Fashion

My girlfriend seems 10 years youthful than she is so I did her skincare routine for five months

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Welcome to month of Me, where every day in January we publish a new article on fashion, beauty or wellness that includes a first-person report about shaking up an old habit, stepping out of a comfort zone, or just trying something new. Follow us for 31 days to tell stories including what it's like to quit alcohol for 100 days, try Beyoncé's very strict diet, or completely overhaul your closet.

My friend Shayna Kossove is 42 years old. She's also my colleague on Who What Wear, which means I see her a lot and have plenty of opportunities to look at her in a surprising and confusingly youthful way. As two of the company's seasoned employees, we worked together for eight years, and I promise I won't be exaggerating when I say she looks the same as she did when I started my company. It is confusing. There is a general consensus among editors that Shayna looks more than 10 years younger than her. Of course, I needed to know what beauty sorcery was going on, so I decided to keep her exact antiaging skin care routine and copy – and copy and copy – it until I had a nurse's face too. Or at least reversed some of my signs of aging. So I stayed with it for five months and it worked. Here's a detailed look at her youth fountain routine, how testing everything went, and the convincing before and after photos.

I began my month long experiment by sitting down with Shayna (pictured above) to learn about the routine that leads to frozen skin. Shayna started with an amusing anecdote about when she lived in London and got carded for the purchase scissors at Age 30. Across the pond in some shops, you have to be 18 years old to buy scissors as they have sharp blades that can be used as a weapon. Okay, a British salesman and I both agree: Shayna looks a lot younger than she does. So what are the hero products that will get you permanent card status? The overview is actually refreshingly simple, and I've tried every single product.

Note: In the spirit of transparency, Shayna occasionally gets botox, which she started at the age of 30, despite staying away from fillers. Does this help her look younger? Absolutely. However, I don't have botox and have seen remarkable improvements in my complexion just from her skin care routine.

Step 1: Wash the face with Tata Harper Regenerating Peeling Cleanser.

This cleaner polishes and polishes the skin, of course in addition to cleansing. The brand recommends massaging it on a dry face first, which takes a bit of getting used to, but I love that this cleanser does more than just cleanse my face. The gentle peeling prepares the skin in such a way that it can absorb the very important next step, the vitamin C serum.

Step 2 (* crucial *): Apply SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic.

CE Ferulic is an antioxidant cocktail that makes your skin look 1000% better. I'll never let it leak, and my fiance is now addicted too. The main ingredient is vitamin C, which is known to help with fine lines and wrinkles and to brighten the complexion. It's the second most powerful product I have ever used on my skin (more on the first below). It has 1832 five-star ratings and is patented for a reason. C E Ferulic is a bit of a pampering, but like a typical fashion girl, I justify it by thinking about the cost per wear. Since I wear my face every day, it pays to make it look as good as possible. There are cheaper vitamin C serums and others that try to mimic the formula, but I think SkinCeuticals is so effective because of its specific combination of ingredients in high percentages and because the formulation keeps the vitamin C stable. (The ingredient can easily become unstable or ineffective.)

Shayna shares, "I accidentally found SkinCeuticals when I was 30. I didn't use a moisturizer or serum at the time. I walked into this skin store 12 years ago, the store owner told me about it, and I get the feeling that my face is relative. " has stayed the same since then. "

To apply the product, take five to six drops, blot all over your face and let it dry. I try to give it a few minutes before moving on to my next step so it really penetrates. You only use C E Ferulic in the mornings as it protects against environmental damage like UVA / UVB rays (also known as sunlight) and outdoor ozone pollution, among other things. Hot tip: wash your hands after application, otherwise the underside of your fingernails will turn yellow. Shayna urges everyone not to neglect the neck! "I didn't care about my neck the way I did my face, and now I'm starting to take care of it. I wish I had started earlier." Lastly, be warned that the product smells like hot dogs, but rest assured: once it dries, the smell evaporates. I also like hot dogs, so …

Step 3: apply Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream.

