Hey, it’s almost Halloween! As a child I couldn’t wait for that day. The thought of marching to school and then door to door through crackly leaves in a fabulous costume that my mother always spent hours creating, filled me with a kind of anticipatory glee rarely experienced in adult life. In 1963, when Dunkin’ Donuts opened its 100th restaurant and their popularity surged, my mother dressed me as one of their trademark pastries, complete with a “steaming” cup of coffee for a hat! Suffice it to say, Halloween was big in our house. The words “wear a coat over your costume” were never thought, let alone uttered.
Now, as soon as I see those fake cobwebs in the store windows (why DO they do that??) a feeling of dread comes over me. Is it because I’ll be answering my front door forty times in one evening? Is it that I’ll lie awake wondering if I’ll be drinking my morning coffee picking wet toilet paper off the shrubbery? No. It’s because when I look in the mirror on November first I don’t want to see a witch!
All of a sudden, or so it seems, come the end of fall, my skin seems to dry out like an old sponge. I don’t remember seeing those wrinkles in the summertime? And what’s with the flakiness? Ugghh. It’s because, where I live, once the heat comes on and the last bit of summer humidity is gone, it’s time to haul out the big time moisturizer. Don’t get me wrong. I use moisturizer all year round, but once I’ve eaten that last candied apple it’s time for serious intervention.
There’s a HUGE selection of skin creams out there. The choice is mind boggling. People swear by La Mer but those are people with a lot of disposable income. Somehow I can’t bring myself to spend $155 for one ounce when there are so many other reasonably priced alternatives. And I’ve found that, just like clothing in colder weather, layering produces the best results. Here’s what I do: Every morning (and evening too) I wash my face with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. It’s fragrance free, gentle on sensitive skin and at five and a half bucks a bottle, it’s a bargain. Forget about toner. Leave the toner in your copying machine. Your face doesn’t need it. All it does is dry out what you’re trying to water.
Next I use some Jergen’s Natural Glow for Face because 1) daily use will give a little color to my otherwise ghostly skin, 2) it’s oil free and, most important, 3) it’s SPF 20. Whatever moisturizer you choose should have an SPF of at least 15, and 20 is even better. It may be winter but it’s the same sun up in that sky. After the Jergen’s I use Clinique Repairwear Uplifting, but here’s a trick; first I wet my fingertips and then use a little dab mixed with the water on my hands. I forget who gave me this tip but not only does the cream go further but it puts more hydration in the face. I love this stuff. Lastly, I use a tinted moisturizer for foundation. I used to use a regular liquid foundation, but really, who needs it? Tinted Moisturizer is lighter, looks better and it’s moisturizer! I love the one by Laura Mercier in Nude. If you don’t want to spend $40 (it does last a long time), Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Enhancer is excellent and about $12 at any CVS. Either one of them is SPF 20.
At night when things can get really spooky, I have a different routine entirely. I start with a Retinol treatment like StriVectin-AR or Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Moisturizer “Night.” A little dab’ll do ya so go easy with this stuff. Then I swear by the Ahava products. Their Night Replenisher is just the best and I use it undiluted. It’s a treat for the face. But that’s not all.
Back when I was a cheerleader (okay, WAY back), my coach, Mrs. Van Dyke, told us that we should start using eye cream every morning and every night. “Eye cream, girls. Eye cream!” she’d shout to us after practice. That was when I was a freshman in high school and I’ve never strayed and really, I must say, I think it’s paid off. But even if you’re starting your skin care late in the game, eye cream girls! Eye cream! I like to use the thickest, most water-retaining goop I can find and it’s Vaseline. Yup. Vaseline Original Skin Protectant is my eye cream, and while I’m dabbing it under my eyes I rub a little on the lines around my lips as well. And I NEVER go to bed with my make up on.
So treat yourself. And Happy Halloween, Pumpkin!