I,ve been getting a lot of skincare questions over email and in the comments section of the blog and noticed I frequently get asked the same questions again and again so I thought I would use today’s post to answer them as best I can!
I want to caveat that I am not a dermatologist – I’m just someone who really loves skincare! I take good care of my skin and have tried everything under the sun BUT I can only speak to my own experiences with my skin type (pretty normal but tending toward dry, a little older and starting to see the signs of aging). A lot of times I get asked for product recommendations which can be really hard to do without seeing someone’s actual skin! So just keep in mind that as with everything, I’m speaking to my personal experience and what works for me.
Do you use a retinol? If so, what kind? I’ve heard that I should use one and the earlier the better but some people say it can ruin your skin? Not sure what to believe.
Yes, I do! Retinol is amazing when it comes to anti-aging. It encourages both cell turnover and collagen production and is one of the only ways to actually reverse skin damage. That being said, as it encourages cell turnover rather aggressively, your skin may freak out in the beginning stages. With everything, I would recommend easing into adding retinol, and consulting a dermatologist first. I don’t know your exact skin type but I personally love it. I just finished my Skinceuticals custom blend and have started testing this one from Sunday Riley which I really love so far.
When you start using it, it will bring up anything “bad” to the surface. You might find yourself breaking out more than usual. Or getting really dry. But with continued use that will go away and your skin will improve.
My personal experience was that for the first three weeks of using retinol, my skin was fine. It felt great. I was using it every night and had no complaints. I didn’t understand why people complained. Then, all of a sudden it was really tight and dry and peeling. This is totally 100% normal. I took a few days completely off and then switched to using it only every other night, and was fine after that. It was crazy how dry and tight my skin was though. I would recommend using it only 2-3 nights a week (evenings only!!!) to start out. Also, ALWAYS use SPF if you’re using a retinol. I mean always use SPF anyway, but especially if you’re using retinol!
As far as “the earlier the better” goes, I don’t know that I would necessarily agree with that. I didn’t start using high tech skincare til I hit my thirties; and didn’t start using retinol til I was 37, so to each their own. I may be going out on a limb here but I don’t think most people need retinol until they hit thirty. At least.
(With regard to using the Dr. Bader Cream) Do you know if this can be used in combination with Retin A? (I would continue Retin A a few nights a week and use this on off days)
As background for anyone who is new here, Dr. Bader is my most favorite moisturizer. If I’m not testing out a new product for the blog, I use it every morning and every other night. The thing with Dr. Bader is that you aren’t supposed to put anything on your face in between cleansing and toning and applying the cream. So they discourage you to use a serum, retinol, etc.
On the nights in between Dr. Bader I will use retinol, followed by a thick coat of moisturizer. (I apply the retinol, brush my teeth while it sinks in, and then apply moisturizer. Right now for my non Dr. Bader cream, I really like this Weleda night cream. I love all of Weleda’s creams – they’re ultra gentle and extremely hydrating.
As always, talk to your derm (sorry I know I’m repetitive but I can’t stress that enough) but I think you’ll probably be fine using Dr. Bader on the nights you don’t use Retin A. While it’s an anti-aging moisturizer, it doesn’t actively exfoliate and it’s really gentle. I find it to be the perfect complement to using peels or retinol.
I’m really confused by the Dr. Bader product! I know you’re not supposed to use anything under it but I love using P50 and SK-II!
If you’re using P50 I would say to use something else (maybe the Weleda?) just so that you don’t waste the Dr. Bader since it’s so expensive. Kind of like the nights I do retinol.
I’m very intrigued by the Augustinus Bader cream but I’m a pretty loyal La Mer user. I know from your posts that you’ve used both. Can you weigh in on the differences?
Both are power moisturizers – they lock in moisture and leave my skin glowy and hydrated all day long. I love La Mer but I personally prefer Dr. Bader. I find it to be a little more high tech and have noticed a visible improvement in my skin since starting to use it. You can read all about the technology in Dr. Bader’s creams in this post. That being said, I love La Mer when I have a cold. It’s the only cream that heals that chapped red skin around my nose when I’m sick and blowing my nose a lot. I haven’t found anything that works quite as well on chapped red skin.
What products would you recommend for sensitive skin for a good face skin care routine? If I don’t take good care — I get a bad rosacea flare up.
I would definitely go to your dermatologist to get a suggestion – rosacea is no joke and skincare is very personal! It’s hard to give you an exact routine because I write based on my own experiences and don’t have ultra sensitive skin or rosacea.
When I was younger my skin was a lot more sensitive than it is now. My old dermatologist always swore by Cetaphil face wash but I try to go natural/clean where possible so would suggest Indie Lee’s Rosehip Cleanser as it’s so gentle. (Maybe try the $10 size first to make sure it works for you?) I have used this in the past and really love it and on the product page it states that it’s suitable for sensitive skin + reduces redness + rosacea.
I think the most important thing for sensitive types is to make sure that your routine is free of chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. Fragrances are tough, even when the products are natural! I typically love Weleda and Tata Harper but both of those products are pretty fragrant because of the essential oils they use. You want something with as few ingredients as possible so that it won’t irritate your skin. I would definitely recommend Everyday Oil’s Unscented blend which is really great for sensitive types. You can use it as both a cleansing oil and a moisturizer. Paula’s Choice has a CALM line which I’ve heard very good things about.
PS – the other question I get asked most: what order to apply your skincare products!
Photo by Carter Fish.