I used to be a non-skincare person. For most of my adult life, I used a bar of soap to wash and coconut oil to moisturize—and it worked for me. But as I get older, I find I have more and more issues with my skin (who knew it could work that way), so I decided it was time to do something about it.
Sitting next to a beauty and fashion editor at work meant I was introduced to a whole bunch of products and brands that I had never heard of before. I tested out sample after sample and the non-believer in me was completely shocked at how I could actually see a difference in my skin. After playing around with a lot of different products, I’ve narrowed it down to a few of my top favourites that I use day after day and night after night.
I’ll preface this next section by saying that a lot of these products are pricey. But I think moms are so used to spending money on our kids—for summer camps and new clothes and holiday and birthday gifts and extracurricular activities—that we rarely spend on ourselves. I’ve just finally gotten to a point in my life where I’ve decided that it’s okay for me to invest in myself, and when it comes to my skin—especially as I get older—I’m okay with giving it some extra care.
Here’s what I’ve found has worked wonders for me. My skin type is dry and sensitive, and I guess you could say ‘aging’—I’m no longer in my 20s, that’s for sure—but most of these products work for a wide range of skin types.
Step 1: Wash | Product: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser $28
Face wash is is an area where I don’t generally focus on playing around. I just need something that won’t over dry my skin. I’ve used inexpensive, mild cleansers too, but I didn’t find they always got all the makeup off in one go, so I made the switch to Kiehl’s and I really like it.
Step 2: Mist | Product: Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist $63
This product was recommended to me by a coworker and I really like how refreshing it is. I used to stay far away from toners because my skin was always dry, but this mist-on spray actually helps hydrate (and firm!) And it’s in their AGE smart line, which means it also helps prevent the signs of aging.
Step 3: Redness Relief & Treatment | Product: Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel $80
When I started using this, I instantly noticed a change in my skin. I have quite a bit of redness in my skin and even a touch of rosacea. I was told to avoid hot showers and red wine (HA!), so since that’s not likely going to happen, I’ve been trying skin care products instead. After starting up with this product, my skin is soft and velvety and I rarely get flare-ups.
Step 4: Layer on Serums | Products: The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane $8 and Retinol 1% in Squalane $7
Serums were something I had never thought about before the last year or so, but I love the extra moisture and smoothness they give my skin. Squalane is something that’s found naturally in the skin and the amount your body produces decreases over time. It’s essentially a hydrating oil, and if you tend to have very dry skin in the winter, this stuff is amazing for that. It can even be applied to hair to add shine and reduce breakage. Retinol is an ingredient that can reduce the appearances of fine lines, photodamage and of general skin aging. But, it can be irritating to the skin, so I use this only at night and not every night.
Step 5: Moisturize | Product: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream $38
Sometimes you just can’t mess with a classic. This product is a best-seller for Kiehl’s and I can understand why. It absorbs into the skin with an ultra-lightweight texture, yet deeply moisturizes all types of skin, including sensitive. It’s my go-to in the colder months.