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Skincare At 66.5, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:45am

Some can’t resist new shoes. Some collect lipsticks, small coral tubes of cheer in a drawer. Me, skincare. Love it. I am made nearly unruly by Sephora’s “Bazaar,” for example, that program whereby if you sign up and buy stuff they give you more stuff.

Since at the moment I’m quite happy with the products on my bathroom countertop, I thought I might share them with you. No, I don’t put them away. They make me happy, why would I?


Both Sue at Une Femme and Alison at Wardrobe Oxygen recommend Colleen Rothschild’s Cleansing Balm, so I tried it. What a joy (shipping is very slow, but it does arrive eventually). Smells delicious, and, true benefit, you don’t have to rinse it all the way off, just wipe with a damp washcloth. CR includes the washcloth. I hate rinsing. (But their moisturizer, also recommended by others, made me break out. This is a theme of today, prepare yourself.)

This is great for taking off makeup and sunscreen. I hate sunscreen too, but still wear it if I’m under the sky for more than 10 minutes at a time (to be precise, I use the Cicapair Color Correcting Treatment. Green in the jar, even tone and SPF30 for the skin.) When I wash my face in the shower, which I do, don’t @ me as I used to say on Twitter, I use Saipua’s olive oil soap.

This black one is my favorite but they have a whole bunch of other amazing scents–and one unscented. If you spend $100 (makes a great Christmas present) they will include a cool wave-shaped soap dish for free.

Everything Else


Here I opt for inexpensive, single-ingredient products.

My skin veers crepey, as opposed to leather. I still remember the woman on the Santa Monica beach, about my age, whose skin was so tanned my 9-year old self could not stop staring. I don’t get many fine lines, but my cheeks slide inexorable toward my mouth, creating the skin dunes commonly known as jowls. Peptides, I’ve found, have the most impact. I use The Ordinary. For retinol, Sephora’s store brand. I should get prescription retinoids, probably, but I just haven’t. Feel free to @ me. Oh, and I might throw in some extra hyaluronic acid now and then, because it’s the garlic of skincare.


Until my daughter gave me the Tatcha Indigo for Christmas, I didn’t much like moisturizer, because it always made me break out. I’ve changed my mind. This is gorgeous and light and makes my skin super soft. I use it at night, with the Laneige lip mask, also a present from my daughter. The circle of life. In the daytime I use the Dr. Jart gel, because it really does quiet redness and sensitivity, along with eye cream in a pump that doesn’t make my eyes dry out.  (P.S. I also love Brian+MW’s lip treatment but it’s pricey so I wait for sales.)

Skincare, so romantic.


I have some Drunk Elephant Babyfacial peel, which I use occasionally, but in the end I find that good old-fashioned drugstore variety benzoyl peroxide is the best thing for breakouts, and whatever those bumps are that rise and fall with some mysterious force I can’t explain.

And, Believe It Or Not, A Skinpliance (Skin Appliance, Get It?)

I sort of want to call this little beeping machine balderdash, but, although I haven’t done a controlled test, haven’t kept data per se, anecdotally in those times when I make time to use it, the NuFace helps with my crepe. Might just be all the extra hyaluronic acid you apply before you roll it up your aging face, wait, I mean I and mine, but in any case I enjoy myself in the mirror after use.

And there we have it.

I hope your weekend is absolutely beautiful.


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11 Responses

  1. Love (adore, enjoy the ritual of, luxuriate in, see the results of) good skincare. Veer toward plant-based and organic. Like to use a line or two on the theory that a good formulator makes complementary products. Favorite line was Earthwise Beauty, which was breathtaking in its efficacy: Paloma Oil massaged in—a good massage or gua sha session increases collagen—and wiped off + Cistus toner pressed in + Resiliency serum + Yasuni Balm = wake to amazing skin. It was made in Spokane by the incomparable Ava Zahn, but alas they went out of business to the consternation of many. Her Rosa Whole-Fruit Rosehip Oil, a natural source of Vitamin A, was a wonderful, active, skin oil. I’ll regroup once I finish my stash, bought during her closing sale. Other lines I love are Maya Chia; Blüh Alchemy (the formulator’s mother-in-law is the poet Toi Derricotte, co-founder of Cave Canem,, which fills me with unreasonable happiness); MÜN; Naturallogic, formulated by Toni in PA. I use her amazing Lustral AHA cleanser (now discontinued for Flourish, which I’ll transition to) in my morning shower and feel no shame.:) There are a lot of extraordinary brands out there. I buy during the 20% off (or more) sales. There are so many amazing ingredients that transform skin, but I try to abide by the CSA system: For day a C serum (currently Josh Rosebrook, but favorite is expensive Blüh Alchemy) and Sunscreen (currently the fabulous Plumscreen by Le Prunier, and Bloom), and for night a Vitamin A, which could be Tretinoin, but mine is Retinaldehyde, much less irritating, and one conversion step from the retinoic acid that is Tretinoin. I have a tube of Tretinoin .05%, but I avoid it. Currently, I use Medik8 Crystal Retinal 10, on my way to their new 20, five days a week. When my dermatologist first gave me Tretinoin to try in the early aughts, it irritated my happy skin, and I rejected it. If I’d stuck with it, I’d now have thicker collagen and fewer fine lines. Love, love, love Saipua’s soaps, which I’ve been buying at The Gardener in Berkeley for years. I use them as drawer sachets because they smell good and are beautifully packaged. Love this topic. Thanks for bringing it up.

