Confession time: Even though I’m a beauty editor who has access to all of the latest and greatest skincare products, I’m not always great about maintaining a set routine. There are certain non negotiables that I never skip (you better believe I wear sunscreen 365 days per year), but besides the basics, I can admittedly be pretty lazy. That being said, I’m not getting any younger—I’m now firmly in my 30s, and I’m definitely noticing more and more, let’s call them ‘issues,’ with my skin. The texture isn’t quite smooth as it used to be, I’m seeing fine lines around my eyes, and (despite my diligent sun protection efforts) have some small brown spots that I can’t seem to get rid of. Overall, my complexion is just duller and more lackluster, not as even or radiant as I’d like it to be. Add to that the fact that I’m getting married in a few months and am hyper-focused on looking my best, and I decided it needed to kick my skincare M.O. into high gear. It was time to adopt a dedicated, full-on regimen, rather than just sporadically trying assorted anti-aging products.
I decided to try ALASTIN Skincare’s complete line anti-aging products. I was already familiar with the medical-grade skincare brand because of their sunscreen. The ALASTIN HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 36, is one of my favorite products ever. (I’ll explain why in a minute.) I’ve tried a LOT of different skincare brands in my day—it’s part of my job—but I always gravitate towards ones that are medical-grade and that dermatologists recommend. I find they tend to be the most legit and ultimately the most effective, giving you the most bang for your buck. To that point, there are 2,500 doctors that recommend Alastin; many of the dermatologists I regularly interview often suggest their products.
I’m also all about brands that rely on proven, effective ingredients, which was another reason I wanted to try more of ALASTIN’s offerings. Their proprietary, TriHex Technology® uses a patented blend of peptides and botanical ingredients and works in two different ways. First, it clears out old, damaged collagen and elastin. (As a quick reminder, collagen and elastin are the two main proteins in your skin, responsible for keeping it healthy and youthful.) Then, it helps enhance your skin’s ability to produce new and healthy collagen and elastin. I like to think of it kind of like a detox that creates a clean slate so your skin can function in the absolute best way possible—yes, please.
Here's the ALASTIN skincare regimen I tried...and what it did for my skin over the course of a few weeks.
In the morning…
Step 1: Cleanse
My skin can be crazy sensitive, so I always look for gentle products, cleansers specifically. The ALASTIN Gentle Cleanser checks all my boxes, super effective yet not in the least bit irritating or stripping. I love the fact that it’s sulfate-free, but still foams up and lathers nicely. Plus, it also contains calming and soothing antioxidants, a major win for my easily-stressed out skin. And, as an added benefit, the bottle is huge and you only need one pump.
Step 2: Moisturize
Next up, moisturizer. The ALASTIN Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer with TriHex Technology® strikes the perfect balance between being rich and hydrating, yet not too heavy or greasy. It’s oil-free and non-comedogenic, a win in my book since I’m prone to breakouts in my T-zone. But what I like most is that this isn’t any old moisturizer. It uses that TriHex technology I mentioned for an extra anti-aging boost, making it a moisturizer with serious benefits. As someone who loves multi-tasking products (and can be lazy, let’s not forget), I was hooked.
Step 3: Treat the neck
I’ve definitely been guilty of neglecting the skin below my chin in the past. But our necks need some TLC, too. The skin on our necks is both thinner and more fragile, making it more susceptible to things such as sun damage. There are also fewer oil glands on your neck than on your face, making this area more prone to dryness. So while using a dedicated neck cream might seem like an unnecessary step, it actually is pretty necessary. ALASTIN’s Restorative Neck Complex with TriHex Technology® has, you guessed it, that same anti-aging technology. It’s specially made for the delicate skin on your neck (and décolleté) and helps improve the look of crepey skin, wrinkles, and even redness. My top tip: Massage it into your neck in an upward motion.
Step 4: Sunscreen
Remember how I said I love multi-tasking products? Enter the ALASTIN HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36, the most glorious sunscreen of all time (in my humble opinion). First and foremost, it gives you that oh-so-important daily dose of broad-spectrum sun protection against UVA and UVB rays. It’s an all-mineral formulation, which I love because again, my skin is both sensitive and prone to breakouts; it’s also totally reef-friendly. There are added antioxidants in the mix to act as a second line of defense against skin-damaging free radicals, and the formula is so hydrating that if you wanted to skip moisturizer, you totally could. But my favorite part? The subtle tint. It imparts just the right amount of coverage and has the most gorgeous, glowy finish. Even if you don’t put on any makeup (which a lot of days I don’t), it leaves your complexion looking fresh, healthy, and radiant. And if you are going to wear foundation or concealer, no worries—it layers beautifully underneath.
