drugstore skincare

Drugstore Skincare – My 40something Life

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Drugstore skincare is proving to be a refreshing option for me.

I can’t tell you how many years (and how much money), I’ve invested in high-end skincare products. I’m sure I’ve dropped thousands of dollars at the department stores. Gone are those days!  I’ve been experimenting with some cool drugstore brands and I must say (so far) I’m pleasantly surprised. Drugstore skincare is turning out to be a viable and affordable option for me.  As I work to simplify various areas of my middle-aged life, I’m determined to do the same with my skincare routines.

drugstore vitamin e oil
My drugstore skincare routine is doing the job.

No more malls; no more pricey department store cosmetic counters with snotty women in white coats. Not for me. I’m returning to the corner drugstore products of days past. It’s all beginning with the familiar old-time favorite- Noxzema!

Re-visiting Noxzema for my over-40 skin

If you’re about my age or older, you know the Noxzema brand (and aroma) very well. It was an extremely popular product “back in the day”. It was before we had all the Ultas, Beauty Brands, Sephoras and other cosmetic chains from which to choose. Back then, we had maybe 3 product choices tops and they all came from the drugstore! It seemed everyone used Noxzema back then.

When I tried it, I found Noxzema had a great skin “feel”. It applies so velvety. I must add that the initial and continuous tingle gave me pause. Yet, the soothing aroma calmed me. Some of the ingredients include: camphor, menthol and eucalyptus globulus leaf oil. I’ll talk about a few of them later. I’m not sure which is responsible for the characteristic Noxzema “tingle”, but I’d guess each one is. Whoever the culprit, I love that feeling. Then again, I’m one of those weirdos who thinks Vicks Vapor Rub smells good. It’s like some sort of twisted aroma-therapy for me. That’s another blog post.

Anyway, Noxzema’s soothing properties may be good for more than a cooling sensation. WebMD.Com says eucalyptus has known properties that work against bacteria and fungi.

Noxzema also contains methanol, which can be irritating to some skin, but it’s never bothered me.

I was surprised to know that camphor is also an ingredient. No question why it’s a medicated cream, right?

Although I love Noxzema, it doesn’t remove all my make up. So, I begin with another product that removes the foundation AND the stubborn mascara with ease.

Pond’s Cold Cream to the rescue!

I begin my night-time routine with Ponds Cold Cream for my middle-aged skin. It gets rid of EVERYTHING! I’ve tried other cold cream brands, including generics, and nothing works as well as Ponds for me. Taking a note from Bette Davis in “All about Eve”; I apply it and just leave it on for a while. Remember the scene when she had it smeared all over her face while talking and smoking a cigarette? That’s woman had swag. Love that movie.

Anyway, once I remove the cold cream with a soothing, warm cloth, I finish up with my Noxzema to remove any foundation or cold cream left behind. My skin usually feels creamy smooth, soft and super clean.

Sleeping in Noxzema

I recently found a fun piece by the executive fashion and beauty editor at Huffington Post, Dana Oliver. She recalled her grandmother sleeping in Noxzema as part of her skincare routine! She described her grandmother’s skin as the “smoothest skin she ever touched”. You must check out Dana’s own experience sleeping in Noxzema. It’s guaranteed to make you smile – especially her reference to her sheets.

So, being the dork I am, I had to stop reading Dana’s article and run to grab my own Noxzema! Full disclosure: It was 11 o’clock on a Saturday morning so I was going to leave it on until I had to jet out for Saturday errands. I did. Of course, after rinsing, my skin felt so scrumptious. I think my makeup wore better that day because it had a smoother canvas. Her grandma just may be on to something.


drug store skin care

Oil of Olay and my Middle-aged Skin

Then, I finish my nightly routine with Oil of Olay Active Hydrating serum.


First, let me tell you, this product’s silky texture made me almost excited to apply it.  And, the smell? OMG!  The fragrance reminded me of my childhood.  Both my mom and my grandmom were loyal Oil of Olay users. So, applying it renders the happiest of memories.  That alone made it worth re-visiting. An added benefit is it’s effectiveness. My thirsty, over-40 skin drunk up the cream-based moisture like a sponge. I mixed a little with my Vitamin E oil.

Pure Vitamin E Oil as a moisturizer

By the way, have you tried Vitamin E?  I purchased some at CVS for less than $5.00. Using vitamin E on my face

Here is what I know about Vitamin E:

1. It is very, very thick. It must be mixed with coconut oil, olive oil or my Oil of Olay.

2. It lightens acne scars. It took about two weeks, but I saw a noticeable change. Now, I’m trying it under my eyes. We will see.

3. It has no odor.

4. A little goes a long way. Too much and you will have a thick, gooey mess.

5. It’s great around the cuticles. The thick consistency softens in a flash.

Do you now of other uses for Vitamin E?

Back to Oil of Olay.

I was glad to see “water” listed as the first ingredient. Water is nature’s best moisturizer. It’s good to look for water as the first ingredient in hair products too.

According to another Live Strong article by Nancy Clarke, the second ingredient, glycerin goes a long way to moisturize skin. In fact, her article basically says it “does the bulk of the hydrating work”. I wonder if it does the same for hair? Anyway, she says glycerin actually “draws water” into our skin and retains it! Cool. You must read this article by Nancy Clarke.

Other ingredients in Oil of Olay Original include: Cetyl Palmitate, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Hydroxystearate, Stearic Acid, Steareth-100, Dimethicone, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Fragrance, Potassium Hydroxide, Dmdm Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Tetrasodium Edta, Acrylates//C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Red 4.

This stuff works so well for my skin that it  could have eye of newt as an ingredient and I’d still use it.  I like it that much.

For months, I used Oil of Olay’s pricier age-defying drugstore skincare products, but didn’t see much of a change in my skin’s texture or moisture levels. Not sure why.  I know some active anti-aging ingredients can be quite strong which is probably why I noticed a little drying when I used those products. The original works for me and I’m sticking to it.

We’ll See…

Time will tell if this new combo renders any lasting, positive changes in my 40-something skin texture. For now, I can say I’m happy with my drugstore skincare regime and I’ll continue using it until otherwise..

I’ve said a lot, so let me recap it:

  1. Use Ponds Cold Cream to remove my makeup and foundation.
  2. I follow with Noxzema to get rid of any residue.
  3. I slather on my Oil of Olay along with a drop of my CVS Vitamin E oil

You know, sometimes the “tried and true” drugstore skincare products our parents used work better than the new stuff. Wild, huh?

Here are the articles I referenced:
Noxzema Ingredients
By Robin Wasserman On Live Strong.Com.

Ingredients in Oil of Olay
By Nancy Clarke on Live Strong.Com

 Web MD


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