Friday, February 28, 2014

Top Shelf Staples

The adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies to a number of different elements of life, but is particularly applicable to my skincare routine.  I tend to flout this timeless advice and always end up returning to the above stables, tail between my legs. No matter how many times I have strayed, I always return to these all-stars. 

(1) La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense- This moisturizer is part of my daily routine and I doubt that I will ever go without it. I alternate between the "Riche" formulation in the winter, as it is heavier duty, while the "Legère" formulation is perfect for the warmer months. The key to this perfect potion, aside from the classically french touches of minimal fragrance etc, is hyaluronic acid, while contrary to the scary implications of the name, is actually a moisture binding molecule. Naturally occurring in the body, like many other elements, we produce less and less of it as we age, which contributes to dehydration and aching joints. Its presence in skincare, makes a tangible difference in the condition of your skin--almost overnight. Plumped and hydrated skin, just like magic. It's also very moderately priced, paraben free, and is available at Duane Reade and CVS. 

(2) LRP Hydraphase Yeux- From the same product line centered around hydrating your epidermis, but formulated just for your eye area. Hyalurnoic acid keeps the area conditioned and prevents the formation of dehydration lines, while ingredients like caffeine de-puff any bags or swollen lids. This is particularly helpful for me because I tend to wake up with puffiness akin to that of Walter Mathau. 

(3) Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm- Truly my favorite cleanser of all time, I found this through esteemed skincare blogger Caroline Hirons. Her tone is slightly didactic, but if you follow her advice, you're skin will change. Scent free and somewhat lardy looking, the balm, which is made of non-irritating, and very minimal ingredients mind you, melts into an oil when you massage it onto your skin, literally taking the day off with it when you rinse it away. It is suitable for even the most sensitive of skin and makes a soothing ritual out of washing one's face. At this point, I can say that I have pretty much committed myself to daily use of this product for the rest of my life, which is convenient because it has taken me months to make a dent in this sizable tub. 

(4) Darphin Intral Serum- I picked this up during a summer sojourn in Paris. While I don't consistently use this, when I do, it noticeable soothes sensitivity, redness and irritation. 

(5) Hydraphase Intense Mask- This is my moisturizer on steroids. I regularly use this on my pamper nights during the winter and my face literally drinks it up overnight. Left with conditioned and comfy skin every single time. Sadly, this bad boy is not readily available in the United States, so I have been forced to turn to other alternatives. I have sought solace in the arms of the GlamGlow Hydramud mask,  and my thoughts will no doubt be formulated shortly. GlamGlow, as it happens, makes amazing masks-- very pricey but great for special events when you want your skin to look its best. 

(6) La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen- This is a step that in all honesty I tend to slack off on during the winter. But, it is really quite important to use SPF daily, even during colder months, for both anti-aging and multiple health reasons. Must be better about this step. I am haunted daily by visions of my quickly fleeting youth. But, when I do use  SPF, this is the one, it has a high protection factor, but retains a lovely texture, and doesn't cause me to break out. Nothing exciting, but you'll probably thank yourself in 20 years when your face isn't withered and leathery.

(7) La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo- By now you are probably wondering if this post has been sponsored by LRP. It's not. They just so happen to make fabulous products at an affordable price point and they don't irritate my sensitive skin! This item is single handedly the most effective anti-blemish treatment I have ever used. Even prescription treatments haven't been able to hold a candle to this miracle in a tube. It makes spots and aberrations shrivel up and disappear. I tell everyone who asks that they should buy it. Rumor has it, or rather press release does, that they are upping the ante and recently released a reformulated version that also prevents scarring and pigmentation, post pimple annihilation. Sign. Me. Up. 

And there you have it. If I have accomplished nothing, I have at the very least proven that, yes, the rumors are true, I am very much a high maintenance girl. 

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