Shayna's moisturizer of choice has achieved cult status in the fashion community. Everyone from Amal Clooney and Amy Adams to Shanina Shaik and Zendaya is a fan. I've used this cream over and over over the years, always pulling it out when I need a secret weapon against dry, flaky skin. In winter, when my nose has consumed it with cold air and too much tissue, this is the only thing that will save it. It's definitely a little heavier, but since one of the main ingredients in Shayna's skin care regimen is retinoid, which can be very drying, this cream helps keep the skin balanced.

Step 4: apply SkinCeuticals Eye Complex.

I used to think eye creams were extra, aka not necessary, for basic antiaging skin care routine. I assumed they were a waste of money if I could just as easily apply my face cream to my eyes. But after using this one, I am now all looking for eye cream. In the before and after pictures below you can see the difference in the area around my eyes, especially where my lines are less deeply etched and the skin tone under my eyes is more even.

Step 5 (* crucial *): apply SkinCeuticals sunscreen.

Wearing sunscreen is categorically the worst thing you can do to your skin. Sorry to be dull, but this Sagittarius is about to teach you the skin care truth right away. Experts have kept saying that if you do just one thing to your skin, forget about cleansers, creams, and serums. Just take sunscreen.

Shayna adds, "Your skin will heal itself. So while you are blocking out the sun, you are giving your skin a better chance to regenerate." Part of Shayna's secret to youthful skin is that her mother was always a sunscreen advocate. "When she grew up in the 80s, she used to put sunscreen on us and we got so angry. It wasn't that much back then, but I'm so glad she did," she says.

I found Shayna's SkinCeuticals sunscreen pimples to be reasonably priced and spread out well without leaving a white sheen. I also like that it doesn't contain any of the toxic sunscreens like oxybenzone. After all, I'm not sure who's hearing this, but make sure you really spread the sunscreen all the way to the very edges of your face and in weird places like your eyelids. I have noticed among my colleagues and myself that age spots have formed on the outside edges of the face, near the hairline, and on the cheeks about an inch from the ears. It's not too late to protect all of these places!

Step 1: Clean

Sometimes Shayna uses the SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser ($ 35) as an alternative to the Tata Harper cleanser, followed by Klorane Micellar Water ($ 26) if there is makeup left over.

Step 2 (* crucial *): apply Adapalene Gel 0.3%.

Welcome to the previously promised section on the most powerful product I have ever used on my skin: Adapalene gel, a retinoid. I've learned that basically everyone in their late 20s and above should be using some form of retinol or retinoid (if you want results-oriented skin care, that is). Joshua Drawer, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, affirmed, "Personally, I feel so timely RetinoidsIn addition to sunscreen, they are the absolutely most important part of skin care. They stimulate collagen to strengthen the skin's foundation, minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and prevent new ones from being engraved on the skin. "

You have probably heard of retinols. Here's a quick lesson on retinoids versus retinols. They're both vitamin A derivatives that are converted to retinoic acid, but retinoids are ultimately stronger because they have a higher concentration of the active ingredient. Differin gel is the first non-prescription retinoid and only available over the counter at a concentration of 0.1%. I had to take myself to the dermatologist to get a prescription for Shayna's preferred stronger 0.3%. The prescription was around $ 10 with my HMO insurance and copay to see the derm.

Shayna explains: "Retinol takes your skin care routine to a higher leveland I like the prescription type because it's pure and I don't have to wonder if it works. It's the only proven ingredient that actually reverses aging. However, you need to work up to this strength. I won't wear it when I know if I'm going on vacation and I only wear it to bed. "Shayna doesn't add anything after the retinoid, and while I love the simplicity of a two-step evening routine of cleansing and using a retinoid, I found the need to use a simple moisturizer to avoid getting dry on the way to bed to feel.

