The News
Sunday 21 of July 2024

Confessions of a Cosmetic-Holic

Anti-aging skin care products from drugstore are pictured at studio in Los Angeles, California,Photo: Los Angeles Times/Bob Chamberlin
Anti-aging skin care products from drugstore are pictured at studio in Los Angeles, California,Photo: Los Angeles Times/Bob Chamberlin
There are more than 5,000 skincare products on the market in Mexico


Okay, I’ll admit it.

I am one of those people who cannot enter a department store without somehow being magnetically drawn to the cosmetic counters and persuaded by an over-eager salesperson that some new cream, ointment or gel is instantly going to remove my wrinkles, tighten my skin, even out my skin tone and/or give my face a new radiant glow.

Inevitably, I rush home to try out my new wonder product and for the first few days, faithfully apply it as instructed.

Dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu, pictured December 21, 2009, in Westwood, California, gives advice on how to shop for drugstore skin care products. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
Photo: Los Angeles Times/Robert Gauthier

But in most cases, after a few weeks of use, I decide the product is not going to magically rejuvenate me, and I lose interest.

The cream, ointment or serum ends up in the bottom drawer of my makeup table along with 50 or so similar not-so-effective products, and is soon forgotten.

But while most of the creams and treatments I purchase may not produce the results that they promise in the time frame I expect (and I am not a patient person, believe me), there are some incredibly efficient products I swear by and which have never been relegated to bottom-drawer status.

So, at the behest of some of my closest friends, I hereby present, in no particular order, a list of my top 12, all-time-favorite, never-be-without skincare miracle products.

Photo: Dior

Dior Capture Totale One Essential

This incredible nourishing serum boosts skin’s natural collagen and elastin production and helps eliminate toxins so that your complexion looks brighter and your face looks younger. Enriched with retinol, hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C, it is suitable for all skin types and is the perfect base for applying a day or night cream. I apply it daily in the mornings.

Photo: Le Mer
La Mer Moisturizing Cream

First developed by a physicist named Max Huber who suffered severe burns during a laboratory accident, La Mer is composed of a combination of fermented sea kelp, lime rinds and about 100 other ingredients, all of which work collectively to restore skin health and improve complexion clarity. I use it after I apply my daily skincare cream as a sort of primer before makeup. There is also a La Mer gel which some women prefer, especially if they have oily skin, but I like the feel of the cream and it seems to last longer on my face.

Photo: Clinique
Clinique Even Better Clinical

If you have sunspots (and, alas, most of us do), this is the one over-the-counter product that will really help reduce their appearance. Nothing short of laser therapy or a medical peeling is going to eliminate sunspots completely, but Even Better is packed with antioxidants and can be applied twice daily. Be sure to also apply a serious sunscreen. Even if the spots fade, they will come back.

Photo: Sisley
Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil

It smells great (all Sisley products do). It feels great. And with just a few drops of this silky smooth oil, my skin feels nourished and intensely moisturized all day long. Rich in omega 3 and 6, Black Rose contains a powerful blend of plant-based active ingredients that nourish, regenerate and protect to increase skin’s vitality and youthfulness. In addition to plum and camelina oils to maintain the lipid balance of the epidermis, this product also has black rose extract to soften skin and Bulgarian Rose and magnolia tone texture. I love to apply it at night or when my skin feels particularly dry.

Photo: Filorga
Filorga Absolute Day

 This cream, available only through dermatologic clinics and through plastic surgeons, is activated by the sun’s rays, and combats premature aging on four levels. Absolute Day rejuvenates through an accelerated multi-corrector composed of enzymes that can transform UV and infrared rays into energy. It has a long-lasting anti-aging enzyme that is activated by daylight to stimulate DNA mechanisms, a detoxifying extract associated with white sapphires that captures light to reveal a more radiant complexion, and a highly moisturizing and plumping complex enriched with hyaluronic acid. I also apply it to my hands to help smooth and thicken skin. Filorga also has an Absolute Night cream that helps repair skin while your sleep.

