As if a global pandemic wasn’t stressful enough, you’ll be none-too-pleased to recall that perpetual worry has a way of manifesting itself through our skin. It’s science (ah, science – wouldn’t it be so nice if it was universally embraced…especially right now?). Here’s what: stress alters the natural proteins in your skin. As a result, your skin’s elasticity declines and thus, wrinkles fine lines can settle in. Add that to your garden variety skin stressors like free radicals, depleted hydration and just plain ‘ol age and you have yourself repeating “hy-a-lu-ron-ic” like Eva Longoria on the regular. (Oh, and did I mention maskne and the cool weather drying your skin? Yeah, add those to the list of less-than-ideal afflictions.)
One self-care sojourn I have found among my girlfriends during this uncertain time is a renewed interest in skin care routines. Let’s face it (no pun intended): we’re spending more time home than we did during The Before Times and now, a multi-step regimen might find its way into your nightly (and morning) ritual.
So, I’ve been experimenting with new and new-to-me lines and products over the past few months and will be sharing my experience here in the “Let’s Face It” skin care series. The fact is, no one product is perfect for everyone. And no one product is going to give you a flawless Soft Glam IG filter face. Even a product that you may have loved in the past might longer be giving you what you need, while something you dismissed years ago might be exactly what you’re looking for right now. With plenty of beauty writers in my circle, I have no shortage of great recommendations (and strong opinions). Let me know if you have a “this is my lifeline” favorite and I’ll add it to the list.
First up: The Deep Cleanse Exfoliating Cleanser (5 oz., $38) and The Water Cream (1.7 oz. $68), both by Tatcha
“Why spend money on something that essentially goes down the drain?” skeptics say. Well, removing excess oil and pore-clogging grime is the best way to a fresh face, so while you may not want to spend a mortgage payment on a cleanser, finding a quality one is worthwhile.
The Claim: Gently lifts impurities and unclogs pores while leaving skin soft and hydrated.
The Feels: Cruelty-free and formulated without synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, urea, Diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA).
The Scoop: I found that the best way to activate this exfoliating cleansing gel into the promised creamy foam lather was to rinse your face with water first, then use a dime-sized amount of the gel, rub between the palms for a few seconds, then softly massage the face via small, circular motions for a minute or two. You can feel tiny ground fibers from the Japanese luffa fruit exfoliate but super gently (thoughts and prayers to anyone with PTSD from using St. Ives Apricot Scrub in the 90s).
Even with sensitive skin, I found The Deep Cleanse left my skin soft and refreshed. The only thing I didn’t love was the rigid bottle; extracting the product was an effort.
The Water Cream
The Claim: Clarifies and refines skin with pure, powerful Japanese botanicals while providing hydration for poreless-looking skin.
The Feels: This gets the “Clean at Sephora” designation, which means it’s formulated without more than 50 synthetic ingredients, including sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens and phthalates.
The Scoop: According to Tatcha, the Japanese botanicals in this formula includes wild rose which “visibly tightens pores and smooths skin texture,” Japanese leopard lily which “helps control excess oil and purify skin by supporting natural skin turnover,” and hadasei-3, “an anti-aging trinity of green tea, rice, and algae” which supposedly restores healthy-looking radiance. I can’t verify those claims, but I can say that I apply this after a nightly cleansing and toning ritual, and seven hours later (or 5-6, depending how much sleep I get…) my face still felt crazy soft and hydrated.
Like buttah! This is a new favorite entering the regular use line-up.
Tip: Sometimes you can get sample sizes of both the Deep Cleanse and Water Cream paired as the “Routine Refresher” with Sephora Rewards.
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