Following Shayna's advice, I have tried to slowly burn retinoids by alternating the days I used them until nighttime. Draftsman provides a specific timeline: "Start with that Retinoid Apply a size of pea every other night (and not a drop more). Then apply two nights and one night free after two weeks. If after a month you are not irritated, you can use it every night. If at any point your skin develops redness, burning, stinging, or peeling, just skip a night. "

Things went fine for a couple of months. After a little initial peeling and irritation My skin had never looked better – smoother, more even and less discolored and less fine lines. I could confidently say that retinol had reversed signs of agingand I don't notice any subtle changes in my skin. However, on a few international flights and a sunny vacation in the south of France, and my skin peeled off for two weeks. Even Magic Cream couldn't fix the problem. What went wrong? Retinol / retinoids can thin the skin and reduce the skin's protective capacity against the sun (even if you wear sunscreen like me), and the dry air of flights can increase the already drying effects of retinol / retinoids. Shayna noted that she adjusts the frequency of her retinoid use based on the time of year, alternating nights with non-retinol skin care products, especially in summer.

Alt step 2 (* crucial *): Shani Darden Texture Reform Gentle Resurfacing Serum

I had to reluctantly give up my new favorite skin care product, Cold Turkey, as I had more flights and summer sun on the horizon. As an alternative, I turned to retinol, which you will remember being less intense than a retinoid. I ended up on Shani Dardens Texture Reform Serum. Celebrities like Laura Harrier, Chrissy Teigen, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are all fans of the product. It turns out the A list set likes something as the product is a godsend for my skin. I can absolutely say that it works to make my skin look younger, although the results are less dramatic and immediate than those of the retinoid. It saw me without any problems through more time in the sun and many flights. I also find it much more moisturizing than the prescription retinoid gel.

Maybe I'll consider a retinoid again in my 40s (from 0.1% this time!), But right now, retinol serves my needs as a key component of my antiaging skin care regimen in my 30s. As draftsman says: "Adaptation to a current topic Retinoid is a marathon, not a sprint. "

And now we finally get to the fun part, the before and after. You can see that I put a lot of time into this experiment because my hair is a fair bit longer!

Ta-da! And that is exactly what my friends, if you stick to an effective skin care plan for months, it is enough. In the after-photos my skin is more even and clearer. It also looks a little tighter and I look more awake with a youthful cast. The girl on the left has just got home from a weekend in Vegas, and the girl on the right is about to take the AP exam after a solid eight hour break and a balanced breakfast. Okay, maybe I don't look quite as young as a high school student, but you're seeing the improvement, right?

Here is a more detailed look at certain improvements. In the first set of photos, you can see in the previous picture that my crow's feet are a little more defined at the far end and there is an overall improvement in overall shade uniformity in the photo below.

In the middle row of photos, I want to draw your attention to the line that is to the right and above the corner of the lips. See how it looks more "etched" into my skin in the previous photo?

In the last group I was impressed by the change in the skin structure. The pores are less visible and the color is less red and blotchy.

In this comparison, the lines around my eyes look deeper in the previous photos. There, purple after-eye pockets are also less noticeable in the after photo.

Sorry to everyone who read this huge essay to get here, but the lessons of my months of experimentation can actually be summed up by this one meme from Destiny & # 39; s Child. Sunscreen, vitamin C and retinol are the real dream team for skin care for anyone in their late 20s or older. You will find that these are the steps I marked * crucial * throughout the routine. I now know that basing your regime on these ingredients is pretty much Skin Care 101, but it's a good place to start if you don't have an established routine or see noticeable improvement over what you're doing now. It's been a couple of months since we took the after-photos and I'm still seeing results from that combination. I have yet to get carded for a pair of scissors, but when those first five months go by I'll be on the right track.

Next up: I stare at a screen 12 hours a day so I finally tried using blue light glasses

This post was originally published earlier and has been updated since then.

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Melinda Martin