    1. K., you are a true, educated aficionado. I love hearing you talk about your knowledge and experience of this domain. I will look into your Vitamin A, to see if it might be more activated than what I’m doing. I agree. Retinol would be a good thing for anyone in their late 30s-early 40s to try out.

    2. You recommended that Le Prunier sunscreen and I love it – wear it daily. It’s expensive but I’m still on my first tube of it so well worth it.

  2. I do enjoy your skincare comments and have tried some of your recommendations from past posts, one of which is the Drunk Elephant facial bar soap. I have been using if for a few weeks and am underwhelmed. Was I expecting too much from one bar of soap? But I was hoping to buy products with less packaging and still be pleased with the results. Are you still using this product? It appears you have moved on to other facial cleansing products.
    Thank you for your posts which are always enjoyable.

    1. I am still using it! Sorry you’re underwhelmed. I do think it’s a good product, and as you say, less packaging. But in the end I decided that since it gets washed off, it was probably not worth buying again. It’s also true that I don’t like to rinse, so I don’t want to keep the DE soap by the sink, and I don’t want to use it on my body, so I don’t want to keep it in the shower because I don’t have enough room for multiple soaps! Saipua soaps feel good enough for my face and they also achieve the less packaging goal and are a small, woman-run business. I’ll still use Drunk Elephant Babyfacial, as I say, because that stuff has to stay on my face for 20 minutes LOL.

      Also thank you so much for reading and trying things out. Much appreciated:)

  3. I never met anyone besides me who vocalized that they don’t like to rinse their face…I despise it and get water everywhere.
    I bought the NuFace device, but also despised using it – so I gave it to a friend.

    Once in a while I try some new “miracle” aka expensive product, but honestly, these days I sort of stick to Cerave products, including their hyaluronic acid which was rated in the top 5. Cerave was recommended by an allergist and it keeps my skin hydrated, calm, and plumped up enough.

    1. I really think that for most products, the simple inexpensive ones can be great. The ones I spend $$$ on are those that smell amazing and are physically perfect for my use patterns, like the Colleen Rothschild cleansing balm and the Saipua soap, and the moisturizer that combines ingredients and manages not to break me out, because I’m really prone.

  4. I hate rinsing my face and don’t do it unless I am in the shower, and then only if I am also washing my hair. I use an oil cleaner by Tata Harper (expensive but my face loves it) and I follow with a hot damp washcloth. I thought I was alone, but I suspect there are many of us. I also love that Laniege lip mask. It seems that my routine is getting simpler as I age, and contains a mix of high end and simple inexpensive products like CeraVe’s retinol and Yes to Avocado eye cream. I go through phases where I can be a bit of a junkie about trying new skin care though, and probably need to pay more attention than I do, so I might be trying a few things.

    1. Secret club for the non-rinsers of the world? New niche business opportunity? Well, a few companions sharing a quirk is pretty good:). I am also prone to switch things up. I am now rebuying the CR cleansing balm, the Ordinary serums, that eye lotion, and benzoyl peroxide LOL. I suspect I’ll rebuy the Tatcha too, so I may just be homing in on a routine of sorts.

      I do have to say, after Marilyn’s comment, I used the Drunk Elephant intentionally. I do like it. It doesn’t solve world hunger of the face, but it takes off anything oily without leaving me squeaky. So, skin is tightened but not a blasted heath. I am not rebuying more because of physics (rinsing, limited shower caddy space) than the product itself.

  5. Last summer I started using Doré skin care. Who can resist the simple, teal green, non-fussy packaging? Not me! Turns out my skin loves it and it’s super stream lined and not expensive. I pretty much only use the cleanser (and rinse my face) when in the shower. For us non rinsers, Doré recently added miceller water to its line up and it seems to take off the sunscreen. I’m still a fan of Drunk Elephant sunscreen. It’s one of the few I can stand the feel of. And will use!

    Love the Saipua scents!

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