Attention Ladies: We’d love to hear from you! Your questions are driving the discussions here. Don’t hesitate to comment, especially on the “Real Talk” series as well as “Glowing with Mrs. Stafford”. Without you there is no conversation, so don’t be shy! Also, make sure to read to the end of this post to learn how to enter this month Glowing with Mrs. Stafford Giveaway:)
GLOWING WITH MRS. STAFFORD ADVICE COLUMN:
Step #1 - Face Wash (Can be used A.M. or P.M.)
I have been using the Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup Melting Butter, $34.00, 3.88 oz. for about 6 months now, and I’m crazy about it. First, it is a cleansing balm that removes makeup, sunscreen and even water-proof mascara in one easy step. It transforms from oil to milk to cleanse and moisturize, leaving your skin feeling amazing.
It also comes with an exfoliant which they call Bamboo Booster. This product is mixed with the cleanser once a week to gently exfoliate away dry skin. Just do not use this on the eye area. I will use the exfoliating product in the morning, making sure to stay away from the eye area. If you are exfoliating with any product, do not use retinol in conjunction with exfoliating. This would be too much for your skin to handle.
Use on dry skin, morning and night. It comes with a small scoop, so you only need a little to clean your whole face and neck. Add water to activate, rinse with warm water and pat dry. This product will last at least 3 months, so I see this as being very affordable.
Step #2 - Serum (Can be used A.M. or P.M.)
Here’s where things get complex. There are so many serums out there that it's hard to know which type is best for you. What I have found is that a Hyaluronic Acid serum and a Vitamin C serum are a must.
Hyaluronic Acid holds moisture in the skin. This is super important since as we age, we lose moisture, hence fine lines and wrinkles show up. This acid is also something that the body produces normally but produces less as we age. It’s fantastic under makeup and helps give you that plump, soft skin that we’re trying to achieve.
One of the Hyaluronic Acid treatments that I have been using consistently and I feel is the most affordable is the Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum, $48.00, 1.69 oz.
You might be thinking, “Is this post just about Drunk Elephant products?” No, it is not, but I have to say I truly love their products and use them every day. I’ve written about this product in almost every post on skincare because I think it’s that good.
Apply in the morning and/or night on clean, exfoliated skin. Let it sink in and continue on with your next product.
Bonus Tip: I keep this in the refrigerator so when I apply it feels nice and cool on my skin!
I have two Vitamin C serums that I use consistently, and you guessed it, one is from Drunk Elephant. I swear, I’m not sponsored by them - I just really love their products. It’s the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum, $80.00, 1oz.
The other is the Summer Fridays CC Me Vitamin C Serum, $64.00, 1 oz.
What a Vitamin C serum does is firms and brightens your skin’s appearance. This is where the “Glow” starts happening. It works to even out your skin’s texture and helps with dullness. It will help achieve brighter skin and work on reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
The other reason I am such a fan of Vitamin C is that it can be used with Hyaluronic Acid safely and is wonderful for your skin when combined.
You will only need one or two pumps, depending on if you are using alone or in combination with Hyaluronic Acid. Yes, these products can be pricey, but you are only using a small amount. This should last you for at least 3 months.
Make sure to keep Vitamin C serum away from your eyes.
Bonus Tip: I also keep this in the refrigerator so when I apply it feels nice and cool on my skin.
Step #3 - Retinols (P.M. ONLY)
You’ve heard about retinol and what a miracle it is for skin. All of that is true, but there are so many products in this category and they can range in their effectiveness along with your skin’s ability to handle them.
You need a retinol in your skin care routine for so many reasons. Retinols help with sun damage, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, and helps keep your skin clear.
When using a retinol I suggest starting slowly. Let your skin get used to the product and then you can change as your skin begins to adjust. To start with a medical grade retinol can be a bit harsh for many skin types, so work your way in easy with this ingredient.
The product that I recommend to everyone, no matter their age is, is sold on Amazon exclusively. It is so gentle but really does show results and best of all, it is incredibly affordable. It’s the LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream, $19.99, 1.7 oz.
I suggest using this product 2 times per week to start. Again, only use it in the evening. If your skin deals well you can increase usage, but I would suggest not using over 4 times per week.
Step #4 - Moisturizer (A.M. and P.M.)
There are hundreds of moisturizers on the market. They range in price, effectiveness and ingredients. I am going to give you two that I use consistently - one luxury priced the other more affordable. I have included these in posts previously because they work.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration, $34.00, 6 oz.
Love this cream! I’ve used it for years, and since I live in Vermont, having red, dry skin is just a given. This cream is ultra absorbing and is wonderful for all skin types. My skin is very sensitive and I tend to get very red, especially on my cheeks, and this cream helps to calm my skin.
Since it is whipped, making it lighter, you can use a small amount as your last step before applying your makeup in the morning.
LaMer Creme de la Mer Moisturizer, $180.00, 1 oz.
Yes, it is crazy expensive and yes, it is amazing. This is the top of the line when it comes to skin care. This is their richer cream, they also have a lighter formula that works very well too and is better for under makeup.
Just a small amount is used (thank God!) by warming it in your hands and then pressing on to your skin. The “Miracle Broth” ingredient is just that, a miracle, and most people will see results immediately. It’s super soothing to your skin and helps with dryness, redness and fine lines and wrinkles.
Ok that’s it as far as the face is concerned. The only other step is an eye cream, but I think I’ll get into that on another post since there are so many options and price points.
I hope this helps answer some questions, and gives you a place to start!