Staff favorite products (Part 1)

becky fenlin skincare philly

Becky Fenlin, co-owner of About Face Skin Care, reveals the chaotic process that takes place on her face every morning.

One of the perk?s of this job is the easy access to all the latest and greatest skincare products IN THE WORLD. Bwahahahahahah.

I?m exaggerating, but we really are exposed to A LOT?

If the reps aren?t stopping by and dropping off samples proactively, all it takes is a quick phone-call or email to secure a bottle of almost any skincare product you can imagine. Like I said, for a skincareophile this is definitely a perk, but all product sampling is done for the greater good. (We?re basically martyrs.)

Before we can bring in something new to offer to our patients, we have to try it out internally and make sure that a.) it actually IS a good product, and b.) it?s something that would benefit our patients? most common skin concerns. We only exist because of our patients, and we gotta do good by them every day. Part of that means sending them home with the highest-quality skin care products to take care of their skin when we?re not around.

Throughout all of this work-place product dabbling, I am also a subscriber to Birchbox, Meme Box (all Korean brands!) Charm Box, Ipsy, and I think one or two other beauty-subscription services. Needless to say, I?ve gotten to try LOTS of products. (My bathroom and dresser look like an exotic Sephora explosion.)

With access to multitudes of every specialty product, I thought it may be interesting to reveal the products I actually end up converting to. I?m pretty much game to try just about anything, but unless I see results I like, I?m not apt to continue usage.

As a 33-year old woman working in the skin care biz, I take pride in keeping my skin as healthy as possible. Obviously I delight in the oooh?s and ahhhh?s I get when I reveal my age to people. Even though they might be just being nice (although why is it that saying someone looks younger than their age considered a compliment? Remember when you were a kid and you?d swell with pride if some adult thought you looked older than you were? At what age exactly does that change, and it becomes offensive to look like your chronological age? Beauty psychology is so weird, but I digress…) I love it anyway and chalk it up to my religious sunscreen and retinol usage.*

ALSO ? for the sake of the business I feel like I kind of HAVE to keep everything in check. NO patient wants to get skincare advice / treatments / products from someone with fucacta skin. If my skin were anything less than perfect, it?d be terrible advertising for our capabilities. (That?s why I HAVE to get my filler and Botox and Latisse. Yup! Nothing to do with vanity AT ALL.)

So, anyway, in addition to regular Botox (or Dysport or Xeomin, I can?t really tell a difference between the three, so when I?m due I?ll just get whatever is open and ready) and dermal-fillers (again, I?m not too picky about brands, and I?ve had Juvederm, Radiesse, Perlane and Restylane, however I am kinda loving my Voluma boost) whenever I need them, I do the following for my skin daily:

Morning Skin Care

If I were a super-hero, mornings (and the Sun?) would be my arch-nemesis. No matter what I do, there is never enough time to accomplish everything I want, and yet somehow I always try to squeeze-in ambitious AM endeavors. (What better time to organize my lip glosses than when I?m racing the clock to get out the door? Dog needs grooming? Boyfriend wants pancakes? My morning time-management is off-the-charts terrible, and yet instead of stream-lining my morning maintenance — which would be the smart tactic — ?I just add on more and more getting-ready components.

Anyway, shall we?

Step 1: Washing

The first-step is always the face-wash. Depending on how grimy I feel — or the season — I vacillate between two cleansers. For a deeper cleaning (or if it?s warm outside) I use the Porification Face Wash. With 10% Glycolic and 2% Salicylic Acid, my face feels clean enough to eat off of after washing and break-outs are kept far, far away. For ho-hum, everyday winter washings I am loving SkinMedica?s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. With alpha and beta-hydroxy acids, and scrubbing beads, this feels good and still prevents me from breaking out.

face cleanser philly

Step 2: Anti-aging

After washing and drying my face, I quickly apply some Sente Dermal Repair Cream, preferably while my face is still slightly moist from washing. The Sente cream is my anti-aging, moisturizing step, and has ingredients that act as draw-bridge between the surface of the skin and the deepest dermal layers. In my head, this makes me feel like Sente makes my other products work more efficiently, and is always the first thing I put on my face. Pretty packaging, no scent, and feels great.phillly sente antioxidants

