Madrid Trip: Skincare Journal

International travel is often an exercise in optimism. Between the jet lag and unpleasant state of affairs with the airline service industry, skin upkeep just doesn’t rank very high on the priority list. As much as it seems that beauty editors love to glamorize in-flight time with multi-step skincare, it just doesn’t seem like something real people actually do. I did take a page out of their book by mixing styles, in this case high-end/mainstream skin care brands that go from natural(ish) to straight up lab manufactured. Here is a sampling of what I brought with me on a recent trip to Madrid for Pride Weekend.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream: It was editor Eva Chen who said “I love the Olay Regenerist line. That collection, dollar for dollar, is awesome.” This cream is supposedly the #1 selling anti-aging moisturizer in the US and it’s probably due to their “amino-peptide complex”, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. It’s the furthest thing from natural/clean that there is but when you’re fatigued and just want something that works – even temporarily, pat two to three dollops of this cream on, put your GOOP-induced fear of the chemical-laden ingredients list aside for an evening and wake up to fresh, supple skin.

Shiseido Bio-Performance Eye Cream: Forgive me for this misinformed approach but when a product is made in Japan, the ingredients – natural or not, just seems better. Shiseido is not natural but their scents are subtle in the way that a lot of Western brands just can’t seem to reign in. This eye cream uses a fermented yeast extract and retinol to combat the signs of aging and tired eyes which is perfect for travel and staying out all-night.

Dior Hydra Life BB Creme SPF 30: This is the one step make-up routine that replaces concealers and foundation. Dior calls it complexion perfecting, skin-evening and featherweight – I agree. Our team can’t stop raving about this full coverage BB cream that covers everything yet gives that natural luminous second skin appearance.

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Silk Hand Cream: Everyone knows that air travel makes hands super dry. Then having to adjust to a different climate means the body places lower importance on maintaining the extremities (yay evolutionary response), including the hands. This hand cream is designed to soften and sooth hands with anti-inflammatory indigo plant, silk extract and squalene. Not only does it work but it’s kind of therapeutic to watch the purple cream melt and disappear into skin.

I took two sunscreens this trip: La Roche Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum SPF 50 & Supergoop! SPF 40 Mineral Sunscreen. The former was intended to be my high powered sunscreen with SPF50 which would make it perfect for walking around the city, I brought the latter with me as a backup. Good thing I did because while La Roche is light, disappears quickly into skin and has great antioxidant rich ingredients, it stung my eyes. It wasn’t that the product got into my eyes, but because it is a chemical sunscreen, there can be a tendency for direct sun exposure to produce a “chemical fume” that irritates the eyes. So I switched it out for Supergoop! which is a predominantly physical sunscreen(10.1% Zinc Oxide – physical and 7.5 % Octinoxate – chemical). It is much more gentle while still light and fast absorbing. However the formula was separating in the tube leaving a runny liquid and a thick gunk that rendered it unusable. Two promising options that ended up being misses.

I can’t leave home without my serums, they’re the most important skincare category. I’ve been intrigued by Glossier’s Supers, a trio of serums with distinct benefits, I brought the: Super Glow , the brightening serum with Vitamin C, and Super Bounce , the hydration/plumping serum with hyaluronic acid. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed them. I took to Super Bounce immediately because it has a wonderful gel texture that skin drinks up right away and eases any “tightness” from dehydration that skin may be experiencing. I had to ration it because I was using this serum so much. Super Glow was a slower start, it’s a deceptively lightweight, orange tinted watery serum that made me wonder if it was really doing anything. Then one night I felt particularly lazy, put on 5 drops of Super Glow and then went over with a face oil and woke up to really even toned, brighter skin. It erased any sign that I had spent the entire previous day walking outside. The Glossier Supers were the MVPs of the trip and are my faves in the entire Glossier line-up right now.



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