Face Creams

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Do you use a night cream that you really like?

Jan. 2003

I am wondering if anyone else has had this experience. Since becoming a mother my skin is a lot dryer, to the point where sometimes I feel I'm wearing a mask. I looked at a close up photo of myself recently and was astonished by all the new wrinkles. I think this has two causes, 1)less sleep, and 2) we use the heater more at night to keep the baby warm and its drying my skin out. Who knows, it may be a post-natal hormone thing too.

I have a great moisturizing cleanser and a face cream (clarins) I use during the day but I have now been told that I need to use a night cream. I am loath to walk up to a dept store make up counter and buy something expensive when I don't know how effective it will be.

So here's my question...does anyone use a night cream that they really like? Or have any other tricks to keep their skin hydrated. Also, I have read the recommendations in the archive on estheticans but if anyone has a good up to date recommendation of a skin care specialist in the East bay who could help me I would appreciate that too.

I highly recommend a Camocare cream called Facelift. They usually carry it at Whole Foods $18- $20 a jar that lasts a long time. Camocare makes creams with different strengths {amounts of AHA's) The one I prefer is Facelift with 12% alpha hydroxy stuff. It's light absorbable etc. Also, something my grandmother taught me is to spray a fine mist of water on my face before moisturizer day or night. Dana

I think Clarins is a VERY good brand. It's expensive, but once you start using it and you get your skin back, you won't have to buy another jar/bottle and the oils/creams smell really good, too. There was a significant difference in just one night... I used the lip stick, too, and I got my soft supple lips back in a few minutes (I can't remember the name of the oil, this happened seven years ago, but I'm sure the Clarins representatives can help you out). Just be careful to not make it an addictive habit! Also, drinking lots of water always helps, I'm sure you've heard of that one. I know I need to drink water when my lips start to chap.

Some valuable information in this area can be obtained by reading ''Don't go to the cosmetics counter without me''; the author (Paula Begoun) does a very intelligent analysis of most cosmetics, including face creams, based on their ingredients -- pointing out things like some of the ''plant-based'' ''natural'' extracts included in many face creams are actually irritating. It's interesting to find out that many expensive products are not worth it, and that even some of the ''dermitologist-recommended'' products aren't that great. She also sells products, including a morning and night regimen, on a web site (http://www.cosmeticscop.com/) -- I like them. They are no-fragrance, no-coloring, no animal testing, including only what is necessary and nothing more, and also decently priced. Might be worth a look. Karen

I had a problem similar to yours after having my daughter, and found that my skin had just changed-- skin and hair changes after childbirth are mainly due to increases in stress hormones circulating through the body, and developmental changes. The female body does not completely mature until after pregnancy & lactation (i.e., breast cells do not fully differentiate until lactation, indicating a new stage of adult development).

Here are my inexpensive suggestions for combating post childbirth skin and hair problems:

Drink lots of water and horsetail tea (avoid caffeine as much as possible for a while, as it is dehydrating)

Change hair & skin products (to replenish lost nutrients that might be deficient in your current line if you have been using it for a long time, or alternate days with different products---helpful to reduce possibility of developing allergy to a long-used product)

Use warm (not overly hot) water in your shower

Rub Olive oil on your body after shower, or add to your bath--I keep a bottle in my bathroom.

Exercise if you can, to work up a sweat (sweating is good for the skin)

Use an exfoliator once in a while, like a wet washcloth, or a loofah pad on the face

It is really (really) expensive, but I absolutely love the AnneMarie Borlind line of cleanser/day/night creams. They are the eighth wonder of the world--you can learn about them online at www.borlind.com . You can also buy them at Whole Foods. Moisturizing creams run about $40.00 per jar, but you need so little that they last about 4 months. I have found that using the whole line of products (cleanser, toner, and day & night creams) works best together. If you can afford to treat yourself (or know someone who wants to spoil you with something) this is the way to go. I am using the ZZ line for sensitive skin, but have also used the ''Regeneration''line for aging skin, and both are excellent. Also the Intensive Capsules are wonderful, instant relief (I swear, I don't work for this company!) Good luck. elizabeth

I love Mary Kay Advanced Moisture Renewal Cream. I put it on at night and I can immediately feel my skin drinking it up and looking 100% softer. I am a bit biased since I sell MK. You can try samples before you buy with your local MK Beauty consultant. If you don't have one, go to www.marykay.com to locate a consultant near you. Or, if you like, email me and I'd be happy to work with you on finding the right products that work with your skin. Brook

Here are a few that my friends and family swear by: 1. Z. Bigatti Re-Storation Vitamin and Antioxidant Skin Treatment $150 (my favorite whenever I need an overnight quick fix)

2. Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Elasticity Repair $55 (my husband and mother both love this one - the eye cream works wonders too)

3. Juvena Q10 Night $55 (my grandmother's favorite)

If you hate the department store like I do, you can read up on the products and purchase any of them online at http://www.sephora.com/browse/section.jhtml?categoryId=C151

Osmotics and Juvena are both good choices too if the Z. Bigatti is too expensive. I've used all three and there are all GREAT. anon.

