Current pre-baby skincare routine

While waiting for baby to arrive, I might as well share what I’ve been using on my face lately. Researching skincare has been a long-time hobby for me, and I continue to enjoy experimenting, reducing old acne scars from my youth, addressing some signs of aging, and defeating hormonal acne. Everyone implies that I won’t have time to shower, much less adhere to a lengthy skincare regimen, when the baby comes, so I’m enjoying this while I can.

I’d describe my routine now as rooted firmly in K-beauty with a dash of American drugstore on the side.

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A.M.

  1. Swipe a pad of Bioderma Sensibio H2O over sleepy face.
  2. Pat some Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner into skin.
  3. Spritz with Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist.
  4. Apply COSRX Triple C Lightning Liquid (not shown; has to be kept in the fridge, because it’s very unstable) while waiting for tea to steep.
  5. Trader Joe’s Nourish Oil-Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer, mixed with a drop of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. The Trader Joe’s moisturizer is $4 and I have never found a moisturizer that can top it, both in terms of application and ingredients.
  6. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen SPF 50, holy grail sunscreen after trying dozens.

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P.M.

  1. Wash face with either Hanskin Cleansing Oil or Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Purifying. Sometimes, if I’m feeling extra gross, I’ll follow up with a double-cleanse with CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser.
  2. Pat some Hada Labo Gokujun Premium into face.
  3. Apply a serum of choice. Alternating between the following right now: Quesera Ceramide, The Ordinary Niacinamide + Zinc, COSRX Propolis Light Ampoule, or Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum. (Will add The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% back in after I’m no longer pregnant, if/when that ever happens.)
  4. Conclude with a moisturizer. Currently alternating between Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream and First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream.

Taking care of my skin has become a very relaxing practice to begin and end each day. I look forward to it. Skincare gets a reputation for being the refuge of narcissists and materialists. While it can certainly support those insecurities, I think it is a simple form of everyday therapy for men and women alike.

Many people, like myself, come to skincare because of long-term skin problems. It becomes a hobby of healing. I also find that those who are the most critical of skincare enthusiasts are those who have never had to deal with serious skin issues themselves. In short, I know that it’s not my deepest or most edifying pastime, but it makes me feel peaceful and sane (particularly in these last remaining weeks of childlessness).

What are you putting on your face and loving these days?

Home again

Front yard, Aug. 2016
The front yard has grown very green in our absence.

It is good to be home. We are settling back in to old routines and creating new ones.

I am so happy to have the dogs again, but I think they regret being back with us (there is no Jak to play with them every day, take them for rollerblade runs or swims in the river, etc.). I’ve been trying to walk them more than usual and play Frisbee with Edie at least once a day to make them love me again. Hard to tell if it’s working.

Things I had forgotten to miss while abroad but am so pleased to have again

  • Our public library. I put 10 books on hold the first week we were back, and now I’m swamped, but I am so happy to be back in the swing of reading and to have every conceivable book at my fingertips again. (Our London library, while quaint, left a lot to be desired.)
  • Vast American grocery stores
  • My calligraphy studio
  • Our house, dingy as it now appears in certain lights
  • The local art scene and the people who curate it
  • The subsidized cafeteria in my office
  • Watermelon
  • Our basement
  • The little Wednesday farmers’ market around the corner from our house
  • The loony neighborhood email group
  • My sprawling, mismanaged house plants

Latest reading obsessions:

History of domestic American architecture. Once you see (and learn how to see) a properly and stylistically restored home, you can’t unsee it. I see spindly porch columns and bad banisters everywhere in and outside our house, and now my eyes burn. I suddenly loathe the asbestos siding, the structural incongruities. Would that I had a cool $100K to re-do the entire exterior of our circa-1959 house. I am chock-full of renovation ideas that I utterly cannot fund.

Maggie Nelson. Maggie Nelson! Reading The Argonauts very slowly and drinking it all in. The past year has been filled with these utterly breathtaking women writers who are simultaneously under-read and deeply revered by those who have found them (see: Anne Carson, Lydia Davis). Up next in this vein: Clarice Lispector. Just bought myself a copy of The Passion According to G.H.

Things to be happy about: Donald Trump seems to be trying to tank his own candidacy. We might get to save America from itself after all! Also: So many new babies in town. And dear friends getting puppies and kitties. And today was only 90 degrees, so it felt almost cool.