Suburbanbushbabe’s Skincare Routine for Mature Beauties and Wannabees
With the resources and advances women have today, 50 is truly the new 40, 40 is the new 30, and if you’re 20, you are a baby. At 55, I look so much younger and more vital than my mother did at the same age. Having Caribbean and African genes doesn’t hurt either. Black women are known for beauty well into their 90’s.
I only started paying attention to my skin in my mid-forties. Before that, except for using sunscreen religiously, I had a free pass. I would sleep with my makeup on, wash with soap and water, and if I remembered, use a moisturizer. Things are a little different now.
My Skin Stats:
Age – mid-50’s
Skin tone and type – Light skinned with many freckles, aging, normal with oily T-zone patches
Issues (all from aging and hormone loss from peri-menopause and menopause) –melasma (from constant commuting in my car); melia (tiny hard bumps beneath the skin; whiteheads, blackheads, facial “crone” hairs, neck wrinkle lines, sagging neck skin.
Time willing to invest – minimum; I’m so lazy I use Ponds Towelettes to “wash” my face at night.
Facial Cleansing Method – (Face includes neck and upper chest)
Morning: I have used the Oil Cleansing Method for 2 months now, with excellent results. In the shower I firmly massage a 4:1 ratio of Argan or Baobab oil and Castor oil into thoroughly wet skin, blot later with a wet exfoliating skin cloth and water rinse. (Castor oil is used in smaller quantities because it can dry out skin; if your skin is oily use it at 3:1.) Baobab is hands-down the silkiest oil I’ve ever used and absorbs beautifully. (You can also use jojoba, camellia, rice bran or even extra virgin olive oil.) I follow with Cheryl’s Herbs Moisturizing Skin Tonic; Azulex Cream (prescription-only for melasma) spot-applied. Then PSF or Shiseido Sun Block (SPF50), followed by Smashbox Photo Finish as a makeup primer.
Evening: (usually at my computer) Pond’s Cleansing Towelettes to remove makeup, then Cheryl’s Herbs Moisturizing Skin Tonic followed by PSF C Serum. After the C Serum dries, Azulex spot applied, followed by Neutrogena Visibly Firm Night Cream
Start taking care of your skin early. 25 is not too early. I wish I had started then instead of relying solely on good genes and youth.
Checkout makeup and skincare forums. www.naturallycurly.com has a very active one as well as an over 40 forum. I picked up lots of great tips from women who know a lot more about this than I do.
Use Sun block, no matter what tone/color your skin is. It’s essential. SPF15 is not very powerful for faces. Go for an SPF 30 or higher. During the summer I can tan right through my SPF50, especially after an hour on the water. But I would rather use bronzer for that summer glow. If you commute in your car, consider a driver’s side window screen. Cheap and effective.
Treat yourself to regular facials from a good aesthetician if possible. I like the European deep pore ones. If a spa is too pricey, consider a nearby beauty school as a low-cost option.
See a dermatologist yearly for a comprehensive skin exam. Don’t wait for that mole to start growing or ominously pulsing.
Coarse facial hairs can be a problem with the loss of hormones. Mine seem to sprout overnight (if only my head hair would grow as fast!). Cheek down also seems to increase. Threading is an excellent method for removing, as well as eyebrow grooming, and is safe if you are using Retinol or glycolic acid (waxing is not safe).
Additional help for aging skin:
I mentioned diminished hormones affecting my skin. Well, loss of major hormones near the onset of menopause affected so much more than skin. For almost 2 years now I have been medically prescribed bio-identical hormones. For more information about perimenopause, menopause, symptoms, treatment options and resources:
The Sexy Years by Suzanne Somers
A Woman’s Guide to Natural Hormones by Christine Conrad
Where to get products mentioned:
Baobab oil and Argan oil – http://www.sheaterraorganics.com/
Castor Oil – The Vitamin Shoppe or Whole Foods. Online at
The Oil Cleansing Method http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/
Ponds Cleansing Towelettes and Neutrogena Firming Night Cream – any drugstore
Cheryl’s Herbs Moisturizing Skin Tonic: www.cherylsherbs.com — Ingredients Neroli, Rose Otto & Helichrysum (Immortelle) in Aloe Gel, Rosa Mosqueta & Vitamin E Oils. Very good value.
