If you’ve checked out my skin care routine in the last month or so, you may have noticed a few changes. I’ve made some additions and subtractions and marked the products that are currently in the testing phase.
Flexibility is critical when you’re trying to make sure that your skin remains in its best possible condition. Even your favorite products may become less than optimal after a while, as better products come out or as your skin’s needs changes, and there are a lot of circumstances that can change your skin condition. A change in lifestyle or health status, a change in seasons, a move to a new location, or even just a new office or apartment that has (or doesn’t have) central heating or A/C can all trigger changes in your skin. That’s not even taking into account the natural aging process. As we get older, the collagen in our skin breaks down, and our skin produces less of the substances, like lipids and hyaluronic acid, that keep it supple, resilient, and youthful-looking. Even if every other factor remains the same, the passing of time means that a skin care routine that was once effective can become less than adequate. That’s why it’s important to occasionally reevaluate your routine and look for places where you can improve upon what you currently use.
(Also, sometimes boredom strikes, and it’s easier to remain motivated if you can find ways to switch out products that just aren’t enjoyable to use anymore. Or maybe that’s just me.)
Here are some of the changes I’ve made to my routine lately.
Stepping up my anti-aging game
Remember how I talked about the natural changes to our skin that happen as we get older? That’s what I’m targeting with most of the changes I’ve made to my routine.
The C20 Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum is OST’s recent upgrade to the wildly popular cult OST C20 Vitamin C Serum, which I have been using since the middle of last year with excellent brightening results. The 21.5 Advanced Serum contains 21.5% L-ascorbic acid vitamin C, as opposed to the 20% in the original C20. The ingredients list is also much shorter, and does not contain alcohol or niacinamide, which is one of my all-time favorite ingredients but can be problematic when formulated together with LAA. I’m about a third of the way through the bottle and enjoying it. It gives the same strong brightening and dark spot fading results as the original C20, without the stickiness or drying feeling of the old formulation. With long term use, LAA helps to stimulate increased collagen production in the skin.
That DD’ell Extra Vitalizing Serum is a very new addition–I’ve only had it for a couple of days. A friend of mine with whom I do occasional cosmetics swaps included it in the huge box of goodies she shipped down from Canada. I believe she got it in the Little Mermaid Memebox. I’ve never heard a thing about this brand or product, and I haven’t been able to find a complete English-language ingredients list yet, but a quick Googling told me that this serum contains galactomyces yeast ferment extracts, algae extracts, and niacinamide. All of those things sound great to me, so I’ve been trying it out. I like so far and haven’t experienced any problems besides the fact that I hate the dropper. Unlike a typical serum dropper with a squeeze bulb, with this one you push the button on the top of the cap. In theory, it’ll suck serum up into the dropper. In practice, it never sucks up any more than a third of the dropper at a time, so I have to do it at least twice to get enough out for my face. It’s annoying.
I’ve been wanting to try the Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule, colloquially known as Long Name Ampoule, for a long time. It’s a step up for me in terms of anti-aging products, since it contains a bit of retinol. Retinol is a retinoid, a class of anti-aging actives with a very convincing body of research behind it. The Missha Long Name Ampoule also contains a ton of different ferment extracts and ferment filtrates, both of which my skin seems to like, as well as niacinamide and peptides. I’m about halfway through the bottle after approximately a month of use and am seeing encouraging initial results. In fact, I’d meant to review it soon, but Missha just released a reformulation of this product that includes more retinol and a higher concentration of some of the actives. There’s no point reviewing a product that’s about to be discontinued, so I’ll just wait until I’ve used the new version for a while before reviewing.
Finally, there’s the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream. This is another retinol product and a very gentle one, which I chose to help boost my defenses against eye wrinkles and to test my retinol tolerance in that area. It’s working out nicely so far.
Goodbye, Mizon snails
It might surprise you to learn that I don’t actually want to end up with a 30-product routine that takes up half the day to complete. I didn’t just add new skin care products to my routine; I also removed some.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the Mizon snail line, and I’ve happily used the All-in-One Snail Repair Cream, Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule, and Snail Repair Eye Cream for many months now. They’re excellent, inexpensive snail products that helped keep my skin hydrated, healthy, and even. Thing is, I’m already using (and prefer) the Benton snail products, making these a little redundant, and when it comes to my long-term anti-aging strategy, the Mizon products just don’t offer enough other compelling actives. They do contain a few interesting peptides, but given that the cream is 92% snail mucin, and the eye cream and ampoule 80%, there just isn’t enough room in there for significant quantities of those peptides. In short, these products have kind of outlived their usefulness in my routine. Sad, but I’ll get over it. In the game of skin care, you either adjust or you age.
Have you made any changes to your skin care routine lately?