Here's The Skinny ... And My Make-Up Free Face:)


After requests from many of you, along with my obsession for personal skincare, I decided to share some of my skincare secrets on this post ! Over the years I've tried MAAANY different lotions, potions, toners, serums and creams for my face but have realized that one thing and only one thing matters - consistency ... and sunblock! You're right that's two things:) Honestly, the more expensive the product, the better the result is a complete myth. I've used those over-the-top-infused-with-a-million-properties department store creams and I've experimented with traditional home-made remedies. The former, in most instances, do contain all the ingredients that are beautifully engraved in silver font on the very pretty packaging but are present in such small quantities that they barely make a difference, except to your wallet! And home-made products require WAY too much of an effort so, no thank you, I'll just buy mine.

I get facials every 6-8 weeks, CONSISTENTLY follow the skincare regime that you're about to read, wear sunblock like there's no tomorrow and curse myself for not having started wearing sunblock earlier. I realize that some of it is genetic but due to sun damage in my late 20's, I developed a few brown spots (hyperpigmentation) on my cheeks that have since become darker and more menacing (just visually and thankfully not in any medical capacity). At times, it's frustrating because I'd like to go out without any concealer or color corrector (which I often do) but without feeling so overly conscious  of my spotty face pals! I've tried lasers too but none, so far, have been created for brown skinned folks like myself. Anyhow, I've included a pic here of my bare face devoid of any make-up and filters ... I know, pretty brave of me, right? Also, I just started taking a prescription oral medication that my dermatologist swears by but since it's still early I cannot recommend it. I have my fingers crossed that these moronic brown spots will fade a bit as time passes and as I continue to take this new medicine. I'll keep you posted, of course!


Cleanser: Biologique Recherche Cleansing Milk - Thanks to my friend and aesthetician, Angelina Umansky, at Spa Radiance, I've been using this cleanser for almost 10 years. It's the first thing I use in the morning and then again at night to remove my make-up. It's gentle on my skin yet removes all impurities without leaving my skin dry. I stopped using foamy cleansers a long time back because I felt my skin was stripped of its natural oils every time I used them. 

Eye Makeup Remover: Almay Eye Makeup Remover Pads (Oil Free) - This is inexpensive, SOOO easy to use at home, supremely convenient while traveling and truly far superior to all the other over priced eye make-up removers I've ever used.

Pigment Correcting Serum: SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Skin Brightening Complex - Out of ALL the billion pigment correcting products that I've used I've found this one to be the most effective dark spot corrector to date. And the fact that it's hydroquinone free makes it even more appealing to me.

Hydrating Serum/Hyaluronic Acid: SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator - Makes my skin feel smooth, soft, hydrated, nourished (no one's paid me to say this so, I promise I mean it) moisturized and radiant. I particularly love the silky texture of this serum and sometimes use more than needed because it just feels sooo good when I put it on! Luckily SkinSpirit Medical Spa in my neighborhood, where I discovered this product, always has plenty of it!

Face Oil: True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil, RENEW - With age my skin has become terribly sensitive (I know, so inconvenient this aging thing) and I have come to the sad realization that I cannot apply heavy creams or moisturizers to my face without breaking into a rash of some kind. So, when I came across this product at Spa Radiancehere in San Francisco, it was a life changer. The advantage of using this oil is that it penetrates the skin's layers quickly and leaves it soft and deeply nourished. It has zero toxins and is manufactured in California, my home state:))

Eyes And Lips: True Botanicals Smoothing Eye And Lip Balm - Favorite lip balm EVER!!! I love the glass jar it comes in, it lasts a long time and also serves as a fine line and wrinkle reducer for my eye area! And yes, this is the ONLY eye cream I use!

Post-Procedure Moisturizer: SkinMedica TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream - After I've had a peel or a micro-needling treatment (a procedure that boosts collagen production and smoothes the skin) I make sure I apply this moisturizer at least three times a day. Given how dry and flaky my skin gets post-procedure, this helps hydrate the skin while restoring it's moisture balance.

Sunscreen: Coola SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint - Remember I mentioned aging being an inconvenient truth earlier? So, another thing that's accompanied that inconvenience is my newest allergy to zinc oxide! I swear I'm not concocting this - my dermatologist was the bearer of this lovely news! This mineral, unscented matte finish, lightly tinted sunscreen has a very small percentage of Zinc Oxide (1.8%) and works for all skin types and especially well for sensitive skin like mine.

Face Mask: Jan Marini Retinol Plus Face Mask - Ideally speaking I should be applying this twice  a week but of course that never happens (umm...I have two teenagers who have a LOT going on). This mask contains, among other ingredients, retinol and green tea extra both of which brighten the skin and help reduce sun damage and hyperpigmentation (bye fading brown spots) resulting in polished, bright skin.

The only things I have on my face are my True Botanicals oil and lip balm and my new eyelash extensions - I know, I love them too! Oh, I did fill in my eyebrows but that doesn't count as make-up!! Feel free to zoom in ....I deliberately kept this pic at a higher resolution:) Thank you, Lyali, for the pic - love you, my baby.

The only things I have on my face are my True Botanicals oil and lip balm and my new eyelash extensions - I know, I love them too! Oh, I did fill in my eyebrows but that doesn't count as make-up!! Feel free to zoom in ....I deliberately kept this pic at a higher resolution:) Thank you, Lyali, for the pic - love you, my baby.

But it is what is and things could be much worse. After all I have been blessed with brown skin that doesn't wrinkle very easily so I need to stop complaining:)

Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to hearing from you!

Always the stirrer, Sobia

All these products are available at Skin Spirit spa and Spa Radiance in San Francisco. I'm certain they are sold online too but since I've always bought mine at these above mentioned places i don't feel comfortable making any online recommendations