SPF 50 Sun Block, C serum, Hyaluronic Acid Serum – PSF Skincare (Pure Skin Formulations) http://www.psfskincare.com/xcart/home.php and other websites
Shiseido SPF 50 Sun block – very light and silky, instantly absorbs – www.sephora.com
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer – www.sephora.com
Good products I’ve used in the past and still love:
Source Naturals Skin Eternal Serum with C-Ester, DMAE and Alpha Lipoic Acid –excellent serum. I used for years and will probably start up again. Also has glycolic acid. Great value!
L’Occitane Immortelle Serum with SPF 45 – www.sephora.com Very pricey. Has the same Immortelle (helichrysum) as Cheryl’s Herbs Skin tonic above.
Hyaluronic acid serum or gel for a serious moisture hit. Non-irritating — make sure you know what the concentration is. Cheaper HA serums abound but only with about
1% Hyaluronic acid–
PSF makes a nice concentrated one http://www.psfskincare.com/xcart/home.php
KAL Hyaluronic Acid Facial Gel (10%) available at The Vitamin Shoppe is also a good brand.
2009 Suburbanbushbabe. Used with permission
Finally tried OCM tonight…wow, is all I can say. I've always had trouble with commercial soaps and cleansers. My skin looks and feels great! Used 1/3 CO with a mix of carrot, wheat germ, jojoba, Vit. E oils (have a lot of small amounts left over from past mixing frenzies, lol – total prolly another 1/3), few drops of tea tree oil and ylang-ylang EO and the balance in Africa's Best. Hey, it's what I had…. For once my skin is not dry/tight, nor does it feel coated or over-oily. This routine is a keeper. Thanks SBB! Gotta get with the SPF program now.
BTW I'm trying the Lustrasilk Shea&Mango tonight after my DT. Thanks for the tip CN – scored two jars at Sally for $2.11 and gave one to my DD so I can use mine in peace. 🙂 She loves anything fruit-scented and two dollars is a small price to pay for family harmony….
You ladies make my skin care routine feel inadequate! I need to get on my game 😀
“Hi, SBB does the sunscreen spf have to be more than 30”
According to about.com, SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is mainly a measure of UVB protection. It is the amount of light that induces redness in sunscreen-protected skin, divided by the amount of light that induces redness in unprotected skin. But it doesn’t factor in UVA at all. The higher the SPF, the longer you can go without re-applying. I only apply moisturizer once a day, so using a very high SPF makes sense for me.
Hi, SBB does the sunscreen spf have to be more than 30, I been using Aubrey Organic spf25 or 20, and sometimes Burts Bess spf30 when I can find it, I use these two brands because I need something all natural without cons,and lots of alcohol, I have very sensitive skin. Do you know of any other natural, or any w/o too much alcohol and cons that I can use with the spf30 or more thanks… Marie
Great post SBB. Powersurge.com is one of my favorite websites.
“I’m interested in the oil cleansing method, but don’t want to use scalding hot water on my face, since high heat isn’t good for your skin. How hot does the washcloth have to be?”
The water doesn’t have to be that hot! I use the same temperature water I use on my body. It should be comfortably warm. The motion of the cloth on your skin helps to remove the oil.
“I have very oily acne prone skin and use pure castor oil.”
Caution about using pure castor oil; many women on the OCM have said this will dry your skin out. The shea butter you use after may help you. But if you don’t use shea butter, try mixing the castor oil 50:50 with another oil.
“I have many whiteheads-any recommendations for getting rid of those anyone?”
