I feel so “influencer” sharing this but I have gotten numerous requests from people over the last few weeks whenever I share a video of myself rambling nonsensically in my car :) I am not one who has a skincare “ritual”- I’m far too busy to be able to dedicate significant time to my skin- but now that I’m 41, I’m taking it a LITTLE more seriously and investing in not only high quality products, but seeing a dermatologist as well.
Yes folks, I got a little Botox 2 weeks ago. Right between the ol’ eyebrows. I usually only get it in my jaw muscles because I clench SO much that I shattered a filling and have struggled with TMJ since college. If you are the same, do not delay-DO THIS. It is LIFE changing. Jaw pain can affect your posture, your sense of well being… lots of things. Botox treatments train the masseter muscle to relax and over time, you will need fewer and fewer treatments as it becomes less active. Anyways, while there I said, go ahead, let’s knock those “11’s” out. No shame in that game. I also finally got a prescription Retinol. After spending 6 years being pregnant/ trying to get pregnant- I finally can use a strong Retinol!!! YAY!
Other than that I hope to try some lasers soon- I have lots of sun damage from YEARS of sun bathing and being a lifeguard. But I’m not there quiiiiiiite yet, I want to see what this Retinol does.
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I love a good exfoliant– this Skinceuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub (kindly sent to me by the crew at Bella Sante Wellesley) is AMAZING in texture- love it! I also love the Tata Harper Resurfacing one. For gentle, non-gritty cleanser I still love Tammy Fender’s Cleansing Milk (but I’m out).
I’m using a few things right now- I just got the iS Clinical Active and so far so good- I use this every other night (when not using my Retinol- which is Rx- but I also found the Drunk Elephant one to be SUPER effective). During the day I use the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic before my sunscreen and moisturizer.
For daytime I use my La Roche Posay Suncreen serum over the CE Ferulic, and then Skinceuticals Triple Lipid (recommended by my derm). For nighttime, I use the Augustinus Bader Rich Cream. So so expensive, but I do really like it and feel glowier when I use it. I also still love Creme de la Mer as well for winter time. I like a really thick nighttime moisturizer!
I have yet to find an eye cream I am obsessed with, and I’ve tried many. This Kiehls does the job as far as moisture goes, but I’m not wowed. So any recommendations are welcome. I do like this little retinol eye stick though! I just picked up this Dior lip scrub/ balm and it’s really nice to use before bed. It kind of dissolves into your lips and makes them feel great.
Once in a blue moon I’ll do a mask- usually the Tata Harper Resurfacing or any random sheet mask I pick up. I also have been loving these Wander eye patches as well for a quick pick me up. Once in a while when I’m feeling really pale and sad, I’ll add a couple drops of Tan Luxe to my nighttime moisturizer to get a healthy light glow. I also like to use my gua sha tool in the morning for a few minutes to wake my face up.
Any faves you would like to share? Things that REALLY work for you?
Hello! I love your site, thank you.
As someone who grew up under a hole in the ozone layer and now lives pretty much at the equator, I would highly recommend a combination of IPL and YAG laser treatments with a dermatologist. They’ve been game changers for me. The decades of neglect are literally fading away… ;)
thank you for sharing info about your TMJ- no-one has EVER mentionned botox to me ! i have gone to the face pain clinic at TUFTS boston & the new mouth guard is working kinda….
Can you share the name of your dermatologist? I am looking for someone locally in Newton/Wellesley. Thx!
I have some questions about getting Botox shots in your jaw. I don’t have TMJ but apparently I also clinch my jaw very tightly, especially while sleeping. I’ve noticed for a few years now when I wake up my jaw is so clinched. I sleep with a mouth guard but can still tell that 1 of my teeth has moved a little. So my question is, does the Botox keep you from clinching so hard? I’ve never heard of this but I’m eager to try it!!
I’m 50 and have been using Environ products for the past 8 years. I’ve seen a huge improvement in my skin—no breakouts, elimination of the pregnancy mask due to decades of taking the pill and glow! Dana, my skin care clinician at Beauty Muse in Needham, introduced me to these products, I highly recommend her—very knowledgable and only sells products that are science based and natural.
You mentioned sun damage…so the chemical peel that is amazing for that is skinceuticals TCA peel. I’ve always been a VIPeel girl. But a friend recommended and I’m hooked. I was shocked at the brown spots that came to the surface.
Not gonna lie…it BURNS. BUT, on my second pass, the aesthetician pulled the cryo machine into the room and I was able to use it as a “fan” and the was a total game changer. She told me to be prepared for how much it burns during application but said “everyone comes back because of the results”. She was absolutely spot on.
I’m a product girl, but I’ve always rejected the idea of eye cream. Why would you need a separate product? Recently, I was working and noticed how dry my under eye skin felt. Cut to mindless evening scrolling , after a few glasses of wine, and an ad for Sallye Ander Nourish under eye treatment popped up on Instagram. It’s in a lip balm tube, so it looked like just the thing to keep at desk and apply. The next morning, I couldn’t believe I ordered it, but at least it was only $13. Well, here’s the big finish, if you’ve stuck with this story. . . . It’s great!! I look in the mirror sometimes and think, you look different. I realized it’s a tightened up under eye. It feels great, actually works, and is so convenient. And only $13. It’s got an awesome hippy apothecary smell that I might not put all over, but a little under the eye is great.
