Tuesday, December 22, 2009

resolution countdown: day 1

10 for 2010
january 1st may be 10 days away, but for me resolution season is in full swing! after all, i like to be ready with my goals -- really let them marinate for a while -- before the actual kickoff starts. i spent some time pulling together 10 resolutions for the near year (doesn't sound TOO ridiculous, right? although a few are combo-deals. resolution bundles, if you will).

10 days left . . .

10 resolutions . . .

clearly a countdown is in order. so without further adieu, let's begin!

resolution #1: better skincare

do you use clinique, drugstore products, another specialty brand, or an organic/natural alternative? image from realsimple.com

i'm starting with this resolution because i would LOVE some of your help/input! here's the deal: i'm 5 months away from my 30th birthday, and am just coming to the realizations that:

1) i have treated my skin like ($*$&# for years. multiple blistering sunburns as a child/teen? check. failure to wear sunscreen even during marathon-length runs? check. living in the south? check, y'all. daily moisturizer? HA. facial wash? st. ives scrub once in a blue moon, and harsh salicylic acid cleanser . . . when i get around to it.

i know. this is not how a nearly-30-year-old should be treating her skin.

2) i don't want to look old!! this is kind of sad: patients used to always ask me 'how old ARE you!?' and follow it with 'you look way too young to be a doctor.' thanks to the aforementioned sun damage AND the magical aging powers of residency itself (seriously), i really don't get these comments anymore. instead, the most common question people ask is if i have kids (although given that most of my patient's mothers are years younger than i am, it's a fair question!).

i realize that it's probably too late to erase ALL of the damage, but at the very least i would like to stop the acceleration down the path to wrinkly-leather-face (or, you know, SKIN CANCER). i would love your recommendations on:

☑ an everyday moisturizer with SPF that does not lead to breakouts

☑ a gentle everyday cleanser

☑ any other skincare product or tool that you have found to be amazing

i don't mind investing in products, because if they are awesome then i will actually USE them. tell me what to get, and i will try it out! the fate of my face rests in your hands . . .

happiness rankings
a study recently published in science showed that subjective levels of happiness (ie, people's ratings in a survey) actually correlate extremely well to objective measures of quality of life, such as sunshine, commuting time, and cost of living -- at least in the US.

in the state-by-state rankings, southern states (plus maine, aimee!) dominated the top 10, and north carolina was #12. my future home of florida did well (#3!), but that's probably because . . . what is there to complain about when you're retired?

new york came in dead last. the new york times piece on the subject asks, "might contentment be overrated?"

seriously, NY? just how sour are those grapes? my answer to their question is a definite "no", but then again i really don't like new york.

research no more
off to FINISH the draft of my research proposal -- my research month ends today! i'm actually completely happy to be back in the clinical realm. i definitely think that i need a good balance between clinic duties and more scholarly activities . . . hopefully i will be able to find that sweet spot in my career someday.



workout: 5.25 miles in the AM, average 8:29/mi. i think i went fast just to warm myself up! i figured that if i could get out there in the morning on the shortest day of the year in 27 degree temps, nothing would stop me. i forgot how much i love starting my day with an outdoor run . . . even a cold one.

culinary corner: it's KERF WEEK in the ghost world kitchen. in planning the week's menu, i just picked several recipes from her site that i had wanted to try! last night's dinner was a super-easy salmon pasta dish -- i chose this knowing that i wouldn't want to make anything elaborate the same day as grocery shopping. link to kath's recipe page can be found on the sidebar.

whole wheat elbow-shaped pasta, spinach, peas, capers, and fresh hillsborough goat cheese (i subbed this for the laughing cow used in the original version)


  1. Anonymous9:12 AM

    I adore Clinique's lotion. I should use something with sunscreen, but having such sensitive skin makes me want to stick with what works.
    I also love Cetaphil as a cleanser. It's mild.

  2. Anonymous9:18 AM

    I have no answer regarding the skin care stuff because I also don't do a good job. I've been quite lucky that my skin has always been clear, but I'm the same as you, I'm in my 30s and need to take better care. I did buy some Burt's Bees eye cream but it smells like an old lady. I'd love to hear the suggestions people give you.

  3. Anonymous9:25 AM

    i am sooo terrible to my skin too. i keep telling myself that i do not want to be all old and wrinkly but that hasn't changed my behavior! i am joining you with this resolution!! keep me accountable :)

  4. I found this Lush Ocean Salt (http://www.lushusa.com/shop/products/face/cleansers/ocean-salt) cleanser when I was in Chicago, and I love it. For me, exfoliating seems to make the biggest difference in how my skin looks.

  5. I find I used to get more questions about my age when I had less experience as a nurse-- your patients are probably less focused on your age because you project competence and authority as a senior resident. You don't look old!

    That said, I also recommend Cetaphil cleanser, additionally Eucerin sensitive skin moisture lotion with SPF 30 and Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-wrinkle cream (with retinol!). All very affordable and not at all harsh. When I permit them the liberty of doing so, people usually estimate my age between 22(ha!)-26. Not that I'm bragging :)

  6. I second Aimee's suggestion about the Eucerin moisturizer. It has SPF30 in it! I think that's great--I use it everyday (and yes I will apply before runs), it's not too thick, it doesn't sweat off and it's pretty easy to find.

