The June Routine
The kind of despotic heat that pounds the air on a typical D.C. summer day is as comforting as hot chocolate served in a sauna. With certain reliability, my face melts like a Dalí painting and my pores fill at an unfortunately rapid pace. So what do I use to balance my skin when it’s so easy to be hot and bothered? Oh, just a few things.
In the morning I wash my face with Somme Institute’s Nourishing Cleanser. The cleanser is the first of four Somme Institute products I use daily. I like to think of Somme Institute as the Clinique step-program meets Apple design. The packaging alone is modern and reinvents the surprisingly aesthetic appeal of a jar of moisturizer.
But it’s what the products do, that is much more important (and impressive). The cleanser (along with the rest of the brand’s lineup) uses what it calls MDT5 Technology where vitamins A, B3, B5, C, and E penetrate skin barriers and work to treat and heal a host of skin conditions (from fine lines to skin tone and clarity).
I like the cleanser because it cautiously cleans much better than other gentle solutions I’ve used before. It doesn’t foam (which took some acclimating on my end), but still dissolves unwanted gunk quite well. When I’ve worn makeup, I use the cleanser at night too, as a pre-cleanser.
I’ve also continued to cleanse with Lerosett’s OTC Acne Face Wash & Treatment in the evening with my Clarisonic to ward off blemishes. The wash is a rare breed that deep cleans without leaving that tight Botox-y feeling.
After cleansing at night, I tone with La Mav’s Pore Refining Toner. In the past, toners have gotten a [well deserved] bad rap. The alcohol-laden toners of yesteryear would dry skin into something vicious. But the new toners (much like this one) work to balance and prepare skin for better absorption of serums and moisturizers. I like La Mav’s toner because it sweeps away lingering dirt and makeup left after cleansing and soothes with aloe and rose water.
Summers are especially unforgiving to my pores, which take an epidermal half-nelson daily. I try to give my skin reprieve with clay masks three nights a week. I alternate between Lerosett’s Facial Mask and SkinCeuticals’ Clarifying Clay Masque.
In the mornings, I apply Somme Institute’s Transport to my face—it’s a presoaked cotton round saturated with alpha hydroxy acid, green tea, and a host of antioxidants. The acid exfoliates my skin to unveil a bright face for the day.
If you haven’t started already, work a serum into your skincare regimen. Seurms deliver really concentrated ingredients to skin and penetrate to heal within.
For me, Somme Institute’s aptly named Serum follows Transport each morning. The serum’s potent concentration of vitamin C evens my skin while protecting it from future photodamage. I use the serum three to four nights a week as well. And when I don’t, there’s Avene’s TriAceneal, which is my current retinol treatment of choice.
I’ve also added La Mav’s Vit-C Advanced Nightly Repair Nectar as my designated neck and décolletage treatment. Here’s something you should know about topical vitamin C: it degrades relatively easily with exposure to light and air (some formulations are more stable than others but nonetheless the sooner it is used, the better). So when I found myself with an abundance of vitamin C formulas, I knew I needed to act quickly. That’s the genesis of my neck and décolletage treatment and I’m pleased to gain this new habit. The serum contains over a dozen oils, so it feels like I’m doing something right — it’s my little effort to avoid papier-mâché neck in 20 years.
For the first time (in a long time), I’m using the same moisturizer for both morning and night. It’s Somme Institute’s A-Bomb, a light hydrating emulsion that moisturizes and brightens, thanks to glycolic acid.
The Eye Creams
I’m comparing two new eye creams—La Mav’s Bio-A7 Firming Eye Lotion and FiaFini’s Deluxe Anti-Aging Eyecream. I apply the creams morning and night, dedicating one eye to one brand. So far I’ve noticed that they both moisturize well, which is the most I’ve come to expect with eye creams.
I’ve clung to one of my favorite sunscreens for June—La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Ultra Light Fluid for Face. It’s light, it dries matte in a few minutes, and it doesn’t leave a grey cast that makes me look thirsty for lotion.