WHEN A FRIEND said we needed to talk about wrinkle creams, my first reaction was to say I didn’t think any of them worked. Au contraire, she noted. “Your skin is looking good and less wrinkled.” Hmm. Was I getting more sleep, was I less stressed (no, definitely not)? Did the two pounds I gained go to my face instead of my thighs or were the products I’d been using — mask, eye gel, moisturizer, a serum — really smoothing out some of the furrows of my face?
Although I can’t scientifically vouch for their effectiveness, here are my thoughts on the potions, lotions and serums that currently take up real estate in my bathroom.
Alchimie Forever’s Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask, $60, Alchimie Forever. First off, I love the way this mask smells. A combination of natural ingredients — oats, wild pansies, resveratrol from grape extracts and blueberries. I usually put it on about a half hour before I go out and let it stay on 15-20 minutes. It says on the label for best results, use after exfoliating with Alchimie’s refining scrub. I rarely have time for both. But this mask works well for my sensitive skin, making it feel tighter and slightly less dull without any irritation.
Immupure’s Daily Eye, Face and Neck Firming Moisturizer, $210, Impure. The secret sauce in this product is colostrum, which, according to information on the company’s website, is a special milk that’s filled with vitamins and minerals that come from free-range cows. My take: It has a creamy but lightweight consistency and helps to puff out those little face hollows. A hefty price tag but a little goes a long way.
iS Clinical’s Youth Intensive Creme, $195, Dermstore. I get some comfort shelling out money for iS Clinical products because my dermatologist stocks them. And surely he must know, right? This stuff smells deliciously citrusy and feels like velvet on my face. It’s a combo of hyaluronic acid, copper peptide and Vitamin C.
Frownies Eye Gels, $29.95 for three sets of two, Frownies. Frownies goes back a long way — 1889, to be exact when a woman named Margaret Kroesen created Frownies Facial Patches to be applied to the corners of the eyes and mouth and forehead “to gently re-educate the underlying muscles to assume their correct, relaxed and natural appearance.” Well, temporarily, at least. If you try the patches, don’t forget to moisten them when you’re applying and especially when you’re removing. I prefer the cooling eye gel product, which is jelly-like mask you apply from the outer corner to the inner corner of each eye and leave on for 30 minutes.
Sente Daily Repair Complex SPF 30, $129.99, Sente Labs. At first try, I thought this slightly tinted moisturizer felt too dry, but I’ve come to appreciate its multitasking properties: sunscreen coverage (it contains zinc oxide and titanium oxide) and also its ability to smooth some fine lines. It’s absorbed quickly, blends with my skin tone and it’s not greasy.
Revita Lash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner, $98-$150, Revitalash. This is a product I got a year ago that I use off-label. I get a little nervous about coating my lashes with anything but mascara. And I worried that I would get the stuff in my eye, etc. So, I decided if it worked on eyelashes, it should work on conditioning and growing brows. And that’s where I’ve been applying it, with noticeable thickening of the hair on my brows.
iS White Lightening Complex, $130, Dermstore. Brown spots and blotchy, pigmented skin automatically ages you, so for years I’ve been trying to get rid of mine using a combination of Renova and a cream containing lightening agent hydroquinone. But recent controversy about the latter has led me to switch to this product from iS, which uses Norwegian kelp and bearberry extract to reduce pigmentation. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks, and whether it’s my imagination or not, my skin tone looks better. Maybe I should ask my friend’s opinion.
— Janet Kelly
Janet Kelly is the editor of MyLittleBird. She last posted about Cuyana,a pop-up clothing store in Georgetown.