Photo: Clinique
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus

This serum is as close to real laser therapy as you can get in a bottle. Based on decades of scientific research, Laser Focus uses a patented enzyme to help repair sun damage and smooth out wrinkles by boosting collegan levels in just four weeks. It really works, and best of all, you can use it on your sensitive eye contours.

StriVectin Extreme Cream

I was a bit leery to try a product originally intended to reduce the appearance of stretch marks on my face.

To begin with, I don’t have stretch marks, and they usually appear on the stomach area, and I usually don’t apply body creams to my delicate facial skin.

Photo: Strivectin

But someone finally convinced me to try this product and I was wowed by the results. In just a couple weeks, my skin was tighter and any sagging along my jawline had practically vanished. The downside is that StriVectin tends to open my pores and make them more visible, so I try to use this product at night and switch to less aggressive creams in the daytime. StriVectin also has a fantastic SD Advanced Intensive Concentrate that does wonders for sagging skin and you can get it at a discounted price at CostCo.

Beverly Hills MD Lift + Firm Sculpting Cream

Okay, I found this product on the internet, and although I don’t usually succumb to the spiel of online commercials, I decided, what the heck, I would order a jar and try it out. I have since become a Beverly Hills MD line junkie.

Photo: Beverly Hills MD
The product, developed by a California-based plastic surgeon, contains natural skin tighteners to reduce the appearance of sagging. It accelerates collagen production to skin’s natural support structure and is especially good at lifting skin around the neck area. It can also be used on your hands and chest area to smooth away flab and lighten sunspots.

Clarins Super Restorative Day SPF 20

This is a great all-purpose day cream with a built-in sunscreen that glides on skin and provides intensive replenishment to skins weakened by hormonal changes linked to aging.

Photo: Clarins
Formulated with harungana leaf — the “healing” tree from Madagascar — it delivers unrivaled anti-aging power by visibly lifting, toning and restoring elasticity to mature skin. Used in combination with Clarin’s Super Restorative Night Cream, it is a perfect balance of nourishment and repair for very dry or irritated skin.

Photo: Dior
Dior Capture Totale Le Sérum Yeux

Le Sérum Yeux is the ideal pick-me-up for tired eyes. With a swish of the built-in application wand along contours, eyes appear brighter and more open. Puffiness, dark circles and tiny lines fade in seconds. Le Sérum Yeux is boosted with longoza complex to encourage cells to redensify. Guerlain has a similar product, Abeille Royale Gold Eyetech Sculpt Serum, made from the royal jelly from black bees, which is easier to carry in my purse (it comes in a plastic tube, as opposed to Le Sérum’s glass bottle) and which I reapply throughout the day, but I find the results of the Dior product are much more noticeable.

Photo: Palmer’s
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick

This is an inexpensive product you can find in the supermarket, but it is a real godsend for quick remoisturizing of the eye contour area and lips. This product is not suitable for the rest of the face because it contains wax that can clog pores, but since the skin around your eyes and lips has no pores, it can prevent the delicate tissue in these areas from drying out. Dry skin can crack and cracked skin can lead to wrinkles, so a dab of Palmer’s can prevent a lot of visual aging if used regularly.

Photo: Neutrogena
Neutrogena Hydra Boost

Also extremely affordable, this ultra-light gel is like an injection of hyaluronic acid for your face. Hydra Boost’s water-based formula absorbs quickly but has the long-lasting, intense moisturizing power of a cream. The hydrating hyaluronic acid acts as a sponge for dry skin cells, moisturizing with up to 1,000 times its weight in water, resulting in more supple and smooth skin. I use it in combination with my normal day cream to keep my skin soft and moist throughout the day.

One reminder, not all products work the same for all people. The aforementioned products work for me, but your best bet is to try them and others for yourself.

We all are on a quest for perfect skin, and we all have that dreaded bottom-drawer pile of rejects, but most of today’s cosmetic skincare products are scientifically formulated to transform skin and make it look brighter, clearer, smoother and, yes, younger, so don’t be discouraged if a particular product doesn’t live up to your expectations.

There are more than 5,000 skincare products on the market in Mexico, and some of them are bound to work for your skin.