a woman applies a green face mask and looks at herself in a medicine cabinet, which is open to reveal all of her other products

Even the Simplest Skin Care Routine Takes Time

I once got a facial.

OK, maybe I got a couple. It was so long ago that I can’t remember when it was. I remember that it felt good, that the esthetician said I should get another, and that I did so. She also recommended a mask, so I got some mud-like concoction. Then came the clarifying lotion. I got Clinque because I’ve always liked their products. And finally, the moisturizer.

What does Vogue have to say?

Before I get to the part where I tell you I have simplified my skin care routine and cut out clarifying lotion, I will tell you what Vogue has to say about the benefits of liquid exfoliators like this. They are “designed to slough away dead skin, remove excess oil and reveal fresher, dare we say, younger looking you so your moisturizer can get around to doing its job.”

Masks are too much trouble

I decided that masks were too much trouble, that facials were costly and didn’t give me any benefit, and that my skin looked the same whether I used clarifying lotion or not. Also, I remember disliking the stinging feeling. Finally, after I started getting skin cancers on my face, I didn’t want to mess with anything complicated.

Simplicity takes time

Still, even the simplest routine takes time. It takes even longer when I’m going through a period of applying Efudex. And of course, it’s not just your face that needs attention.

For washing my face, sometimes I use Neutrogena cleanser.

But it can tend to make my skin feel dry at times, so then I use the Purity made simple cleanser by Philosophy.

Even my dermatologist agrees

I asked my dermatologist whether the fancy skin creams are any better than the basics. (It seems like every other product claims to be revitalizing, but are they?) Some will probably disagree, but she said that something as simple as Pond’s dry skin cream is as good as the fancy stuff. At night before bed, I put on either that or the less expensive version, CVS dry skin cream. I went through a phase of putting a different cream under my eyes but the jar is still half full in my medicine cabinet.

The dry skin on my legs

My dermatologist also said to use Amlactin for the extremely dry skin on my legs. I use the Daily, which according to the website has “12% lactic acid that boosts the skin's natural renewal process through gentle exfoliation.”

It makes my skin feel a little sticky, so I mix it with something like cocoa butter or body butter.

In the morning: sunscreen!

In the morning I had been using Neutrogena’s oil-free moisture lotion with 35 SPF. It contains Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 12%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2.35%, and Oxybenzone 6%

But frankly, I’m not sure what to do with all my old sunscreen products, including this one, due to lack of safety information about the ingredients. I still put it on at times but I believe the thinking is that we aren’t supposed to use them anymore. That’s because after the FDA said that for just two ingredients – zinc oxide and titanium dioxide – is there enough information to determine whether ingredients are safe and effective.

The EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 is a recent addition, also dermatologist recommended. It has 9 percent transparent zinc oxide and 7 percent titanium dioxide and does not give you the white lifeguard-nose look.

But at night...

For the finishing touch, I put Vaseline on my dry lips.
Then I can finally go to bed.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SkinCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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