Beauty Thought Leader: Elise Marquam-Jahns
In 1789 Benjamin Franklin said: “In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.”
My A.M And P.M. Skincare Routine:
But there is one other thing that is also certain that all of us over 45 definitely know. As we age, our skin changes. It becomes thinner, loses fat and no longer looks quite as plump and smooth as it once did.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic cream we can get at the drugstore that turns back the hands of time. But we are very fortunate that there are skincare products available to us that do make a noticeable difference. So today we’ll be talking about what types of products can be most helpful so our skin can look its best. And since I’ve had a number of requests to share my a.m. and p.m. skincare routine. I’ll also share with you the specific products I use and love.
“This is why if we’ve worn makeup during the day, it’s so important to double cleanse at night.”
My go-to product for all-over moisturizing is a wonderful lotion called Essentiel by Adele. It’s a face and body moisturizer that is an antioxidant-rich botanical blend of essential oils and extracts that are known to support the skin’s structure. It’s free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and a number of other ingredients and is vegan and cruelty-free.
If I’ve been out for a morning walk, I like to make sure that I thoroughly remove my heavy-duty tinted sunscreen before I shower. I forgot to do this a few weeks ago and just washed my face thoroughly in the shower to remove the sunscreen. But after I got out of the shower, I decided to do a quick test to see if washing my face had actually removed all of the tinted sunscreens.
So I took a cotton pad and applied the product I normally use to remove my sunscreen which is my Bioderma Micellar water. Well, after rubbing the micellar water-soaked cotton pad all over my face, I saw that it was heavily coated with my sunscreen. This is why if we’ve worn makeup during the day, it’s so important to double cleanse at night. Because just using a regular cleanser will most likely not remove all of our makeup.
And makeup that is left on our skin will definitely hinder the effectiveness of any serums or skincare products that we apply before going to bed. So I always double cleanse my face by first using micellar water and then using my regular cleanser.
If you’re not familiar with Micellar water, it’s a wonderfully effective and gentle cleanser. It’s made up of micelles which are tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules suspended in soft water. The micelles are attracted to dirt and oil, so they are able to draw out impurities without drying out the skin. I actually use it first thing in the morning and in the evening and then use my regular cleanser.
My regular cleanser is The Rice Wash Soft Cream Cleanser from the clean beauty brand Tatcha. I particularly like this cleanser because it doesn’t strip away essential oils and when water is added it foams into a cream lather that leaves the skin moisturized.
“The micelles are attracted to dirt and oil, so they are able to draw out impurities without drying out the skin.”
After cleansing in the morning, I apply three serums. Now I know some of you may be thinking, three serums? Really? That seems like a bit of overkill and would take a lot of time. But actually, once you have the process down, it’s incredibly quick and easy because you only need to apply 2-4 drops onto clean, dry skin. And there’s one very important reason I use these three serums: they’ve noticeably improved my skin.
I used to have a great deal of redness and uneven texture. The redness has totally disappeared and there’s no question that my skin looks brighter and more even textured.
The Three Serums:
The three serums I use are from a company called Timeless. And fortunately, their products are now available at Target. The first serum is Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Acid. It brightens the complexion by promoting cell turnover, helps even out the skin texture, and tones and stimulates collagen production. It also lightens hyperpigmentation and redness. I like to use four drops so I can also take it down onto my neck. And this is the only serum of the three where you want to avoid the eye area since it does contain an acid.
The next serum I apply is my Coenzyme Q 10 Serum from Timeless. As we get older, our metabolism slows and our skin becomes thinner and rougher so visible lines and wrinkles become more pronounced. Coenzyme Q 10 is found in abundance in younger skin, but decreases over time since our body doesn’t produce it in the same quantities as we mature. This serum helps boost skin cell energy to build back collagen and elastin for firmer, smoother skin. And hyaluronic acid provides hydration.
Next up is my last serum: Matrixyl Synthe 6 Serum. This polypeptide has six skin-building essentials which stimulate collagen production to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It also lifts, plumps and hydrates the skin.
My Daytime Skincare Routine:
After I let these three serums sink in and dry (which only takes a few seconds), I apply my eye cream. One I’ve found that works especially well is Colorescience: Total Eye Cream. It helps depuff the eye area and softens the look of fine lines.
Next is moisturizer. There are many good moisturizers on the market. I usually alternate between several different ones depending on the time of day and time of year. I use a richer moisturizer at night and during the winter when my skin gets drier. My daytime moisturizer is a weightless, oil-free moisturizer from esthetician Shani Darden.
This moisturizer contains three heavy-hitting hydrators: hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed collagen and red algae – along with other ingredients. It leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and works beautifully under my makeup. And that’s my last daytime skincare step.
“I usually alternate between several different ones depending on the time of day and time of year.”
