The expensive hobbies I've acquired in the quest for youthful skin

What’s the difference between baby skin and old-lady skin? One is plump and full, soft and supple; the other leathery, thin, loose and dry.

We cannot control the natural aging process. With time, we all get visible lines on our face. We lose some of that youthful fullness. Our genes largely direct when these changes occur. The medical term for this is intrinsic aging.

But that’s not to say we’re completely helpless to the powers that be. Our environment and lifestyle choices can cause our skin to age prematurely. By taking some preventive actions, we can slow the noticeable effects another trip around the sun has on our skin.

Ways to reduce premature aging

  • Protect skin from the sun every day

  • If you smoke, stop (duh)

  • Eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA)

  • Drink less alcohol (hard pass)

  • Engage in moderate exercise most days of the week to improve circulation

  • Sleep properly, 7-9 hours nightly

I want baby soft skin like the actual babies I work with. I’m not terribly concerned with the deep laugh lines that develop from a life well lived (so you won’t see botox or fillers on this list), just aiming for glowing radiant skin here.


Collagen is the main structural protein found in our skin, hair, nails, bones, and joints, serving different functions in different places. In the skin it gives volume and thickness. As we age, the cells that make collagen, called fibroblasts, either disappear or become less active.

I started supplementing with Vital Proteins Marine Collagen for muscle recovery (which you can read about here) but have noticed great benefits body-wide.

A daily dose is six capsules so quite a bit of water is required to get them all down. My husband is convinced it’s the water, not the collagen, but my skin is soft and glowing when I wake up now so whatever. Agree to disagree.

Side gripe, this stuff (in capsule form) is suddenly very hard to find and I keep having to go deeper into the dark web to find a supplier.

Cost: $288/year

Jade rolling

If you follow any beauty influencers you’ve seen they all seemed to discover the jade roller at the same time. And it changed all their lives. Forever.

But what do jade rollers actually do for your skin?

Stone face rollers are advertised as an effective tool for achieving clear skin that’s not puffy. And advocates say that rolling the stones across the skin can drain excess fluids from the face, stimulate collagen production, help skincare products better absorb into the skin, and even combat wrinkles.

So yeah, I had to try it.

I would say this is a relaxing ritual but that’s it. In fairness I dropped my jade roller on the ground rendering it unsafe to use within the first week of purchase. Highly possible I would have seen better results with prolonged use. I just wanted my dark under eye circles to go away, is that too much to ask?

Cost: $20-$60, hopefully one time

Balancing facial oil

If you’re not using a facial oil, you ought to be. Our bodies naturally produce oil but that declines significantly as we age (noticing a theme?). Then those natural oils get washed off or toned away. The skin needs oil to maintain a healthy balance, otherwise, it gets too dry which can cause breakouts, fine lines, and wrinkles. Using a facial oil helps keep moisture in the skin while protecting it from the environmental damage of every day life (wind, cold, stress, travel).

So yes even you, especially you, but I can’t use oil because my skin is too oily and sensitive and blemish prone should be using a facial oil.

Currently I’m loving African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil. Shit is expensive but has me really happy with the results. This particular oil is very sheer and absorbs quickly to plump, brighten and hydrate. Marula oil has anti-bacterial properties that quickly penetrate skin and neroli improves skin’s flexibility, soothing and detoxifying even the most stressed complexions.

Cleanse. Oil. Moisturize. Then makeup if you want. I drip the oil directly from the bottle’s dropper to my face (instead of my hands first) and massage gently or vigorously, depending on how late I am running that particular day.

In the past I’ve also used and loved Intelligent Nutrients Renewing Oil Serum. This wasn’t available when I needed a refill so I bravely tried something new.

Oils come in all price points so I recommend visiting a real brick and mortar store that allows you to sample everything. I like Credo.

Cost: $120/year


When I was struggling with breakouts I thought facials were my answer. Spoiler alert: they were not, but it’s a relaxing ritual that I couldn’t let go. Assuming your youthful complexion is just hiding beneath a layer of deadbeat skin cells, a facial can reveal baby soft skin.

Running out of my go-to Aveda products and easily influenced, I had to try the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial. It lives up to the hype. The first use I thought, “this burns and is not for me”. But those feelings subsided after a few minutes and the result was clear, even, glowing skin.

Using the code WELCOME15 The Big Reveal Kit is less than the mask by itself and still qualifies for free shipping so go ahead and upgrade yourself to the whole four-step experience.

Cost: $160/year

Luxurious rich moisturizer

Nighttime, wintertime, windytime, any time my face needs nourishing, comforting hydration I treat it to the Priming Moisturizer Rich from Glossier. This dense cream is non-greasy and melts perfectly into the skin reinforcing the skin barrier and locking in moisture for a smooth, dewy canvas. I use it daily.

Cost: $105/year

Avocado toast

You are what you eat and avocado is a skin superstar. In addition to healthy skin-repairing fatty acids, avocados contain chlorophyll to reduce inflammation, water to hydrate, Vitamin E to promote softness and prevent wrinkles.

cost: I forgot, it’s a lot.

Facial yoga

Is it a little goofy? No. It’s big time goofy. But this lady has flawless skin.

Cost:your dignity free

Christine HicksComment