|A petit pois, would you believe! ~ Source: fr.academic.ru|
But this post is about skin - my skin, not the chicken's, though it was involved in the whole messy fiasco in a minor way. Yes, I wanted to recount more of my adventures as I explore the world of skincare - or indeed report on my dermatological adventures generally - for I appear to be at an age where my face is increasingly doing whatever the heck it likes in new and alarming ways, even as I make halting attempts to corral and tame it...
For example, I woke up on Sunday morning and instantly felt sick. Okay, I did finish off some rhubarb crumble at gone midnight while watching Breaking Bad, but it really wasn't that - it was more from shock than anything. For in the bathroom mirror I caught sight of the worst sleep creases ever - so much so that in my panic I was afraid they weren't sleep creases at all, but something rather more sinister and permanent. A deep latticework of grooves - nay, trenches - was etched all down one side of my face, from the edge of my eye to the jawline - I looked like the Nile Delta after a particularly bad drought. Okay, so the photo below is of the Colorado River Delta, but you get the idea.
|Source: news. azpm.org|
Now I have been experimenting with lots of different skincare products lately, so I wondered if the precise combo I wore to bed last night (an Olay Regenerist serum topped off with a Lidl Osiris anti-wrinkle cream) might have triggered an allergic response. But then logic kicked in and said that in that case the other side of my face would have been affected too. Anyway, I googled the problem and tried the recommended techniques for making the lines go away - slapping my face to bring the circulation back, cold water, moisturiser, massage - even jumping up and down waving my arms in the air, haha. About an hour later, my face was back to normal, but it gave me a very bad turn. As I was making the bed later I noticed that the pillowcase looked suspiciously rumpled, so for once I must simply have slept soundly in one spot! As it happens, a fumie friend in Canada gave me a beautiful silk pillowcase for Christmas, designed to preclude these very instances of bedding-related facial engraving, but of course it would be on a pillow in the other room at the time.
My theory of an allergic reaction was not so daft though, as I am constantly switching between products, bringing new ones onstream, and trying them out in different permutations, even on different parts of my face. As I have mentioned in past posts about this quest to find my perfect skincare regime, it is a matter of constant trial and error to find what works for your own multi-faceted skin type (I am OSPW in Leslie Baumann's classification ie 'oily, sensitive, pigmented and wrinkled'). And you are of course supposed to persevere for about 4 weeks minimum with each thing you try before judging whether it has had a good effect or not - ideally longer. But at my age I haven't got enough time to give everything on the market that might be suitable for me a 4 week trial - in this or that combination to boot - for we are urged to layer different products on our skin for maximum effect, even if we stop short of the full 10-17 step Korean beauty regime. I might not emerge from this current testing phase till I am 70, by which time it really would be too late.
And also, when you are using several products with anti-ageing and/or other nutrients in them, it is hard to disentangle where precisely the good benefit of any of them is coming from. Or even whether it is down to that present combination OR the cumulative effects of other past product trials finally bearing fruit. You know, like when you can't get the cork out of a bottle of cava, and then it comes out first time for the friend you pass it to in desperation, but only because you did all the leg work first. Well, you and the grippy tea towel you will also undoubtedly have used. So there is that conundrum - how do you really know something is working? Frankly, I am better at just telling you something feels nice and doesn't irritate my skin. I think if anything the bony bit at the top of my cheeks, just under the orbital eye area, is looking more cross-hatched lately. Maybe it is fed up having this kaleidoscope of new stuff slathered on it, and is protesting accordingly. And sometimes the combination of things I try does sting rather, and I lie in bed wondering to myself: 'Now is that good stinging or bad stinging?'
Which brings me to my other point....about portion control. I have always found it difficult to estimate how much of any given product to put on my face. I suppose with a classic moisturiser it doesn't matter - not so much as to look greasy, say - but with serums, which are super concentrated with an array of active ingredients, if you've chosen them well, a little goes a long way. I was dimly aware that a 'pea-sized' blob is the standard amount to apply, but this doesn't seem to go very far, and I don't think my head is unduly big. I could use a pea-sized amount on my eyes alone, indeed with the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair eye serum I have, that is in fact the deal. So how can a pea-sized blob be sufficient for a much bigger area?
I consulted Tara of Olfactoria's Travels, who is shaping up to be a bit of a personal skincare guru to me at the moment - a role that gained further momentum when she acquired Sali Hughes' new book, Pretty Honest, for Christmas - and she told me to blend the blob in my palms and smooth the serum on that way. I had dimly heard of doing that too, but the one and only time I tried it the cream stayed mainly on my hands. So Tara suggested spreading the blob evenly across a few fingertips on each hand, and I must say that is working better. I still skimp on a few areas but I am not overusing it at least. I sense that potent things like serums could do you a mischief in excess, and historically I may well be guilty of that. And maybe I do have a big head after all. No, don't answer that. ;) Or....hold on... I could be using the wrong gauge of pea. After all, there are garden peas and petits pois for starters (see above).
But gradually, gradually, I am drawing up a list of products which I have rigorously qualified as all right for my skin in comfort terms, and most likely on balance to be beneficial. More than that I cannot say. Though whether I will stick with them long enough to find out is anyone's guess! I am with skincare a bit as I was at the start of my perfume hobby - there are so many formulations out there and I am fired up to try as many as possible - which of course from a financial point of view is a non-starter, as you can't 'buy samples' from an equivalent to Surrender to Chance, nor is there a swap scene on the same scale - for hygiene reasons, I imagine.
My latest discoveries (suitable for my oily to combination mature problem skin!)
Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum
Can be used day or night, is very silky and easily absorbed. Highly recommended by Paula Begoun in Beautypedia. Mainly based on peptides as far as I can gather.
Clinique Superdefense SPF20
This I have yet to get my hands on, but it is a daytime eye cream with a good level of sunscreen yet gentle enough for use on the eye area - always a tricky combo. Again, it gets the highest rating on Beautypedia. I would of course rather they spelt Superdefence with a 'c' over here, but I will overlook that.
Paula's Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator
This I have on order and it is going to serve as a night cream - and a daytime moisturiser if I remember to add sunscreen - it seems that it could also safely go round my eyes. Here is the Beautypedia review, albeit you would expect it to be glowing!
|Source: Paula's Choice|
Then I am still using Resist Skin Transforming Multi-Correction Treatment, which is classed by Paula's Choice as a 'special product', and which goes on before the serum and/or moisturiser. I use that on my chin in particular, topped off by Effaclar Duo +, the Rolls-Royce of spot zapping gels. Now that I can say from experience, having used it for over a year now at a guess.
The other thing I have learnt from my reading is that oily skins may be able to get away with serum + sunscreen rather than moisturiser ie, I am vindicated in thinking that I find it unpleasant to layer as many products as someone with dry skin - the last application of moisturiser just sits there on my face like slush on a kerb.
Oh, and meanwhile, Tara is going to investigate another 'product of interest' from the Paula's Choice line and one by Indeed Labs, so it will be interesting to get her feedback on those, even if we have different skin types. I am also curious to try the La Roche-Posay Redermic R Tara is very struck on, when I feel ready to jump back into the retinol fray. The ROC equivalent - supposedly for sensitive skins - was one of the creams that stung on me, though as I say my portion control may well have been off. And they do say no pain no gain..?