I’d recommend the Mario Badescu glycolic eye cream. I used Kiehl’s as well for a long time and definitely prefer this one.
I’m not sure I have TMJ, but I have an extremely tight jaw and my clenching has led to cracking the enamel on all my teeth. I wear a mouth guard at night now. Maybe I should ask my dentist about Botox.
My osteopath yesterday did something new, for my jaw. I forget what she called it but she put her fingers in my mouth and held a spot up in my jaw. Incredibly painful but if you push through the pain the muscle suddenly releases. Not a cure of course but that side of my face is less tight and less painful today. I’m going to see if we can teach my partner to do it!
What kind of doctor does your mass enter Botox? I have had a difficult time finding someone to do it. Also, does insurance cover it since it is a medical issue?
Insurance does not cover it, which is ridiculous, and my medical dermatology practice does it. Not a med spa!
Derma-e Brand Radiant Glow Face Oil is something to check out ! Only $18 ..reviews are alway very favorable. I use in the morning before my makeup. Or no make up beside eyes and lips. Just feels and looks natural!
Erin, First off, thanks so much for sharing your specific plans on home decor; and life’s ups and downs. Your generosity is such a big help to someone who is challenged in the “home improvement” area of life. Also, I suffer from TMD/TMJ too. My jaw has locked occasionally and Botox has been a suggested therapy to me. I’ve been reluctant to try it, because I had a hard time wrapping my brain around it as a medicinal treatment vs. cosmetic. Many thanks for being so forthcoming in all parts of life.
If it helps, Botox was designed as a medical treatment. It treats overactive sweat glands amongst other things and TMJ is another thing that actually fits into the reason the drug was made.
Somebody noticed it helped wrinkles and hey presto, cosmetic money maker. But it is a medical treatment. Tell people you’ve had site specific muscle relaxant injections as part of wider treatment, which avoids you saying “I’ve had Botox” 🙂
Ultra Repair Cream, Intense Hydration is my favorite and makes it easy not only because you use it from head to toe but it works wonders. Since I have been using this winter my flaky, dry skin has disappeared. Great to use on the little ones also.
Anyone have any oil-free recommendations, for creams that are also unscented? I have insanely sensitive skin, and anything with a fragrance or ANY oil makes me break out into a rash. I’ve really struggled finding anything that is effectively moisturizing…
I also have EXTRA sensitive skin and I use confidence in a cream from IT cosmetics as my daily moisturizer (have for several years now) and really love it. I’d call it unscented but I don’t think it’s technically oil free (I usually have to use oil free products as well but for some reason, this is OK). I tend to break out from most things aimed at sensitive skin and this has been super. Worth a try as Sephora has a great return policy if something doesn’t work for your skin type. Recently added Drunk Elephant B and C to my daytime routine and I never feel like my skin is too dry.
I’m another TMJ sufferer (also due to clenching). When I get stressed, I clench more and my jaw has actually locked open several times necessitating a trip to the oral surgeon or ER (when after hours). I’ve been to dentists, a TMJ clinic, etc. and nobody has ever suggested Botox for my issue. I’m super curious as to how you found someone who knew how to treat your jaw with Botox. I think I’m at the point where I need to try this!
See a medical dermatologist for this. Do not go to a day spa or Botox clinic.
I have been a Clinique user for decades and still love their moisturizer (regular in winter months and gel version the remainder of the year. ) I have used ROC Deep Wrinkle night cream for years and it truly works on those “11’s” , forehead lines and upper lip “cat whiskers”. Affordable for the budget conscience.
Has anyone tried Olay Regenerist retinal for an evening cream? Is has great reviews and is always sold out. I know it’s not as strong as prescription retinal because I’m not getting any flaky dry skin, so not sure I should continue. Thanks
I use the Olay Regenerist retinol and don’t get any dry flakes. I used prescription retinol for years, but once my skin got acclimated to retinol I found I could use it regularly without any flakiness problems. I really like the Olay.
The Nivea cream from Germany is only 2 ingredients from la Mer. It is amazing- especially for a night cream. European beauty is so much cleaner! You can buy it on Amazon. Also: revisions papaya enzyme cleanser is total game changer.
I’ve been using the German Nivea Cream on my face for years and love it. Very similar to La Mer!
For any readers that aren’t ready for / don’t want to go the prescription retinoids route, just pick up a tube of Differin gel. Yes, it’s marketed as an acne gel, but adapalene (the active ingredient) is a retinoid just like tretinoin, just available now at an OTC strength. It’s still stronger than retinol/retinal serums. You should start slow and work your way up like any other retinoid. And ALWAYS use sunscreen, or you’re just aging your skin faster in the sun. This is all easily google-able, so feel free to do your own research on this. :)
CEF serums are also a gold standard and should be used in the morning. I have absolutely nothing against Skinceuticals but firmly believe you don’t need to pay that much. I’ve use Maelove “Glow Maker” in the past and am going back to it when my Peter Thomas Roth runs out. No complaints about the PTR one, it’s just $$$ too and I don’t think it’s worth it. Maelove has thousands of glowing reviews including SkinCeuticals converts who swear they get the same results for $27. (I’m not affiliated with them and I’m sure there’s plenty of other affordable brands, this just happens to be the one I’ve used personally). Wear sunscreen!
