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February 16, 2007

A New Diet

No, not that kind of diet. As many of you know, I officially gave up dieting at the end of 2005. I was probably the only American whose 2006 New Year's Resolution was to gain weight, and I did. Now I'm trying to cut the fat out of my skin-care regimen (and, I hope, save some money) by going on the Cosmetics Restriction Diet.

The New York Times recently published an article about dermatologists recommending that their patients drastically reduce the number of skin-care products they use. In fact, these dermatologists say that all we really need is cleanser, sunscreen, and (maybe) moisturizer. Before reading this article, I hadn't really thought about the number of skin-care products I use, but when I counted, I found that, on a daily basis, I use eight different products: I begin the day by washing my face with both Clinique soap and Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser; I then apply a prescription gel, followed by both Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer and a more intensive moisturizer; at night, I exfoliate with 7-day Scrub Cream, and wash with Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam, followed by the same Clinique soap I used in the morning; I then reapply the Dramatically Different Moisturizer and, before bed, a second prescription cream. There it is, eight products: four cleansers, two moisturizers, and two prescription medications.

One thing I can say for sure about this regimen is that it works. A year ago, when I started using all of these products (along with an oral antibiotic that I took twice a day for six months), my skin looked like ground beef. Today it looks like skin. I'm sure I don't need all of these products, but I don't know which ones are really doing something and which I can safely dispense with. I have already gotten rid of one -- Clinique Clarifying Lotion -- and don't seem to be any worse off for it. So I guess I'll just stop using each one as it runs out and see what happens. Of course, I'll still use the prescription creams, and I'll still need a cleanser, and maybe a moisturizer, and perhaps I should add a sunscreen, and there we go again. Well, nobody ever said dieting was easy!

Posted by eklanche at February 16, 2007 07:53 AM


My Dad used pretty much nothing but Lava soap for years on both his face and hair, and was not visibly the worse for wear.

I mean, his hair would have fallen out anyway....

Posted by: dmerch at February 16, 2007 10:26 AM

dmerch's comment is pretty funny. I don't know if you want to risk having your hair fall out.

But still, 8? You have to cut back. Many of these seem like soaps. So maybe the only thing you are doing is washing your face multiple times with similar products? My suggestion? check the ingredients. Surely some of these products are nearly identical.

I used to have a similarly complex hair washing/moisturizing problem. I would buy many (expensive) products to keep my hair from becoming a big frizz ball. Recently I discovered that all the products had the same ingredients (even the cheaper ones!!!!). So now I don't buy the expensive stuff--and just stick to four things: shampoo, conditioner, a light oil, and a creamy moisturizer.

Posted by: kisha at February 16, 2007 01:18 PM

I've been mixing in simpler products lately, like plain rose water and vitamin e capsules (you can break them open and use them for a night time moisturizer). It certainly doesn't seem like my skin is any worse off.

In any case, your skin has been looking very lovely.

Posted by: esik at February 18, 2007 03:19 PM

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