• Sally Schrempf

Skincare and Serenity

Ladies, I think I've finally found it—a winning formula for fighting wrinkles and feeling better about aging. My ablutions (I love that word) have never been more straightforward, and I no longer have a drawer full of skincare products to dig through. I'm ready to face my sixties, which my mother said was her happiest decade.

photo credit Shutterstock

But before I open my box of goodies, here are a few guidelines:

  • Avoid synthetic fragrances. These are the most common irritants. And because the formulas are proprietary and don't need to be disclosed, you have absolutely no idea what you're rubbing into your skin.

  • Be patient and consistent. The effects from studies are often measured after 12 weeks or 6 months of continuous use.

  • It's okay to mix and match your beauty products, but those within the same line are designed to work together and may give you better results. (I don't think this applies to those you wash off.)

  • Eat "beauty" foods like salmon, nuts and seeds, oatmeal, avocados, tomatoes, red or yellow peppers, kiwis, carrots, sweet potatoes, green vegetables, green tea, olive oil, and even a little dark chocolate. (The darker, the better with 70% cacao or more).

So, without further ado (drum roll please,) the winners are:


Derma E Pycnogenol Sensitive Skin has been my go-to face cleanser for many years. The upside is that it's very gentle. The downside is that it's very gentle! For this reason, you may need to do a double wash if you're wearing heavier makeup. I've just started using Cerave's Micellar Water as a first step, and it removes all my makeup without any irritation.

Other excellent choices are Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser and Cerave Hydrating Cleanser.

Although you should always remove makeup before going to bed, a simple splash of water is all you need in the morning.


One drug-store brand that consistently receives rave reviews is Cerave PM Moisturizing Lotion. Although this is an evening moisturizer, it wears beautifully under makeup. The Cerave Eye Repair Cream is lovely too. Both contain niacinamide, which is excellent for overall skin health and may even offer some protection from skin cancer.

For a richer cream, my go-to is SkinMedica Replenishing Cream. And when your skin feels a little irritated (or downright angry), nothing works better than Eucerin Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Cream. Yes, it may feel like you're smearing a pat of butter on your face, but it soothes like nothing else. It's not the best for wearing under makeup (it's so rich), but it's a dream for nighttime.

Dermatologists recommend using SPF 30 or higher during the day. Apply sunscreen after moisturizer, and if you're using a serum, this goes on before your moisturizer.

Sun Protection

I always look for mineral sunscreen (aka physical sunscreen), as it's less likely to cause irritation and offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Although untinted mineral sunscreens can leave you looking ashen, there are some that keep this to a minimum.

My absolute favorite is SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield, SPF 35 — This is truly the holy grail of mineral sunscreens. It comes in both tinted and untinted. I like the untinted, so I can also use it on my neck. You can read more about this fantastic product on the SkinMedica website. (I have no affiliation with this company, I just LOVE their sunscreen.)

I like two other untinted mineral sunscreens: La Roche Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light (untinted) and Derma E Scar Cream Sun Protectant. (This one is amazing if you want to protect a scar from the sun.)

If you're looking for a tinted sunscreen, Colorescience has an array of sun protection products. Choose from a primer (I love Calming Primer SPF 20 ) or something from the Sunforgettable line, including a handy powder with SPF 50. You can apply mineral powder throughout the day without ruining your makeup, which is a bonus.

Anti-aging treatments

A retinoid product is your best bet (short of surgery) to fight wrinkles and aging. Retinoids come in several strengths. But start with the weakest (0.25%) and use once a week or every other day until your skin adjusts. Only use at night time, and if you have super-sensitive skin, apply after moisturizer. Your complexion may look worse and peel like crazy before getting better but it'll be worth it in the end. SkinMedica Retinol Complex is a worthy splurge. And a good drug store option is Cerave Resurfacing Retinol Serum.

Alpha hydroxy acids are excellent exfoliators, but they can be harsh for sensitive skin. Clinique's Turnaround Accelerated Renewal Serum contains a gentler acid (polyhydroxy) that hasn't bothered my skin and feels lovely!

Serums offer an intense dose of a "wow" ingredient. For extra hydration and plumping, look for one that contains hyaluronic acid. I like SkinMedica's HA 5 serum, which I wear under my mineral sunscreen. For maximum benefits, seal your serum with a moisturizer or sunscreen.

Pamper Yourself

Don't forget to indulge in some pampering too. Take that meditation class, enroll in yoga, or relax in the bathtub. If you enjoy soaking in the tub, why not have a honey facial at the same time? Just spread a generous blob of raw honey on your face and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Honey is a fantastic moisturizer and gentle exfoliant, and it can even promote collagen building.

Love where you are!

I'm so grateful to have reached the ripe (not old) age of 60. We may have been prettier when we were younger, but I like what goes on in my head so much more now. Having a lifetime of experiences to draw upon, finding happiness in simple things, and not worrying about what people think about me feels pretty darn good! So let's embrace this next chapter of our lives — wrinkles and all.

* I don't have any affiliation with the companies I recommend on this blog. I just love their products!

Derma E sensitive skin cleanser with Pycnogenol​

Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser

Colorescience calming primer

Skinmedica store locator

Skinmedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield

Derma E Scar Cream Sun Protectant SPF 35

Skinmedica HA 5 Rejuvenating Serum (hyaluronic acid)

Clinique turnaround accelerated renewal serum

Further Reading

Well + Good - Fragrance ingredients Intelligence: What you need to know

Healthline - The 12 Best Foods for Healthy Skin

Readers Digest - 6 Reasons why you need to switch to mineral sunscreen now

Healthline - What are the benefits of using a face serum

New England Journal of Medicine - A phase 3 Randomized Trial of Nicotinamide for Skin-Cancer Chemoprevention

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