Chemical Or Physical Sunscreens:
But before we talk about evening skincare, we also need to talk about sunscreen. We all know it’s essential, but when do we apply it? Well, quite honestly there’s debate about this. Recent information indicates that when we apply sunscreen depends on whether we’re using a chemical or physical (which is also called a mineral) sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreens, as the name suggests, are made with a variety of chemical active ingredients which can sometimes irritate sensitive skin. Chemical sunscreen works by penetrating the skin and absorbing UV radiation, so the chemical ingredients are going into our bloodstream.
Physical sunscreen is made with mineral ingredients which sit on top of the skin so the ingredients never penetrate the skin. Instead, the physical sunscreen creates a barrier between the skin and the harmful UV rays which are reflected away. So physical or mineral sunscreens are considered safer.
According to many experts, if you’re using a chemical sunscreen, it needs to be applied before moisturizer since the chemical sunscreen needs to penetrate the skin in order to provide protection. However, if you’re using a physical sunscreen, it should be applied after moisturizer and before makeup.
My sunscreen of choice when I wear makeup is my Elta MD Skincare UV Restore Broad-Spectrum SPF 40. But for my morning walks, I use my Australian Gold Botanical 50 Tinted Sunscreen. Both of these are physical sunscreens.
My Evening Skincare Routine:
My evening skincare includes the same double cleansing process to remove sunscreen and makeup. But twice a week my next evening skincare step after cleansing, is to exfoliate my skin using Tatcha’s Rice Polish which comes in four formulations. Exfoliation is a must as we age.
I unintentionally tested how important it is to exfoliate a number of months ago. I didn’t exfoliate for a few months, and when I finally exfoliated my skin again, something very interesting happened. After I finished exfoliating and rinsed the product off my face, I looked in the mirror and was quite frankly shocked. My skin actually looked two shades lighter.
“Exfoliation is a must as we age.”
That was certainly undeniable proof to me of what a difference exfoliating can make. It very effectively gets rid of dead skin cells which make our skin look dull. However, if you have Rosacea you should definitely avoid exfoliating your skin because it can create additional redness and irritation.
Lactic Acid Serum:
My third step is to apply the three serums I use in the morning followed by my eye cream. Then I alternate applying a lactic acid serum one night and an over the counter retinol product the next night. The two products I use are Shani Darden’s Lactic Acid Serum and her Retinol Reform. The Lactic Acid Serum brightens and refines dull skin. And this particular product contains two lactic acids which smooth, refine and retexture skin. This product also has a soothing complex which calms the skin and minimizes irritation.
Shani Darden’s Retinol Reform is a time release formula which provides a steady stream of encapsulated retinol throughout the night which minimizes the irritation that many retinols cause. Dermatologists and estheticians will all agree that a retinol product is the most effective product out there to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
And my last evening skincare step is to apply my moisturizer. I alternate using two different richer moisturizers. One is my Skin Soak Rich Moisture Cream from the brand Versed which is a clean beauty brand available at Target. This moisturizer contains squalene, Vitamin E and red algae extract. It’s rich, but not greasy and oilier skin types can still use this moisturizer as a night cream or a heavier wintertime moisturizing cream.
“But the good news is that he also says that dark chocolate and red wine aren’t so bad!”
My Other Moisturizer:
The other moisturizer I will use at night is the Plant Genius Melt Moisturizer from a relatively new brand called Alpyn Beauty. This clean beauty brand uses resilient botanicals that are conditioned to survive in an unforgiving climate that consists of high altitude, low humidity, little oxygen, intense sun, harsh wind and heavy snowfall.
When applied to the skin, these plants perform as they do in the wild: preserving, protecting and strengthening the skin for increased resiliency. These products are all-natural, contain no chemicals, are cruelty and fragrance-free and vegan.
The Biggest Difference:
Although I’ve covered my morning and evening skincare routine, there are two very important things we haven’t touched on that make the biggest difference in how our skin looks. And that is: what we drink and what we eat.
Drinking enough water is crucial and eating a primarily plant-based, whole-grain diet—like the Mediterranean Diet—definitely makes a difference. Dr. Anthony Youn—who is a plastic surgeon who has written a book called The Age Fix—says that there is basically one substance we put into our mouths that equals wrinkles. It’s sugar. But the good news is that he also says that dark chocolate and red wine aren’t so bad!
About the Author:
Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional, working makeup-artist who is passionate about helping women 45+ get their glow back. In addition to her work as a makeup artist for a major cosmetics line, she founded Boomer and Beyond Beauty. Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 45+. Don’t forget to subscribe! Elise is also an author and speaker and hosts Normandale Community College’s monthly Learning Well Edge Talk Radio show where she interviews experts in the field of health and wellness. And, if you’d like to receive more inspiration each week, check out my weekly newsletter. To get your copy, just drop me an email at [email protected] to let me know you’d like to receive it.