Now, that's gratifying ... flattering, even. Also, I'm enjoying the mental image of Blackbird in a flowing white robe and a double honey bun hairdo.
But I don't pretend to be able to judge whether such recently-released products are effective. (I mean, sure they sound great, but that's what advertising copywriting is for.) So I'm going to stick to products that have been out for a while.
So anyway, bird mentioned two problems:
- saggy jawline and neck
- puffy eyes in the morning
She also mentioned that she was out of cleanser.
And she wanted her problems solved at the drugstore. No $500 a jar Clé de Peau La Creme for bird. And she reacts to something in Olay.
Here's where I mention that I've always been completely happy with drugstore skincare. Neutrogena, RoC, Olay, and Garnier have some of the best and brightest people on earth working for them. Also, with very few exceptions, (Clinique, for example) I find most department store skincare intolerably perfume-y, and my skin doesn't like perfume.
However, I deeply suspect that department store brand pack more of the expensive and effective ingredients into their formulations. Take serums, for example. Department store serums are always very thin, and two drops will literally spread all over your face. Drugstore serums are bulked up with lots of silicones. They feel less like a wonderfully slippery potion, and more like a regular moisturizer. They leave your skin feeling very smooth, but when it comes to anti-aging, silicones are filler.
The solution is to maximize the number and concentration of active ingredients in the anti-aging creams and serums we use. The active ingredients fight free-radical damage and increase collagen production. I'm not going to pretend to know a lot about science, but I can explain it thus: Free radicals bad! Collagen good!
Look for products that include:
- Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) because it moisturizes and exfoliates
- Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) because it's an anti-irritant, superb exfoliant, improves skin thickness, and increases collagen production
- coenzyme Q10 for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and because sun exposure reduces the skin's supply of it, so why not add more?
- Copper gluconate for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, plus the fact that its small particles may be able to penetrate the skin at the cellular level
- Retinol because it increases cellular turnover and improves skin structure
- Vitamin C because it is an antioxidant that protects against photo-damage and neutralizes free radical damage
Blackbird's new regimen
- treat eye puffiness, if any
- (optional) apply antioxidant serum
- (optional) apply eye cream
- apply moisturizer with antioxidants and a high SPF
- (optional) apply serum--use one with retinol
- apply copper peptide night cream
- (optional) apply anti-puff eye cream
For puffy eyes
First of all, make sure you're not using too heavy a moisturizer around your eyes in the evening. Watch your sodium/alcohol intake. Make sure the head of your bed is high enough. Then:
1. Try cold compresses made with green tea. You don't need to put a tea bag on each eye: just make a cup of super strong tea, decant it into a clean glass bottle, and leave it in the refrigerator. In the morning, saturate a couple of cotton pads with the solution and sit upright for 10 minutes with your head elevated and the compresses over your eyes. (By the way, cold green tea makes a wonderful toner when your skin is irritated from waxing, sun burn, or over-zealous exfoliation.)
2. Cold spoons, ice cubes wrapped in a washcloth, cold gel packs, or a bag of frozen peas all have their fans.
3. Preparation H. The American version no longer contains the ingredient that made it a makeup artist favorite, but it's still available in Canada. If you don't have a Canadian reader who'll send you a tube, you can buy it on eBay for about $12 a tube. Dab a little over the puffy areas and leave it there for 10 minutes, then wipe if off.
Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Ageless Daily Exfoliating Cleanser, available at drugstores for 9.99. This has mild exfoliating beads in it, but is gentle enough to use every day.
An antioxidant-rich daytime moisturizer with a high SPF
Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Sun Damage Daily Moisture Lotion SPF 28 has Vitamin C, Lycopene, and Magnesium. This is an extremely light, 99 percent oil-free moisturizer that contains effective UVA/UVB protection, but doesn't clog pores. I'm on my third bottle.
An optional serum to wear under the daytime moisturizer
Neutrogena Ageless Restoratives Antioxidant Booster (I liked Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Serum, but it was discontinued, although it's available at Overstock Drugstore.)
An (optional) evening serum (with a formula won't counteract your night cream)
Boots No. 7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum with antioxidants and retinol.
For an (optional) evening eye cream
Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Eye Cream (Don't let the name fool you; it's just a nice, light moisturizing eye cream with a few antioxidants, but it moisturizes, feels cool and light, and doesn't give me milia. I'm on my third jar of this.)
For a night cream
Neutrogena Visibly Firm Night Cream, Active Copper although I've heard a rumor that it has been discontinued. If that's true, I'd go for Neutrogena's Energy Renewal Hydrating Night Cream. Both have copper gluconate to firm the skin.
Sorry this was so long! Please feel free to recommend products in the comments. (Badger, I'm talking to YOU.)