Wednesday, April 1, 2015

This is What I Look Like Now

This is the third time I have started writing this post. I guess the reason is because I've been thinking a lot more about skin care recently - particularly anti aging- and before I go into telling you about it I want to have ALL the facts. But until then I'm stuck. I don't write posts just to get posts up, and right now this is very much on my mind. I'm not really doing many new things at the moment, just trying to stay on the tightest budget of my life, and being kind of boring about it. So I'm writing what I've got so far. I miss you!

I was inspired to pursue this topic because while a friend of mine was doing anti aging research for her blog she mentioned to me that the ideal time to start preparing an anti aging routine was in your mid 20s. This led to a lot of questions:
  • says who?
  • who is making money off of this belief?
  • what are other people doing for anti aging?
  • what are other people my age doing for anti aging?
I sifted through a lot (I really mean A LOT) of media to try to get more information on the topic. My first google search led me to countless articles. Most of them were very advertise-y, and my ears usually grow shut at the first hint of biased information so...

The majority of the results listed anti aging products and their active ingredients. Ok, It's great that you have this kind of acid, but what does that mean? I'll be honest. I know that good research goes past page two or three of google search, but this is not a dissertation, ok?

My next search was youtube. That's where I get all of my makeup info. And why not? there are a ton of tutorials done by a ton of people of all ages and ranges of expertise. This search was not fruitful either. I could TELL immediately that everyone was trying to sell something, and if they weren't they were getting paid to sell something, and if they weren't they didn't seem to have any idea what they were talking about, and if they did all they listed was a bunch of products just like the google search. *deep breath* Not what I'm looking for, sorry.

Honestly, at this point all I had were more questions. And now I don't even really remember what I did next for research. I know I referenced some of my MVPs: Birchbox (aka Old Faithful), Peach and Lily (aka Korean Old Faithful), my friends (nobody cares about anti aging), Nordstrom (found a jar of $2000 cream).......... Here were my new questions:
  • what are all of these active ingredients, and what are they used for?
  • how do you take all of these active ingredients and create a routine that is right for you?
  • if I'm preventing problems I don't even have how do I know if I want wrinkle cream or depuffing cream?
  • wait a minute, why eat clean, stop using shampoo, and then bathe in acids?
So here are the important things I've learned about anti aging so far:

If you start thinking a lot about anti aging - you will find problems with your face that you didn't see EVER BEFORE. I know the wrinkles under my eyes didn't show up overnight, like magic, after my first google of the phrase "anti aging." By directing my thoughts toward anti aging I immediately aged my face (in my eyes) by maybe five years. That is disappointing because why create hangups where there are none?

There are two types of exfoliation - and they are totally different! There's physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation. Your face is a big factory that is always running, day and night. It's entire job is to make new skin so when the top layer of skin cells on your face falls off, all day every day, there's still skin on your face. Newer skin is deeper and as it ages it gets closer to the surface and by the time it's at the surface it's dead. The rate at which this happens is called Cell Turnover - which I've learned is a very important buzzword to salespeople. As people age, the cell turnover rate slows and so basically you have more dead, dull skin cells sticking to your face, drying out, changing colors (maybe) and wrinkling up. Ew.

Physical exfoliation is great IMO - your dry-ass legs will thank you for running a scratchy scrubby over them once a week. This strategy isn't the same for your face. Don't ask me why. So that's where chemical exfoliators come in. You've probably heard of a Chemical Peel - are things starting to come together here? Cell turnover! A professional takes a very strong acid and basically exposes the baby skin on your face. Ta da. The active ingredients in your at-home, daily-use products will not work at on the same scale of course, but they use the same ingredients; and they work best overtime.

And then there are a lot of other ingredients that work alongside the whole cell turnover thing, like ingredients that get deep into the skin to help the skin factory produce an excellent final product for when it gets to the surface, and ingredients that draw as much moisture to the outer layers of your skin to make them even more baby soft and wrinkle free.

Your skin changes and you should change too - My holy grail of skin care started out as a regimen of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. I would never be caught dead putting anything on my oil field of a face after washing with medication - including sunscreen. I was a golden goddess, invincible to melanoma, and sunscreen was for the birds.

Then, much more recently, I realized the real answer was to stop picking at my face, and eventually I arrived at a regimen of excessive exfoliation followed by excessive moisture twice a day. Scrape away all the dead and heal it up with a ton of lotion. My oil field had dried up and lotion was my best friend - still is. Also you. You are my best friend.

And now it's time to evolve again. I need to find a way to un-see a lot of what I've seen close up on my face, while also setting methods in place to help my skin to maintain a healthy and successful cell turnover - while still not worrying so much about the rate quite yet.

While I don't feel ready to get into the nitty gritty about the anti aging ingredients just yet, I promise I will soon. I never want to lie to or mislead you, ever. So far I've been working on finding out the truth about the following:
  • retinol/retinoids/vitamin A/retin A (and what is the difference)
  • hyaluronic acid
  • ceramides
  • vitamin C
  • alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids
  • l'ascorbic acid
  • peptides
Fyi, based on my findings I've been using hyaluronic acid, retinol, ceramides, and my sweet clarisonic for the last two weeks.  So, I'll let you know how that's going and why I chose those things. However, the biggest questions on the topic still remains.

Is this all necessary?


Is this all necessary NOW?

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