25 Feb 2015

Skincare: Getting Back to Basics

Diane Keaton, Skincare, Back to Basics, Vicki Archer

“I want to tell women: Don’t give up on yourself. So you make a mistake here and there, you do too much or you do too little. Just have fun, smile, and keep putting on lipstick.” Diane Keaton

I’d also like to add, keep cleansing.

Getting back to basics with skincare should start with cleansing.

Cleansing, the easiest and most simple of skincare routines is often the one that we forget or that we take for granted.

It’s too late or I’m too tired is easy to say. I’ll be more thorough in the morning, yet another reason to avoid the five minutes it takes before bed to cleanse and nourish the skin.

Cleansing, as a routine is one that I have grown accustomed to and one that I try and be vigilant with. Some evenings, the thought of the cleansing process is all too much; I want to curl up in bed and forget all about skincare and routines. Waking up in the morning full of regret, not to mention sad mascara dripping eyes, is the flipside to my laziness.

Why Cleanse?

Removing the day’s pollution and grime allows the skin to breathe and rejevenate. Cleansing not only avoids dull and clogged skin but also removes dead surface skin cells, stimulates circulation and prepares the skin for nourishment.

How To Cleanse

Never over cleanse, especially if skin is dry or dehydrated. Twice a day is sufficient.

After removing eye make up lather up the cleanser with a small amount of water and massage over the face and neck in small circular movements. This is the time when the Clarisonic brush is very beneficial.

Rinse the skin clean of any product residue.

Follow cleansing with a toning routine.

I use a particular cleanser from Darphin. A French brand that was recommended to me by my local pharmacist many years back and I am still to find another cleanser that I prefer. This cleanser is gentle, soothing and combats any redness that may occur. Using this cleanser has become a ritual that I have come to enjoy and I always feel that my skin is well prepared for the products that are to follow.

The basics of skincare can escape us; it is easy to sideline the importance of small steps in a long term programme. We become seduced by the “new kids” on the block and forget that without the essentials, the daily care, the more advanced treatments cannot begin to be effective.

Before anything, cleansing is everything…xv

Darphin Intral Cleansing Milk

nieman marcus  //  amazon  //  the clarisonic




how are you finding the serums ?

i am really starting to feel and see the benefits of the vitamin c serum.

my skin has been a little irritated and dry during the initial few applications but i am persevering and now suddenly i can notice a difference; the skin is smoother, brighter and more receptive to the hydration creams.


image of diane keaton, google

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Hello Vicki – Have been subscribing to your blog for ages now. I agree entirely with your views on cleansing. I grew up with a case of mild acne which made me especially vigilant about skincare. However, when at 30 + years of age I still had the odd spot I decided to take a more organised approach to skincare. I discovered Erno Lazlo and his regimen of 30 splashes of hot water every morning and every evening. Now at 60+ years of age I am still splashing and am still using the Lazlo soap which I have changed over the years to be age-appropriate. At this stage I am finding the oil to be essential and more and more effective in keeping the skin soft and therefore softening lines. People do remark on the good state of my skin and are surprised when in rare cases I let on my exact age. Now living in Paris, for the rest of my beautycare, I have turned over to French pharmacies, but will stick to Lazlo’s cleansing rituals for ever. Hope this helps those who are undecided in what is best for them.
Enjoy the rest of your week,


The splashing sounds like a very good way to stimulate the circulation, Swan.. I always try and rinse with cool water, especuially in summer but I am not sure I have ever made 30 splashes… back to the basin for me… :)

The reason I love my cleanser so much is that whatever skintype you are it is so very gentle… non cloying and not too strong in scent… that makes a difference to me as I don’t like highly fragrant products.. If ever you wnat a change try this one, I think you will like it.

La Contessa

Now, you have added arithmetic to my morning commenting!I tried to spell out eight!!!
I did EXCATLY what you said last night!Too tired to cleanse.I always regret it too…….it’s AMAZING the dirt that comes off one’s face even after cleansing.I have found myself NOT putting the windows down in the car much anymore because of the dirt flying about!I do use that Vitamin C too and see a difference.GORGEOUS YOU thanks for sharing!XX


Sorry about the maths!! SO much spam coming in that my server shut the site down, so sadly no choice..