I use a 2% salicylic acid wash once a day all over my body, including my face. (Neutrogena acne wash, for example even though I don't have acne- I've used salon versions but didn't notice any difference). The salicylic acid exfoliates your dry skin. You really need to moisturized afterward. I use a great day cream and a thick night cream. I get them at the salon where I get my legs waxed and really like them-by Paul Scerri. I used to use Murad products and liked them too- (you can get them at a beuty supply store) They use something different to exfoliate- but exfoliating is key to getting rid of dead skin and make the skin open to the moisturizing. Good luck. lsg

I don't have a recommendation for a certain name brand, but my husband is an MD, and he has always told me the best time to apply lotion or moisturizers is right after a shower or bath, while your skin is still wet. Don't even dry off with a towel (but I usually wrap my wet hair in a towel first); let the lotion mix into the water on your skin, and it will do a much better job of moisturizing. Heidi

You should start with a visit to a dermatologist, to avoid trendy and often worthless skin regimens. My dematologist is wonderful, and very thorough (she'll look you over for any pre- cancer moles too!) Dr. Pessoa has prescribed very helpful retin- A products that make my skin look better. That may not be right for you -- she'll know. Cornelia Pessoa, 2500 Milvia St. #104 Berkeley 94704, 510-486-1700. Anon.

Regarding a good night cream, I have been using a great alpha hydroxy night cream from the Body Time store for a few months. I tend to like Body Time products because they are all natural, made in small batches and made locally. My skin looks smoother and healthier than it has since I became a mom almost a year ago. Also, I recommend Lavera products, as well as Murad. Hope this helps. --skincare happy mom

There's another alternative to getting advice on skin care. Try the Beauty Center on College Ave. (Berkeley) or the one on Solano Ave. The salespeople are not on commission. They are especially knowledgeable when it comes sensitive dry skin, talk to Barbara at the College Ave. store. Products by Murad, Lange, and Dermalogica are formulated for sensitive skins. joy

You might want to try one of the heavier creams at Body Time, which is a local company with several stores in Berkeley and SF. They sell very reasonably priced skin, hair and body products. I have dryish skin, too, and have used their creamy facial wash, unscented moisturizing cream, AD lotion and eye cream (and shampoo, etc., too) for years. FWIW, people often tell me I have pretty skin (I know, I know, I sound like a creep, but they DO). Good luck. Wendy

Are you nursing your child? There's another reason your skin is dryer: more of the fluid you take in goes to the child. It's really important to drink enough water during the day. Though I must admit that it's hard to do with a baby or toddler. Anyway, I've had the same problem with dry skin--all over. For hands and elbows (because you're probably washing your hands more, too) I like Body Shop Vitamin E hand cream. It's a bit expensive, but worth it since it seems to keep working even after you wash your hands. For face, I found a nice rejuvinating face cream at Body Time here in Berkeley. It costs about $25.00, which is not too bad. You might also treat yourself to a facial somewhere like Elixir or Azul. No doubt you deserve the pampering. Carolyn

I know that dry skin feeling all too well. Between heaters, weather changes and stress, I got to the point where I literally ''cracked'' a smile due to dry skin. After trying dozens of high priced facial creams, I had the best luck with Cetaphil, which is around $7 at Longs. I now use it day and night. I have very sensitive skin that easily dries to the point where I feel as if I've been on a cross-universe plane trip. Cetaphil works great around my eyes, too, which is great for all the new wrinkles that like to sneak in there. It's fragrance free, goes on very lightly and provides instant relief. And for $7, what do you have to lose? You can even splurge on a massage with the savings, something we moms deserve -- regardless of our skin savings! Moist, And With Money To Show For It!

I too have had trouble with dry skin after my son's birth. 2 suggestions, 1 internal treatment and 1 external. If your dry skin is due to dehydration, either heater related or not - a strong likelihood - try to drink more water. I started drinking 2 - 16 oz bottles of water throughout the day. In addition to beverages with meals, it really helped me. Besides helping hydrate your skin, water is great for your organs and digestion. Secondly, try applying a little vasoline (petrolium jelly) to problem areas for added moisture. When my son has a cold and gets the red, raw area around his nose from my rubbing with a tissue, a little vasoline applied when he goes to sleep gives him supple skin when he wakes in the AM. I discoverd it works for me too around my nose, lips or other problem areas. Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth. anon

Instead of trying to just moisturize the surface of your skin, you may want to contact Elizabeth Lee, M.D. in Berkeley who does cosmetic surgery and sells Obagi skincare products to her patients. I personally have experienced great results. MS