Two Faced: Medical Grade Skincare vs Natural Skincare

IMG_1702While the term “two faced” generally has a negative connotation, lately I’ve had the thought that if only I really did have two faces, and unlimited funds, I could treat one face with medical grade skincare products and the other face with natural grade products to see which face fared the best in the long run.  

As it is, I am recently torn between both worlds and part of the week I use one set of products while the other part of the week I treat with the other set.  So basically, because I’m obsessed with both worlds at the moment, I alternate days…one day medical grade, the next natural grade.  

Medical Grade Skincare

I have tried a host of medical grade products in the last few years, but if I had to pare it down to my most loved items, I would choose the following products:


-Obagi Tretinoin Cream

-Skinceutical’s CE Ferulic

-Epionce Lite Lytic Tx

-Skinceutical’s Resveratrol B E 

-Skinmedica’s HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator

-Skinceutical’s AOX Eye Gel

-Skinceutical’s A.G.E. Interrupter 

I have literally witnessed the improvement in the health and beauty of my skin from using these medical grade products. There are also a few medical grade products I am currently using where I believe in the science behind them, but since I have kept my skin in pretty good shape with a regular regimen incorporating the products mentioned above, I haven’t been able to see major improvement, rather I just have faith that using these products regularly is slowing the aging process.  I hope to talk about some of these products in a later post.

Natural/Green Skincare

I have only just started dabbling in the natural side of skincare, but it hasn’t taken long for me to reap some amazing rewards.  As I mentioned already, I incorporate natural skincare in my regimen approximately every other night.  I bet you can guess which nights I look forward to!  In the short time I’ve been using these products, the only physical improvements I can definitely attest to are the calming effects on irritated skin.  Oh, but the sensory benefits are numerous!  I have completely fallen for most of the products I have been trying.  There are two brands I am putting through my skincare trials right now: Indie Lee and May Lindstrom.  Sunday Riley, a fellow Texan, is a brand generally comprised of a mixture of natural and synthetic ingredients.  I love her products and have repurchased several already.  Sunday Riley was my gateway brand into the natural realm of skincare.

Following are the products I have tested and adore from these three brands:

-Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

-IL CoQ10 Toner

-IL Swiss Apple Facial Serum

-IL Calendula Eye Balm

-IL Squalane Facial Oil

(The above products are my full routine on some days)

-May Lindstrom Jasmine Garden Mist

-ML Blue Cocoon

-Sunday Riley Good Genes

-SR Start Over Eye Cream

-SR Luna and Flora Oils

-SR Bionic Cream

I plan to write a separate review on each product, or group of products, that I mentioned in this post, so please come back and see why I love each of these skincare greats.  I also hope to conclude the series with a comprehensive post featuring a showdown between the two categories of skincare.  I want to finalize with this conclusive entry because I need to satisfy the scientific nerd in me, and settle on the best avenue of skincare for my mature skin.

Thank you for listening to this introduction to my skincare journey through my mature years❤️

Whatsoever Things are Lovely (Phil 4:8 KJV)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. -Phil 4:8

In order to write a post about me, I must include an excerpt from the Bible, which, as a Christian, I try to always use as my number one guide in life.  As a human, I fail miserably at times.  Obviously, I realize this scripture has nothing at all to do with a beauty blog and everything to do with a lifestyle blog, but I will attempt to bring it all together.  🙂

I have a strong tendency to let the things that transpire in my day to day life and the people in my everyday environment dictate my mood, and I often forget to incorporate the above scripture in my daily living.  And then there’s the horrible things happening in the world around us, which can put me in a very depressed state if I don’t make an active effort to block it from my mind.  I know we shouldn’t completely ignore these awful things because the bible also instructs us in Eph 5:15-16 to:  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  (I love the King James Version for its poetic beauty.)  Putting these two verses together, it appears that while we need to pay attention to what is going on around us in the world, we probably should not dwell on the miserable and ugly side of living in this world.

Ok, since this is an “about me” post and not a sermon, here are some of the facts that make up who I am today…I am 55,  a daughter, a wife, mother of three children, and grandmother to one spoiled little toddler.  I grew up in a wonderful environment with good and loving parents who I always tried to please.  I was the nerdy, good kid out of the four they produced.


My childhood was spent always trying to make my parents proud of me, keeping my grades high, following household rules, going to church 3 times a week with my family without complaining, etc.  Speaking of church, I met my future husband at a church camp which my dad helped organize when I was 13 and he was 15.  My 13 year old self immediately determined that he would most definitely become my husband.  He didn’t really know I existed, but since he quickly became best buds with my older brother, I made sure he at least had to consider me once in awhile.

Mom & Dad

He finally asked me out on a date when I was 16.  From then until we got married and had our first child, I spent my time trying to please him and make him proud.  Since my main goal my entire young life was to be a mom, we did eventually have three kids.  While I worked full time until my retirement at 53, I was the kind of mom whose life completely revolved around my children and not my job, although I did enjoy my job and the financial benefits it provided my family.

Fast forward…my children all finished college and got married…so proud of all three of them, but that’s another story.  🙂

All three became blessedly independent and for the first time in my life, I felt a little lost.  I realized I had always focused 100% on my family (no regrets on that by the way), and I may not have taken the best care of myself in those years.  I gained weight from eating unhealthy meals and only exercising sporadically.  Along the same vein, I rarely took care of my skin.  I spent lots of time in the sun without sunscreen.  I wore minimal makeup, which I always felt was long gone by bedtime, so the only time my face was washed was a quick once over with a soapless wash cloth in the shower.  Beauty, to me during those years, meant just looking somewhat presentable.  So when I reached the 50 year milestone, I took a closer look at myself.  I started to feel much older than 50, with arthritis issues, including chronic pain from joint and tissue inflammation.  I’d had enough, so I started a regular exercise and healthy eating program.  Slowly, I began to lose some weight and feel better.  As I lost weight, wrinkles began to show up more and more.  I started noticing that my skin just looked dry and blah.  Well, my obsessive compulsive personality kicked in (another story)…  I decided to go whole hog, researching and implementing everything I could in my life, to feel good and look beautiful in these mid-life years.  Instead of focusing on everyone around me, I switched gears, and it became all about me, me, me!  That was good in a small way, I guess.  Luckily, my oldest daughter became pregnant about then, and I had something else to temper my obsession and prevent me from becoming over the top narcissistic.  My own sweet mom had taken care of my kids while I worked, so at 53, I happily made the decision to pay it forward, retire from work, and take care of my new granddaughter.

How does all this tie in with my title, whatsoever things are lovely?  Well, my proposed beauty blog encompassing skincare and makeup reviews will give me the outlet I need to focus on  beautiful things that give me joy on a basic physical level.  On a higher plane, I will find even greater joy, and loveliness, while performing my every day duties caring for, training, and loving my granddaughter.  And finally, on the highest dimension, I plan to realize perfect joy in focusing on my spiritual self and my Christian duties as a daughter (my parents are still a huge part of my life), wife, mother, and now my current, and incredibly rewarding role, as a grandmother.  I feel blessed to be given such a huge opportunity to help train and hopefully create many lovely moments in my granddaughter’s life.

These are beautiful and lovely things, indeed.❤