After I “marinate” my face with the oil (I leave it on my face while I bathe/shower), I gently press skin between my cloth to encourage deposits to come out. Oil cleansing helps soften those whiteheads so they will emerge.
So good everyone’s healthy routines!
I am totally going to try this oil cleansing method this weekend. I’ve heard of it before but I didn’t try it. Thanks for all the great tips!
I am 24 and love the OCM – I use a base of grapeseed and olive oil and a couple drops of essential oils (tea tree, laurel and clary sage). what can I say, I am a bathroom chemist, lol. I like to do it at night so I can relax my facial muscles – I really take the time to massage my temples and jaw or wherever else I tense up. For those who can’t tolerate hot water, just rinse with warm water on your face and wipe off the excess oil with a gentle cleanser on a cotton round or cleansing sponge.
You rock SBB!!! As always, thank you 😀
I have dry to normal skin and I use Burt’s Bee’s Orange face cleansers which is an oil cleanser and it works so much better for me than foaming or gel cleansers. Even milk cleansers tend to be too strong. Love this post.
I’m 38 and I’m just starting to pay attention to my skin. I hope I’m not too late!
SSB, thank you for the tips. I thought you were lying to us that time we hung out and you said your age. I say 50 is the new 30!
Great post!! Thanks for sharing!
I’m fast approaching 40 and I intend on looking as good as I did when I turned 30.
This post will certainly help!
Wow, what a nice departure! Thanks for this. I’ve never tried the oil cleansing method but I might after reading this.
People regularly assume I’m 10-15 years younger than I am (I’ll be 44 this year). Until recently, whenever someone asked me about my skin care, I used to say apologetically, “Both my parents have great skin.” Which is true — my dad looks 10 years younger as well — but I didn’t realize until recently that unlike me, most 40-somethings weren’t using moisturizer at age 14. 🙂
On the one hand I don’t think a teenager needs to have a super-complicated skin regimen but on the other hand…certain basics (like sunscreen and drinking lots of water) should be incorporated early.
I am also in my 20’s and I love the OCM. I use castor oil and Vit. E oil. I have been doing it over a month now and I am definitely reaping the benefits(it really does help to remove the impurities from my face-specifically blackheads).
I pretty much have clear skin, however, my problem area is my chin. If you look closely, I have many whiteheads-any recommendations for getting rid of those anyone?
ACV as a toner is also wonderful, as well as rubbing an ice cube over my face to close my pores again. What I do need to purchase is a higher SPF cream-thanks for the recommendations SBB!
Scalding is not required, just as hot as you can comfortably manage. If it’s too hot to wring out, it’s too hot for your face. I have been using this method of cleansing at night exclusively for about two months. I have very oily acne prone skin and use pure castor oil. really massage it into your face, take a little time and ‘rinse’ with the hot washcloth at least 3-4 times. Feels good and works beautifully, I follow with ACV as a toner and then smooth on some shea. In the morning I wash with an all natural olive oil based soap (great on my curls too) and follow with the shea. My eight year old daughter and I have a mission to ‘stay juicy’ LOL. My skin has never been better. I’m 46 and look a good deal younger or so I am told. Use your SPF ladies – it is a myth that women of color do not need it. If only for vanity’s sake – use it. the Original Curly Nikki – ‘cos I’m older than you gurl 🙂
I actually just started the OCM a little over a week ago and it’s great. I still haven’t found my own personal balance of how much of each oil to use (my skin is tight and a bit dry after) but my acne has began to clear up a lot since I started this. I don’t use scalding hot water…I just use the hot water from the tap. It works just fine.
I think I might try the Ponds cleansing towelettes and see if my skin likes it!!!
I’m in my mid-twenties and have been taking care of my skin with a cleansing/moisturizing/exfoliating routine and at least SPF 30 daily since I was a teenager. I know that it’ll pay off because my mother is in her 50’s and still has great skin.
I’m interested in the oil cleansing method, but don’t want to use scalding hot water on my face, since high heat isn’t good for your skin. How hot does the washcloth have to be?