skin), but I got rid of them because they were expired and my derm thought the SkinMedica Total Defense was better for my melasma. Another call out is the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL in the squat bottle towards the lower right. This is the real stuff from France that’s tough to find state side (I found mine at Dr. Ellen Gendler’s office and SkinCareLab). It’s great stuff, but the tint made my skin look orangey. For my body I still like Coola because it smells wonderful and getting it on is half the battle.
Last, but not least we have all the bells and whistles of skin care – masks and miscellany. Man, what a temptation this is for me. And don’t I feel like a dummy with three – THREE – of the same Fresh Black Tea masks. Lots of serums and oils that were novel at first, but just didn’t make a big enough difference to take up real estate in my medicine cabinet or fridge.
Drumroll please…here’s what stayed.
Note, that like many women I’m loyal to some products, but largely promiscuous when it comes to new brands and trying new things, so the products below are what I’m loving now yet subject to change. Welcome to my post KonMari skin care life:
I am a huge fan of the double and even triple cleanse, I think because you can immediately experience the results and there’s something wonderful about the ritual of taking the day off.
I start by removing my make up with Nude Perfect Cleanse Omega Jelly which I think is hands down the best of the oil/gel/balm makeup removers. It doesn’t irritate your eyes and cuts grease out of your way. From there I use my Clarisonic (although not everyday, sometimes it’s too much) with a dab of Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. Or, I’ll use my newest favorite, Drunk Elephant JuJu Bar without the Clarisonic. I can’t believe I’m in love with a bar soap in all its old school, low fidelity glory, but this has a great exfoliating feel, all natural and cleanses beautifully without drying out my skin.
My final step – and I know this make absolutely no sense – is that I sometimes follow up with Simple Micellar Cleansing Water. I know micellar water is supposed to be a miracle all in one cleanser on its own, but I’m not convinced it’s getting my skin as clean as it should be. Still, it makes my skin feel moist and fresh so it stays as the final touch. Sometimes when I’m bored I’ll just swipe micellar water on my face. I know, weird.
Four different dermatologists have insisted that the fast lane to Benjamin Button is Skin Medica TNS Essential Serum. What they like about it are the human growth factors, peptides and anti-oxidants which have a great track record of making delicate, saggy skin more supple. I would bathe in it if I could. The only downside is that it’s a small fortune, so if I’m feeling poor, it’s the first to go.
Next, on goes either my prescription retinol (I use generic tretinoin 0.025%) or Dr. Gendler’s Skin Appointments custom blend of hydroquinone and retinol for my melasma. There’s nothing delicious about using these products – they feel bleh and can dry out the skin in the short term, but they get results and are probably the most important products on my shelf next to sunscreen.
I don’t always bother with a moisturizer at night. If I do it’s La Mer or Olay Regenerist. I really like Olay, but anything will do. If I’m feeling super duper dry, I’ll do Fresh Black Tea Overnight Mask which at the end of the day is just a super thick moisturizer that doesn’t sink in, so hence the “mask”.
First, I clear the sleep boogers and redness out of my eyes with Rohto Cool Redness eyedrops. My wake-up cleanse belongs to Eve Lom Morning Cleanser. The lemony smell is divine and the balm feels gentle, but effective. My favorite part of the ritual are the Eve Lom Cleansing Clothes (er face rags) that lightly exfoliate while they clean. I have a stack that I rewash and reuse, like a wash cloth.
Morning Treatments, Masks & Moisture
My go to serum every day for the past decade is SkinCeuticals C&E Ferulic. When I run out, my skin takes a turn for the worse, especially given my hyper-pigmentation.
If there’s something special going on, I’ll take a mask (none of which are pictured), but honestly I rarely have enough time to do this. Still, my fridge is stuffed with SKII Signs Eye Mask, Dr. Jart Water Replenishment Sheet Mask (great post laser treatment too) and SKII Facial Treatment Sheet Mask. Sometimes in the shower I’ll slap on the Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask for when I’m lazy or strapped for time. Another “sometimes” product I use to self tan is Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad. It sucks the pasties right out of my face.
Now, picture me shouting into a megaphone and jumping up and down as I tell you the best moisturizer I’ve ever used is Regenica Replenishing Creme. It’s hard to find (I buy mine at my dermatologist’s office), but it moisturizes like crazy and is packed with good stuff like human growth factors, ceramides and salicylic acid (which is why I don’t use it at night as it will irritate my skin with the retinols I use). I had given up on moisturizers, thinking they were all the same, but this one was a big life changer for my normal to dry skin.
On my eyes, I like NeoCutis Lumier Eye Cream. Eye creams drive me nuts because like face moisturizers, they all seem the same, but this I like a lot because it depuffs your bags but deeply moisturizes the crepey area under my eye. I find eye creams usually do one or the other, but not both. This is also a nice base for makeup and doesn’t pill.
I hate wearing sunscreen, but it’s a must, like the kale of your skin care regime. My derm insists I wear Skin Medica Total Defense and Repair Sunscreen because there’s something about it that helps protect against the type of melasma that can flare in the heat. If it’s not super hot out, I am besotted with MD Solar Creme Beauty Balm SPF 50 because it’s super light and can double as a light weight tinted moisturizer.
Chaos sometimes, good parfum always.