In the evening...
Step 1: Cleanse
No matter how lazy I may be, I never go to bed without washing my face. I loved that even when I was wearing a full face of makeup, the Gentle Cleanser still took everything off, no extra makeup remover needed.
Step 2: Treat
Personally, I like to save any heavy-hitting, treatment type skincare for bedtime. Enter the ALASTIN Restorative Skin Complex with TriHex Technology®. Consider this the anti-aging hero product of the entire line. It too touts that effective TriHex Technology to help support the production of collagen and elastin, plus powerful antioxidants to ward off additional damage. It’s ideal for helping to volumize and lift skin, fight fine lines and wrinkles, and even target dullness and uneven tone—basically, it addresses any and every complexion concern you might have. (And I happen to be worried about all of the above, ICYW.) You just need to use one to two pumps daily, and while I used it at night, it can be used in the morning too, pre-moisturizer.
Bedtime is also a good time to use the ALASTIN Renewal Retinol, which comes in both a .25 and .5 concentration. In case you missed the memo, retinol is the gold standard of all anti-aging ingredients, a vitamin A derivative that has a long and proven track record of delivering impressive benefits. It works on both the top layers of the skin to help speed up cell turnover and improve texture and tone, as well as on the deeper layers where it stimulates collagen production to combat wrinkles. The downside? Retinol is notorious for its irritating side effects; happily, this formula contains added hydrating and soothing ingredients to help minimize the potential for any irksome redness, peeling, and irritation. FYI, you just need a tiny bit—a pea size is enough for your entire face—and you can start by using it just once or twice a week, gradually increasing the frequency as your skin gets used to it. Once your skin is really used to it, you can then go up the ante even more by using the stronger version of the product with the .5 concentration of retinol.
Step 3: Moisturize
Post-treatment, I’d reach for both the Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer for my face and the Restorative Neck Complex to lock in some extra hydration.
Step 4: Eye Cream
Fun fact: The skin around your eyes is the thinnest and most delicate on the body, and where signs of aging show up first. It’s why using a dedicated eye cream is so important. While I usually mix and match different ones, I’m now hooked on the ALASTIN Restorative Eye Treatment with TriHex Technology®. Yes, it clears out old collagen and elastin and helps boost the production of new collagen and elastin—AKA is great for fine lines—but it also tamps down puffiness and even makes dark circles less noticeable. And that’s a big plus for me, since I want one eye cream that’s going to do it all.
Step 5: Don’t forget the body
I like to think of the ALASTIN TransFORM Body Treatment with TriHex Technology® like a body lotion on steroids. Sure, it’s an awesome body lotion, lightweight yet hydrating and fast-absorbing, but it does so much more than just moisturize. That TriHex Technology works just as well for the skin on your body as the skin on your face, making this especially great for applying onto areas where you want skin to appear smoother and less crepey, think your arms, hands, and knees. I loaded up on this on all those spots, as well as all over my legs, because, why not.
It was surprisingly easier to follow a set skincare routine than I thought, and the pay-off was worth it.
The first thing I noticed was that my skin looked generally more refreshed and glowier, kind of the way the way I imagine it would look if I actually get eight hours of sleep for a few nights in a row (hey, a girl can dream). And it looked that way even right after I woke up, an effect that previously I could only achieve with lots of moisturizer and highlighters and luminizers galore. The texture improved, too— the fine line lines around my eyes definitely seem less apparent and smoothed out, and some odd patches of bumpy and rough skin have dissipated. While some of the dark spots that bother me are still there, my overall skin tone is more even, which for sure makes the brown spots less noticeable. I’m also now totally hooked on the neck cream because it’s helped smooth out some horizontal lines I was starting to develop (‘tech neck’ is a real thing, people). But I really knew the products were working when my dermatologist noticed an improvement; at my annual skin check, she immediately told me how great my skin looked. And hey, when your derm compliments your skin, you definitely keep doing what you’re doing.
While the sunscreen remains my absolute must-have, the other ALASTIN products have definitely earned a place in my routine. The science behind them is legit, and even after using them for only a few weeks, they’ve changed my skin for the better.