Hi, I’m Mary, and this is my column no one asked for about things I like!
When trying to decide what to write about this week, I could think of only one thing: I’m hot. In every way JK LOL. For the past few weeks, it’s been hovering around 90 and so humid the air is technically a liquid, and though I’ve lived in New York long enough to be well-acquainted with this type of misery, by this time every August I’m always sick of it.
Like sleeping, eating and putting on pants, skincare is a challenge in this weather. Every time I apply something to my face, I sweat it off immediately but I still put on my usual lotions and potions, even if they run straight onto the collar of my shirt. When it’s this hot, less is more, which is why I’d say the most important part of my skincare routine not only in the heat, but year-round, is the Amara Organics Vitamin C Serum I apply every morning, and by morning I mean around noon when I get home from the gym and finally shower. What does it do? Who knows, but I like it!
I actually do know what it does, or at least what it’s supposed to do. It’s moisturizing, thanks to the Hyaluronic Acid in it, but unlike a straight Hyaluronic Acid serum it’s very light. Vitamin C supposedly evens skin tone, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and makes your sunscreen work better. I think it makes my skin softer but as is the case with most skincare, I have no idea if it actually does much else, but I’ve been using it for years and it certainly hasn’t made my skin worse. My skin has gotten worse, but not because of any product I use — just because of the cruel passage of time.
What I like about the Amara Organics serum in particular is that it’s affordable, which is important to me because I’m broke but still feel entitled to use luxury beauty products. A $19.95 bottle will probably last you at least six months. It’s also 99% organic, which is exciting because I’m all about all-natural skincare. I’ve tried other vitamin C products, particularly Deciem’s, which I only use in the winter and even then only on occasion because it’s pretty greasy.
When it comes to skincare — or anything health or beauty-related — I’m extremely gullible. If someone told me the best way to get vitamin C into your skin was to bathe in orange juice, I’d do it in a heartbeat and happily live my life as a sugar-coated ant magnet. I do, however, believe there’s something to the placebo effect. Maybe just believing vitamin C serum makes my skin better actually makes it better? It certainly can’t hurt.
Vitamin C may be nothing more than a useless skincare fad, or it may be a legitimate scientific breakthrough (am I allowed to call a wrinkle reducer a scientific breakthrough?). I often think of the first time my mother told me scientists thought bread could make you gain weight. It was at the tail end of the fat-free 90s, when everyone thought butter was the root of all evil and pasta was a health food. My mom and those scientists turned out to be right, so maybe vitamin C serum is the low-carb diet of skincare? (In case it isn’t extremely obvious, I should probably add that I know nothing about science!)
We live in a world full of uncertainties, so it’s important to have faith, to believe that five daily drops of a $20 organic serum will improve your skin, that this miserable heat will soon give way to cool fall breezes, that a bad summer will lead to a better fall. If I can’t believe in the healing powers of vitamin C serum, how am I supposed to believe in anything? JK! Kind of. Haha I’m struggling!
It has been a long, hot, miserable summer — for me at least. Any routine, even one as silly as skincare, has been a welcome distraction, so I will continue to apply my vitamin C serum, even if it melts right off along with the rest of my face. This is the time of year when I usually try to spend as much time as possible at my parents’ house, nestled high in the hills of Western Massachusetts where it cools down at night, but since I don’t exactly feel welcome there right now, I’m stuck here sweating it out in my un-air conditioned apartment. I keep reminding myself that even though it doesn’t feel like it, summer is almost over. Fall is just around the corner and with it will come cool air and the feeling that a new school year is about to begin, the promise of a fresh start.
As always, I’d like to clarify that this is NOT a sponsored post. I received nothing for it and am pretty sure no one cares about which serums I use. Still, if anyone is reading and ever wants to give me literally anything for free, vitamin C serum or not, I WILL TAKE IT!!!!!!
Anyway, I hope this was helpful. I’ll be back with more unsolicited recommendations soon!