Cathy C

Hi Vicki, I know too well the idea of just wanting to climb in bed at the end of the day and not wanting to bother with washing the day off. But every time I contemplate it, I can hear the voice of the most lovely esthetician I had twenty years ago, who was well over 50, tell me “Everday: wear sunscreen, drink lots of water and wash your makeup off every night. If you do this and nothing else, your skin will thank you”. I have been good but not perfect (living in So Cal, I like my sunny days), so now serums, my Clarsonic with sensative brush (makes a difference) and occasional facials have had to be added to the repertoire. I hope your daughters listen to all your wonderful advice so that when they are our age, they will have an easier time of it!


When do daughters ever listen to their mothers… ;)
I tell mine all the time, especially about the sun but like all young women they think they are invincible… :)


For cleansing, I love Tatcha’s Pure Camellia Cleansing oil, it’s both gentle and thorough without irritating and leaving an oily residue. It’s helped my late 40s skin through it’s transition of dry patches and irritation beautifully. I also use it to give myself a once a week facial massage or as a treatment moisturizer under warm face cloths.
I also love Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Cleansing powder. It’s gently brightened and exfoliated my skin without irritation or peeling.

lisa thomson-the great escape

Hi Vicki, Love this reminder. Love Diane Keaton, too. I find I can’t cleanse everyday in winter. It’s too drying. In summer though, I cleanse twice/day. I love a toner before moisturizing. I currently use Vichy cleanser and toner. I also love an unscented moisturizer.


I absolutely love my Clarisonic – I have been using it religiously for over 2 years now – my husband even mentioned the other day how good my skin looks – If this one ever dies on me – I will quickly get another. I was going for monthly facials for several years, and although I just love the facial experience, it wasn’t seeming much of a difference. On the other hand, the Clarisonic shows immediate results – exfoliates and cleanses – eliminates the need for a ton of products as well. I do use a serum, 2 kinds of moisturizer (one for winter and one for summer), both with SPF. Also, 2 times a week I use Phytomer Peeling Vegetal (love it), and occasionally a retinol product when I feel I need that bit of extra help. I am 64 and I saw an old friend that lives out of town recently, and she said I still have that porcelain skin. It’s all about exfoliation and moisture. Love your posts, Vicki, and love reading what the other ladies do to take care of themselves. Vicki, how about some insight on what a typical day’s menu would be for French ladies?


So, I ordered the CE Ferulic. It comes so highly recommended from so many different sources – I’m sure it works and it effective. But, how do you ladies who use it get over the smell?


The smell fades once it is applied… and I guess I have become used to it… :) The iS Clinicals C Serum has no smell by the way…

Gigi Thibodeau

I try really hard to never skip my nightly cleansing routine. Now that I am showering at night, I can combine the two rituals, and while I’m at it, I do a face massage several times a week. I’m a huge fan of makeup artist Lisa Eldridge, and she gives wonderful video instructions on how to massage your face and neck. I usually use Origins Clean Energy cleansing oil to do the massage, and I’m finding it makes a tremendous difference in that it stimulates blood flow without damaging my very sensitive skin. I have mild rosacea, and so many treatments and products make it worse. The massage is so gentle yet effective. I’m intrigued by the Darphin cleanser. Is it gentle?


I’m afraid I am one of those that quite often just crawls into bed. I have been trying to be more diligent about cleansing before bed. I also started to put a mask on in the mornings while I ride my bike. I always thought I don’t have time for tha,t but why not multi task. I then hop into the shower and wash it off. My face feels cleaner and softer. I also started to apply a serum before my cream in the mornings. See your advice is motivating me to take better care of my skin. I’m 62 but better a late start is better than not at all.


I ordered the C serum from NuFace — and the next morning my skin looked incredible after only one application. I do use the little NuFAce gadget thingamajig for firming every day. I have never slept in makeup, and now at my advanced age, I couldn’t sleep in makeup if my life depended on it. No one ever believes that I am my age, so I guess that is a testament that keeping your face clean works — that and staying out of the sun. My dermatologist, who is a fabulous looking woman, always calls in her staff, and says, “This skin has never seen the sun!” That is not strictly true, but sort of it. I did learn from my mistakes.

Anita Rivera

IT WORKED! OK! Now, first of all, I loved your previous post on Kate Moss’s closet! And the quote by Diane Keaton? That’s my motto. Keep smiling and put on some lipstick. Literally, that is my tactic on those days when I either don’t feel prepared for class or I’m just not sure of myself. And cleansing? Of the utmost importance, with the right products. When we feel good about ourselves, we feel we can just about do anything.

Dearest Vicki, have a splendid day! Anita


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