Step 3: Preventative

Once the Sente dries, it?s antioxidant time. Currently I?m using SkinMedica?s AHA/BHA Cream, a brightening, exfoliating, antioxidant-rich preventative cream. This tingles slightly when I put it on -? which signals to me that it?s obviously working. (This is NOT a good rule of thumb! Pain and discomfort are not good indicators of improvement, but this is truthfully just the way my crazy brain thinks.)

philly latisse instantly_agelessStep 4: Latisse for my lashes + brows

Somewhere around here I?m applying my Latisse. My newest Latisse trick is that once I?m done lining my lashes with the growth-enhancing serum, I run the brush through my eyebrows a couple of times so that my brows can benefit from any excess serum. (With Raelle around to keep my brows in perfect formation — and she does — I figure it can?t hurt to have them extra thick and bountiful.)

philly dr jart sunscreen antiaging

Step 5: Sun Protection

The final step to my morning routine is possibly the most important. As a sunscreen obsessive, I cannot walk out the door without coating my entire face in a healthy slathering of SPF-50. My go-to for years now has been our Porification Protect SPF-50. (The plus-sign is supposed to denote all the extra good stuff in the product; universal tint, antioxidants, Green Tea, caffeine, Vitamins A, C and E, and works beautifully as a makeup primer.) This sunscreen doesn?t feel or smell like sunscreen, it doesn?t make me look greasy, ever, and it doesn?t give that weird white-cast in photographs. Oh, and it also is a chemical and physical block from those freakin? terrible UVA and UVB rays!

Lately I?ve been mixing 1-squirt of Dr. Jart?s Beauty Balm (with SPF-45) into my sunscreen. I mix it on the back of my hand and then apply to my face. I feel like the Dr. Jarts makes my skin look extra glowy, but if I touch my face it doesn?t feel like I have makeup on. Mixing an SPF-45 with an SPF-50 still provides me ample protection, and I like that the BB cream also has vitamins and other healthy stuff in it.

Step 6: Photoshop my under-eyes with Instantly Ageless Cream

If something special is happening that day, or I?m looking especially tired, I?ll throw on some OMG Instantly Ageless cream underneath my eyes. If you watch the videos or read the reviews, you?ll probably be as skeptical as I was? until I saw it?s capabilities first-hand. Now, I?m a devotee, and even though I don?t have serious concerns about my under-eye area, this product makes me look photo-shopped in real life. (This works best when applied to moisturized skin. Makeup can either go on before or after, but I feel like I don?t even need cover-up when I use this. Since I knew my picture was going to be taken for this post and then released to the interwebs, I ABSOLUTELY have it on in the picture of me here.)

instantly ageless before and after philly

Step 7: Makeup Application

My skin is in good enough shape that I don?t really need to wear any cover-up or foundation. My makeup routine usually consists of a smudgy brown Laura Mercier kohl pencil, Maybelline mascara, and bronzer. Depending on my mood this line-up can change, but on an average day, this is what is on? my grill.

In Conclusion: Damn, girl! I do A LOT of things in the morning!

This write-up doesn?t even include the other necessities of morning preparation; teeth brushing, hair brushing, deodorant, etc., but it does summarize everything that is happening with my skin.

Apparently once I get started on my favorite topic (??.skin!), I can be quite verbose. Since my morning routine alone has turned into quite the lengthy post, for the sake of your likely tired eyeballs I?ll save my night-time routine for a follow-up post.

Any questions ? please don?t hesitate to ask. I want everyone to have the confidence that comes with pretty skin, and I?m happy to share any and all information that resides in my mental skincare database.

*Another one of my FAVORITE compliments that helps spur my skincare diligence?? I LOVE it when people frequently assume that my baby-sister is the eldest. Yes, she does have 2 kids (I have none) and a big ass Louis Vuitton bag (which somehow symbolizes suburban mom-hood), but I tell myself people think she?s older than me based 100% on the fact that my skin looks so youthful, fresh and pale. (And until proven otherwise, that is what I?m going to continue to tell myself!)