Ah ha...another edition of The Skincare Diaries!!! Please meet Claire, From The Land of Lorp!! She is a happy mom to toddler Lorp, and has a beautiful blog where she talks about anything from what's in her shower to salon blow outs to parenting tips. I really love her Thankful Tuesday posts where she posts about the things she's most thankful for :-) You can find her blog HERE, or follow her on Twitter @declairelegenou, Instagram @declairelegenou and on Pinterest @legenoudeclaire. And here she is - Welcome, Claire!!!
My skin is fair and, naturally, I grew up wild withOUT sunscreen. My youth was spent with many many summer sea-side vacations when the tanning oil was the height of sophistication. I've got spots all over my face akin to a dalmatian. They were called freckles when I was young and they were cute and sweet, but now they are called age spots and they aren't that cute anymore. My skin is always on the dry side. I never suffered acne during teenage years, instead I suffer eczema and psoriasis; more eczema when I was younger and more psoriasis when I'm older. They are patches of dry skin all over my body (not just on my face) requiring lots of occlusive barrier (like Vaseline) and sometimes topical steroids, retinoids, and/or vitamin D-derivative to keep them in suppression.
My skin care routine is very simple:
* Cleansing (usually with balm cleanser/Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Cleanser)
* Toning (Hada Labo Hyaluronic Lotion or Paula's Choice 2% BHA on the days that I don't use retinoids)
* Serum/treatment (some type of retinoids, or Retin-A micro) in PM or Antioxidant in AM.
* Moisturizer: usually bland and thick.
In the AM, I add sunscreen as the last step before makeup.
When it comes to products, I go straight for what my dermatologist recommends (she also happen to have a blog here: http://www.skintour.com/). I don't spend money on department store creams because I feel if I want to spend that much, I'd rather spend it on products that actually have been studied scientifically. Ounce per ounce, Retin-A micro is a cheaper than say Creme de la Mer or Chanel Sublimage or whatever other magic cream du jour, but only Retin-A is scientifically proven to reverse the signs of aging. If I were to do it again, I would have used Retin-A in my 20ies. And suncreen. Of course, LOTS of sunscreen.
O.k. I'll step down from the soapbox now -- honestly, I don't know much about skincare other than those products that work for me.
Antioxidants are big part of my skincare routine. It prevents new damage from happening and perhaps also help repair the existing damage. I've gone through many antioxidants in the past. The latest are the ones from Paula's Choice. They are quite good for the money. Most are silicone-base so they double as primer if you will, but the packaging are not air-tight, so I often wonder how much of those that I applied on my skin have actual benefit.
The product I'm reviewing is SkinCeutical Phloretin CF Gel (http://www.skinceuticals.com/_us/_en/category/phloretin-cf-gel.htm). It is a multi-antioxidant plus Vitamin C in an light-proof and air-tight packaging. Vitamin C degrades with light and air exposure, so proper product packaging is paramount. Since that's the claim from SkinCeutical, I don't know why it has another Phloretin product encased in glass bottle.
SkinCeutical Phloretin CF Gel claims to "... reduced the production of unwanted pigments, ... promotes collagen synthesis, ... has anti-inflammatory properties." Those translate as: reduced/lightening of freckles, reduced fine-lines, reduced redness. These are lofty claims indeed but how does the product perform?
I faithfully use this product for about a month now but I don't notice my freckles getting any lighter, nor my crow's feet getting any shallower (you are supposed to avoid the eye areas anyway). What I do notice is reduction in redness on my skin. It looks more even-toned, especially around the cheeks and chin (where I normally have a lot of redness). I can honestly say that by using this product, I no longer need to apply lots of foundation to even out the skin tone (freckles still visible, though). It also calms down occasional welts and hives that I often get out of nowhere (probably due to photosensitivity).
I use this in the AM, right after cleansing on dry skin (I suspect because the toner can modulate the pH of the product, say, if your toner contains BHA/AHA). It has a smoky smell, yes, like hot dog (aka burned protein) that lingers a bit. But for the price and the performance, I don't really care. I use two pumps on the face and two pumps on the neck. It spreads with ease and does not feel greasy/drying. I leave it on for a minute or so before layering other products.
It is pricey, but I'd rather have a good skin than a great handbag (cause the skin stays with me wherever I go :-D). Until something better comed along, this one is definitely a keeper.