As of late, my skin feels like a reflection of my own attitude about age; it can’t make up it’s mind, showcasing both smile lines and small crows feet next to jaw-line hormonal acne. Being in my mid-30’s is close enough to my teens that I remember what it felt like to be in highschool, but also close enough to my 40’s to make me feel like I really need to figure out this #adulting stuff. This brings me to my first confession; I have used the same face wash since the 10th grade, for no other reason except my best friend Danielle used it. I don’t know what the tipping point was for me, but I can only assume it’s the hours spent angling my bathroom mirror into the perfect light to both pop whiteheads and crinkle my face up and down to see the roadmap of where future lines will lay. This behavior would lead anyone to madness. All of this is extremely painful to admit to all of the internet, because soon you all will know the wealth of knowledge I’ve chosen to ignore up to this point. Cue my mom to the rescue.
The infamous face wash is St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub. Maybe you recognize it? Freshly cut apricots don the outside of the package along with green font indicating that you are simply squeezing out a dollop of fresh pulp each time you wash your face. As most of you who are smarter than me can imagine, this is not the truth. In fact, in one conversation with my mom, I have yet to use this paste again–turns out “Dermatologist Tested” does not mean “Dermatologist Recommended”. This stuff really has been doing nothing good for my face, in fact it maybe be doing harm with it’s rough exfoliation technique. To be fair, it does say “For best results use 3 to 4 times per week”, and for me it’s been daily–*ahem*–since high school. For those of you who have not used this product, it has a grit in it that really does Scrub with a capital S. As my mom pointedly pointed out, “What is on your face that you need to scrub it that hard?”. Hm, good point.
Let’s break it down with Ms. Chemistry herself (aka Mom). First ingredient, water–typical for most formulas. Next; “Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder” this combined with the further down listing of “Zea Mays (Corn) Kernel Meal” is what creates that ‘gritty’ feeling. Surprise! Not freshly ground apricot shell as one might have guessed. In fact, speaking of apricot, “Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract” is listed as the second to last ingredient. Did you know that formula ingredient lists are listed in order of percentage used up to the 1% mark? Me neither, but they could have waved this formula over some apricots and probably claimed the same amount, but I guess ‘St. Ives Fresh Skin Corn meal and Walnut Shell Scrub’ didn’t have the same ring.
So what about all those fancy sounding words in the middle? Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is the “inexpensive and fairly harsh” (in my mom’s words) surfactant they use, or the ‘soap’ that froths up when you use it. She said, “the sulfo group makes the molecule larger so it reduces skin penetration and as such irritation” meaning , it’s not really getting ‘under’ my skin so to speak. As I was reading down the list of ingredients, she listed off the basics of most formulas, “Surfactant, emulsifier, perfume…” all pretty standard according to her, but the preservative that stood out to her was Phenethyl Alcohol, this particular preservative has a slightly numbing effect, which means they added it to numb the eye when you are using. Yikes! So I wouldn’t actually know if I got this in my eyes because they would be numb to the effects.
Needless to say, after this discussion, I’ve decided to research what face wash WOULD be beneficial for my changing skin. Per my mom’s direction, I need to find something that is milder, for my sensitive skin. Stay tuned for more trials and product breakdowns, and be sure to call out below in the comments if you want a specific product reviewed, or if you have experience with any St. Ives products.