It goes without saying that nothing is more effective for your skin than what your dermatologist recommends for it. With that said, it’s been my experience that one can have a very good skincare regimen using a combination of both prescribed products/methods and over-the-counter (OTC) items. Allow me to present La Crème by Cle de Peau.
For those unfamiliar with the brand, Cle de Peau is Shiseido’s higher end line of skincare and cosmetics. The Japanese brand and this particular product has a cult following and for good reason–the results are almost immediate. The reason for this is because the primary active ingredient in La Crème is retinol ACE (in layman’s terms, it’s a lower dose of retinol plus vitamins and boosters to increase the speed of cell turnover). Although prescription strength retinol is great for many people, for some (such as myself), it can be a bit strong and cause inflammation (and as another side effect, some hyperpigmentation). This is why for some, OTC-strength is the way to go for including retinol in one’s skincare routine.
In terms of OTC anti-aging creams, Cle de Peau’s La Crème is the gold standard. I have yet to experience a cream that performs as well as this one. (Many of you know that I’m also a huge fan of La Mer’s Creme and I still am–but strictly as a moisturizing cream and something that I use to mix with my foundation when wearing makeup, not as a wrinkle cream.) After a few hours of applying Le Crème, my skin is noticeably softer, clearer, and brighter. I have been using this product for three months and it has become a permanent part of my skincare routine. For those who are skeptical and aren’t willing to take the plunge for the full-size jar, Cle de Peau’s website sells the (limited edition) travel size. You can also ask someone from the line’s counter at your local Nordstrom, Saks, or Neiman’s to give you a week’s sample.
Now, on to the good stuff (recommendations from my personal experience). If you have normal to dry skin, use the product as directed–at night only (slather it on, go to sleep, and wake up to soft and bright skin). If you have oily to combination skin, use it at nighttime and, maybe–assuming you are able to go without makeup and shield yourself from the sun, also use a small to moderate amount during the daytime for 2-3 days during the week. Do not use it on the area around your eyes (even though it’s OTC, a lower dose of retinol can still irritate sensitive areas). It also helps to properly prep your skin before application–I wash my face with a mild cleanser and use a NON-EXFOLIATING/NON-MEDICATED toner before applying La Crème (for those who don’t use toners, you can skip the second step). This is important because you don’t want anything to undermine and/or interfere with the efficacy of the active ingredients in the cream. You want the product to work by itself (preferably, without any allergic reactions and/or interference).
All women over the age of 30 need to allocate a portion of their budgets to skincare/maintenance. It’s not a frivolous matter–it’s a necessity as one gets older. Many department store products get a bad rap for being expensive but as someone who is a product fiend, I can confirm that there are some items that are worth their sticker prices and that a little bit of product can go a long way (depending on how much you use, a jar of La Crème can last you between 6 months to 1 year). And, as I like to tell my husband, “It’s less expensive than plastic surgery.”
(FYI, I was not paid and/or compensated in any way for this review.)