The painting above was produced in the 1970s by artist Chuck Close. Close is known nowadays for his very mosaic/pixellated portraits--often of famous personages. However, he made his reputation on photorealistic large portraits painstakingly created using a detailed grid and various paint techniques including an airbrush. The details of the skin, both superficially good and bad, are beautifully captured and bring personality to the portrait. So, my first proclamation is to love your skin and the personality it reflects. It is truly sad when an aging individual decides to get "work done" to counter the effects of growing older. They usually end up with a lopsided, strangely molded face that is fooling no one. Age with grace and acceptance. I also like to think of people in the spotlight who have become MORE attractive with age. I'm thinking here of Glenn Close, Jamie Lee Curtis, Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, Barbara Kingsolver, Richard Gere, Sean Connery, Ted Danson--just to name a few.
Good skin at any age requires commitment to two things: processes and products that are sensible. There's no need to spend hundreds of dollars (unless you want to enrich the coffers of cosmetic companies) but there is the necessity to devote yourself to regular practices that attend to the skin.
My recommendations from my experience:
1. Make-up Removal--I must admit, I'm a sucker for good old-fashioned Pond's cold cream (well under $10, and able to be purchased at drugstores). If you are looking for a more natural solution, coconut oil works well (but turns liquid in the summer). Never, ever be too lazy to remove makeup. A wet wipe (like you use on a baby's bum) is fine for removing foundation. And wash your make-up brushes well, preferably once a week. I now apply foundation with a blunt brush--I literally use a pea-sized dollop. So much better for the skin and the effect is sublime.
2. Cleansers---for those without issues go with drugstore Cetaphil (under $15). However, my problem skin has changed with the addition of sulphur-based soap. I buy my bar from Amazon for under $7. There is nothing luxe or fancy about it. It is a hard yellow bar that comes in a plastic jar that seriously looks like something your vet would hand you to get rid of Fido's hot spots. It lasts a very long time and travels well in that plastic jar.
3. Toner--Dr. Thayer's Witch Hazel (under $10). It's pure, it's a classic, and I love the old-fashioned bottle. You can get it infused with rose, aloe or lavender. All are great. I use this in the morning as a refreshing cleanse.
4. Facial Mist/Essence--The Heritage Store's Rosewater. Inexpensive and can be purchased in a spray bottle or a big refill size. Based on the teachings of Edgar Cayce (I think some wacky stuff) but this is good stuff for a song. Again, it comes infused. I love the plain, the lavender infused, and the rosewater and glycerin is great to have on hand at the office for the winter months when central heating plays havoc with your skin. I tried the jasmine infused, hated the smell. Just my opinion.
5. Serum--A Vitamin C/Hylauronic Acid is great to use a couple of times a week for skin refreshing. Here's a tip--look for one marketed to men! It will cost half as much for a big bottle (I paid $17 as opposed to $35 dollars). It's the same stuff, women are gouged, what can I say? Use just a pea-sized amount and spray liberally with rosewater before and after to activate it.
6. Jade Roller--you can use this tool to work in your moisturizer. Can be purchased from Amazon for $6-7. Use upward strokes--great for moving fluid and diminishing puffiness, and to stimulate the thyroid on the neck.
7. Moisturizer--depends on the time of year. In the summer, when my skin is oily, I'm not as frequent and I use Neutrogena's Hydra Gel ($18). In the depths of winter, I like Weleda Calendula Baby Face Cream. Under $11 a tube and a little goes a long way.
8. Face Mask Sheets--I buy inexpensive Korean face sheets on Amazon. They are less than $1.50 a piece. Korean women are known for being meticulous with skin care. I just find these fun. They're moist (face masks should never be allowed to dry on your face), and easy (no mess), and relaxing. I use them before bed as a treat every now and again. Once a week would be great.
9. Spot treatment--Lavender essential oil is great for this. A drop on the fingertip can hit any problem areas on the face.
10. Body lotions--I love Dr. Bronner's Orange Lavender lotion, less than $12; and for deep moisture, Tree Huts Shea Butter Body Butters. The Honey Almond smells like a wonderful almond croissant--truly decadent! Around $15, and again, a little goes far.
Lifestyle counts too! --
11. Hydration--water, water, water
12. Sleep--at least 7 hours
13. Good diet--veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts & seeds, quality dairy, whole grains, and only occassional meat. https://bluezones.com/
And, don't forget to get out and walk. Circulation is great for the skin. Sunscreen if you're going to be out for a long period of time, if it's a half hour, then skip it so as to get the Vitamin D. Twenty minutes to half an hour after dinner is a nice habit to get into whenever possible.
So, there you have it. Cheap skin care and please know that I'm not on the payroll of any of these companies. These are my preferences, truly.
Be healthy, be frugal, be artful--