Moving to California is an adventure. And life here is great. The beaches, the beautiful weather… the culture, the arts, the tacos… the list goes on. However, you know all of your friends that told you “move to LA!!1 It’s amazing <3<3” …do you know the one tinyminisculeminor detail they (oops) forgot to mention?
Southern California is a desert.
And one of the things that you desert-dwelling Thread Detectives know… that the rest of us, on the whole, have much to learn about… is the levée en masse, the total war, the never-ending struggle that is keeping your skin hydrated in the deserts of Southern California.
Skincare – Nutrition and Beyond
A huge part of having great skin is eating the right things – drinking enough water, getting the proper amount of vitamins and minerals, and eating a balanced diet are absolutely essential.
In other words, you can’t expect your skin to look flawless if you’re filling your body with garbage. But skincare and diet is another topic for day. So the question remains: what products will keep our skin glowing in the bone-dry wastelands of Southern California?
(My) Skincare Addiction
One of my favorite resources for skincare is the subreddit “Skincareaddiction.” But while /r/skincareaddiction is a wealth of information, do not go here if you’re not prepared to sort through information by the metric ton (some of it contradicting, and some of it given by people living in different climates and with different skin issues than you). That said, dig… and you’ll find gold.
When I moved from New York City to Los Angeles, it felt like everything that I had brought with me from the East Coast seemed wholly insufficient. So the battle began. Coconut oil, castor oil, Mario Badescu, DHC, some $15 face cream I bought at Wegmans… I felt like I had tried everything.
Until one night, down a Skincareaddiction rabbit hole, I came across the wizard magic I now know as vitamin C serum.
What is Vitamin C Serum?
Vitamin C serum is an application of concentrated vitamin C to the top layer of the skin. Vitamin C, when applied topically, can increase collagen production and reign in fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C is also said to be great for reducing visible signs of sun damage.
There are a couple of well-reviewed brands of vitamin C serums, namely Paula’s Choice, NuFoundation, and Timeless Skin Care. (Some of you may even elect to go the DIY route.) But the one that stuck out to me was the Korean-made OST C20.
OST C20 – Vitamin C Serum
(My OST C20, in it’s box, in the fridge where I store it.)
- Use – every night, I take this stuff out of my fridge, and out of its little box. After I’ve oiled cleansed (and I’m still working on my skincare routine), I apply about ½ to ¾ of the dropper to my face and neck.* Some people may report that this stuff is too harsh for to use around their eyes. And while I apply it to both my upper and lower eyelids (very, VERY carefully), and I haven’t had a problem, your mileage may vary. Do what works best for you.
- Benefits – similar to those of other vitamin C serums; OST C20 has made my skin glow, helped my once-a-month hormonal breakouts heal faster, and squashed the appearance of my first fine lines.
- Price – around $20, or less, depending on where you buy it.
- Where to buy – you might be able to pick this up at your local Korean beauty store. I got mine from Amazon.
- Additional notes – if you buy this from Amazon, and select the normal shipping option, take note: it’s ground-shipped from Korea by by what is quite possibly the slowest sea-route in existence. How long did it take? Not “like a month;” actually one entire month, plus a few days. in retrospect, I would have probably paid extra for expedited shipping. I have found the serum well worth it. Now that I know how long it takes to arrive, I will anticipate when I think I will run out, and just order it ahead of time.
Thread Detectives — have you used a vitamin C serum? If so, which one has worked for you? We look forward to hearing about it in the comments section below.
*Some people say they use less than I do. As this product can turn yellow and oxidize in a few months, becoming inactive, I want to make sure I use it all up before that happens.