Ooh, thank you for this info. We have Differin Gel hanging around for teen acne. I saw a post on a beauty website that mentioned it in a retinol rundown, but I didn’t really.understand if it was equivalent. Have you had good results from using it?
@Tina Yes, it’s highly effective! For anyone still reading these comments, I happened upon a dermatologist Insta account later this week that backs up the above. It’s @thedallas_derm_pa
She has a recent reel on how to use Differin for anti-aging and what to expect. She also has a post and saved story on Vitamin C serums that talks about Maelove vs SkinCeuticals. Apparently SC has a patent on their exact formulation that expires in 2025, but she believes Maelove to be a good budget-friendly alternative!
Thank you! Ordering Glow Maker niw. 10% off when purchasing two products, 20% for three.
I’ve been on the hunt for a good eye cream for awhile. I feel like some were making my eyes worse but my skincare girl recommended the ZO growth factor serum for eyes and it’s the first time I feel like I can visibly see a difference. I use it on my upper eyelids too and that’s where I was noticing the biggest difference. It’s pricey but it’s the first eye serum I will purchase again. The whole ZO line is amazing! I started using it and added a couple Ordinary products in there and haven’t looked back.
I like the banana bright eye cream by ole henriksen. Feels nice and works well under makeup.
I’m still using and loving the Shamanuti charcoal cleanser you recommended years ago!!
I feel the same about eye creams. The beat I’ve found is the Skinceuticals AGE one.
I’m a huge fan of the Drunk Elephant Line and you should try their babyfacial, I use it 1x per week and follow the directions to a T b/c if you leave it on longer you’ll be a bit red. I’ve been in search for a good night eye cream and finally found an eye cream for night that I think really helps – Youth for the People, Dream Eye Cream, I do like SundayReiley’s Autocorrect for the day. ! I also love Caudalie Vinoperfect Glycolic Overnight Cream. I’ve also noticed consistency over time is a big factor for seeing changes.
I like the St Tropez tanning mist for my face. 2-3 quick sprays and a natural looking glow develops. I’m a red head with fair skin so this has been tricky.
That Triple Lipid Restore is a game changer. I used it ONCE and woke up the next morning and had visibly plumper, softer skin but without the oily residue I get from so many others. Like all the product actually soaked into my skin which I guess doesn’t always happen for me with other products because I usually wake up looking I put Vaseline all over my face before bed. It was just a free sample I got when ordering their retinol but I’m 100% buying it after those results!
Retinol scares me a little. Okay as long as you use sunscreen?
Yes. Use at night and start slow – like once a week, then twice a week, etc. Sunscreen is a must or you are just making your skin age faster by increasing the photo-sensitivity.
I only use retinol at night.
I’ve been eyeing the triple lipid cream. My La Mer is almost out, but I can usually get away with something lighter in spring and summer. One thing I like is the Jordan Harper toning pads. With my Obagi vitamin c, and the toning pads, I feel like I have a good, glowy base.
So happy to read this – I just bought the online consult with Jordan Harper’s website! I am dying to try her toning pads.
the best Vitamin C E Ferulic is by Marie Veronique!!! I urge everyone to try it – I used Skinceuticals and abandoned it after finding Marie Veronique. I’ve used it for 3 years and the results are awesome. Also use the Gentle Retinal Night Serum. Check it out – it’s the best!!!
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Beautycounter’s Countertime Ultra Renewal Eye Creme is FABULOUS! It has done WONDERS for my eyes. (My husband died at the start of covid, so I did lots of crying and aged 10 years very quickly. That’s all been reversed and then some.) I’m a prescription retinol user too and you can’t beat it. Plus, it’s way cheaper than OTC treatments. Going to try your sunscreen recommendation. Thanks for sharing!!!
I’ve been on quite the skincare journey myself this past year. I’ve tried a lot of eye creams as well and my favorite by far is the Epionce Renewal eye cream. It’s so creamy and hydrating and just melts into the skin. I use it at night and my eye area still feels very hydrated when I wake up in the morning. You can buy it at Dermstore, 20% off right now too!
Have you read Caroline Hirons’ book? Her recs are spot on and you have quite a few already so her eye recs would help.
I am skincare obsessed – not let’s try every product under the sun obsessed, but with keeping my routine. I love True Botanicals Vitamin C Powder (I used to be a Skincueticals devotee) and recently tried a serum and an oil from their line and love those as well. The single best thing though (besides sunscreen) that I have done for my skin was IPL. I had some dark spots that simply would not budge even after vitamin C, retinol, glycolic acid, etc. The IPL broke up the spots enough that the topicals could clear out the rest.