    I use the Neutragena anti-blemish, anti-wrinkle cleanser because I'm 30 (and 7 months) and still suffer the very occasional breakout but am concerned about wrinkles.

    I have the cetaphil cleanser but don't love it. Yes, it's mild, but it's almost TOO mild--like I don't feel like my face has been cleaned at all. Whenever I use it I always use a toner/astringent afterwards.

    Good luck!

  7. both cetaphil's cleanser and moisturizer with spf have treated me well the past few years, as well as neutrogena's fresh foaming cleanser, which i use at night.

  8. Anonymous12:10 PM

    I'm well into my 30's and am happy to say I have no wrinkles or crow's feet yet, a LITTLE fine lineage under the eyes but only when my skin is dry. I have oily, sensitive, breakout prone skin. The best advice ever given to me was by a dermatologist back when I was 19, who told me to use sunblock (not moisturizer with sunblock) EVERY DAY. I swear it's the best thing you can do for your skin. I use Elta Gold SPF 45 on my face every day. It contains zinc so not only does it moisturize me enough and not oil up, it has a mattifying effect. I wash with Aveda Gel Cleanser and use a Vitamin C serum at night to help with anti-aging. Easy, peasy...your skin care routine should be simple, your skin doesn't need all of the products the manufacturers want to sell.

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  10. Have to agree about Cetaphil for a mild daily cleanser, and I sometimes use an exfoliating wash like Clinique's 7-day scrub or one from Kiehl's. As far as moisturizing, I think Eucerin or Neutrogena with an SPF 30 is the way to go (if you have oilier skin vs sensitive skin just pick whichever one applies to your skin type).

    Also, this has some good suggestions:

    I just bought some Neutrogena stuff as noted in the "in your 20s" section (I'm 28). We'll see how it goes.

  11. I use mostly drugstore brands: St. Ives scrub, Cetaphil, and Oil of Olay moisturizer with sunscreen.

  12. what kind of skin do you have? i have combo skin that breaks out occasionally and i love neutrogena spf 30 daily moisturizer (the untinted version). i also have anthelios XL sunscreen/moisturizer that i bought but haven't used yet but supposedly it is the best sunscreen available on the market (contains meroxyl which is more skin-stable than the stuff in other sunscreens). at night i use clinique antioxidant lotion in the combo skin version (http://www.dillards.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=301&storeId=301&langId=-1&productId=501147559) which is nice and light but keeps my skin hydrated at night.

    Also, i would recommend exfoliating your skin often (like some people previously mentioned). I like using aveda botanical kinetics exfoliants (http://www.aveda.com/templates/products2/spp.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CATEGORY10610&PRODUCT_ID=PROD6142) which has salicylic acid and all-natural ingredients that prevent drying out of the skin - i use this after cleansing and before moisturizer. Also, bliss makes a good mild scrub (http://www.blissworld.com/product/shop+skincare/shop+skincare/exfoliators/bliss+pore+perfecting+facial+polish.do). I love bliss products but they are still a little pricey for my budget.

    Unlike the previous posters, i found that cetaphil makes me break out even more because it doesn't cleanse well (too mild for me!). Aveeno foaming face wash in the anti-redness version (i forget the name) works fine for me.

    I'm still working on the eye cream thing, i don't think i need it yet, but i should probably start using it regularly to slow down any of the aging process!

    You'll probably end up going through a lot of products to find the ones that you find work best on your skin, but hopefully these suggestions will be helpful!

  13. atilla9:29 PM

    love all this skin talk. I'm so beyond help. Its a professional asset to get older..fortunately you won't have that asset for another 20 years

  14. azusa8:58 AM

    oh sarah, my list of recommendations will require a separate email. you know me too well.

  15. Random lurker here! I have to say as a 30 year old myself who abused her skin in her teens :) I really love the bliss line...foaming face wash, and the spf day cream (forgot what it was called) and their all in one anti-aging cream...fabulous! Those plus drinking more water I swear have turned my skin around! Really enjoy the blog!

  16. Molly3:57 PM

    I thought I'd leave my favorite (and very cheap!) skin care products. I love purpose face wash - its very gentle, and I never get breakouts. I also use the target generic version of oil of olay with sunscreen for sensitive skin. I use the tub of it in the winter when my skin gets flaky and the lotion in the summer. If your skin doesn't get very dry the liquid would work for you year round. Also for long runs I like to use coppertone's spray sunscreen (just spray on your hand and rub on your face), because it's effortless to apply - which means I actually use it. Good luck!!

  17. Yikes! Both of my states rank in the bottom 10! The months of January/February probably don't help with that...

    I'm bad about skin care! I use Neutrogena oil-free acne cleanser and Neutrogena moisturizer. St. Ives in the shower now and then. Other than that...I'm so bad!

  18. I used the yellow Clinique lotion for years and recently switched over to some Pond's cream. It made a WORLD of difference. I have super sensitive skin and Clinique didn't bother it at all, but it just wasn't moisturizing it like it used to (I live in Chicago).

    For a very light moisturizer, it is good.