Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What's Working for Me Now: TRETINOIN

During my last visit to the dermatologist I was asked, "have you considered using a retinoid product?"  My reaction was something like Scooby-Do. . . "Ruh-roh?"  It hit home with me immediately.  I knew from all my research that I was a prime candidate for using Retin-A or some kind of product that contained this powerful ingredient.  Not from an acneic sense, but from an anti-aging ("anti-wrinkle") perspective.  Retinoids are products that contain concentrated versions of vitamin A which help promote skin rejuvenation and cellular turnover.   I jumped on it, and I must say that in only 2 weeks of using it, I'm seeing results already.  

Let me be clear. . . my fine lines are still there, but I am witnessing a rejuvenation around my cheeks and jawline, and I'm waiting with baited breath to see some difference around my eyes.  I'm having a significant amount of peeling, which is very common and one of the first side effects of using this product.  By the way, Tretinoin is the generic version of "Retin-A".  I'm using the highest concentration at 0.1%, which is pretty heavy duty.   

I'm using this topical cream every third day.  Here's my routine:

Each morning, I wash my face with a vitamin C cleanser.  I lightly exfoliate and moisturize with an SPF 20 cream; then I apply makeup.  The SPF is vital because the vitamin A makes you very susceptible to sun damage as you are using it therapeutically.  If it were spring or summer, I'd use a 30+ SPF.

Each evening, I remove makeup with creamy makeup remover, then wash my face again with the vitamin C (foamy) cleanser.  Using a washcloth helps remove all traces of the makeup, and acts as an exfoliator without having to use an abrasive product again that day.  Every third evening, I squeeze about a half-inch of the cream from the tube, tap it between my fingers, and apply all over my face.  I pay special attention to areas where there are sun spots (my cheeks and top of nose), as well as those fine lines around my eyes (careful not to go too close).  The doctor said to be sure to use continual round rubbing motions, even when the product is absorbed; the longer you massage, the deeper it penetrates.  

On the nights I use the Tretinoin, I do not use any moisturizer.  My wonderful esthetician told me that using moisturizer on those nights could break down the concentration of the medication, which just makes sense to me.  However, as a person with dry skin, I'm heavily moisturizing on the nights I don't use it.

I'll keep you posted; my peeliness is making me believe that changes are a'happnin :)  

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