Did you say desert? As in dry?

This is day 6 of my Retin A fiasco. The fun is just starting. Fun, would not be the word that I would describe this as.  IMG_5905

Friday, I got home from my Doctors appointment, picked up my prescription and excitedly read the directions.  Using a pea size amount apply topically to skin.  That was all.  Easy enough, right?  I punctured the tin foil top of the tube and it blew out at me, like someone had been squeezing it for days.  Ah well.  Its just a little bit more than I would like, its not like I can push it back into the tube, whats a little extra.  I slathered it all on top of my freshly cleaned face.  I had been doing some research and what I had learned is that I was not supposed to apply this on damp skin.  That I knew, right? So I started with my cheeks, on my chin, nose and forehead.  My skin was opalescent
white.  Pretty sure that is not what I was supposed to do.  But, it is what it is.  After about 15 minutes, my face felt like every drop of moisture had been sucked out of it.  It was tight, annoyingly taught.  It was pretty uncomfortable but was worth the displeasure if it was to make my skin look 10 years younger.

Then began my research.  I watched every youtube video, read every dictionary article and doctor’s recommendations.  What I learned was this and more.

  1. Do not under any circumstance put this product on top of wet or damp skin.  The effects will increase 10 fold and you want to start using this product slowly, gradually introducing it to your skin.  Like a welcoming handshake.
  2. Only, and I mean only, use a smaller then a pea sized amount.  This stuff works amazingly better, with the tiniest amount.
  3. Start applying it on the outside of your face, working in.  That way, the Retin A will decrease in strength and will be more gentle on your delicate skin.
  4.  Stay away from the areas around your nose and mouth.  Just for the time being, again, getting your skin used to the product slowly is better.
  5. Start with a lower level of strength.  Don’t go to the maximum strength immediately.  Your skin will not like this, AT ALL.  I started, thankfully with the 0.05.
  6. You can put a mild moisturizer on your face but wait, for at least 30 minutes.  Make sure it doesn’t have any acidic bases, like AHA’s of BHA’s.  Keep it mild, you do not want to add anything dehydrating or exfoliating on top of your Retin A.
  7. Don’t do this everyday, I cannot emphasize with more.  Slowly introduce this product, you’ll thank me later.
  8.  It can possibly take up to a year to see results. Really?

I am sure there are more tips that I can share with you, but this is my learning process as well.  And I really had my education within the first 3 days.  My skin felt horrible, dried out, tight, more lines than ever before.  I phoned my girlfriend who had been using it for years and she reassured me “look, it gets better, my skin feels great”. I backed off, didn’t want it anywhere my skin for the next 2 days. I slathered moisturizer, oils and creams on my face, trying to get it back in shape.  Next time I used it, I did put the pea sized amount on my face.  Getting to near the folds of my nose, it burned almost immediately and turned red.  Note to self, don’t put near nose.  And went all across my face with what was left.  Day 5.  Peel city. I woke up, splashed water on my face, applied a moisturizing toner, a serum and a lot of sunscreen.  Working outside is wonderful but it has some downsides.  I apply this like cake icing.  SPF 50 all the way.  Worked all day. Was driving home and happened to look in the rear view mirror and I looked like someone had thrown that icing on my face and let it dry in the sun for days.  There was skin flaking everywhere.  And I talked to people like this? Are you kidding me, why did no one tell me?! Came home immediately and washed my face with a gentle cleanser and exfoliated the hell out of it. I felt instantly refreshed.

And now I write, while sitting in my sunroom thinking, what did I get myself into.  My wedding is in less than 2 months.  I look like a desert lizard in yoga pants.  Is this worth it. Should I quit now?  Stay tuned, looks like we’re in it for the long haul.

Sephora Sunshine

Just a little review on what I picked up at Sephora this month. I have been using all of these items daily. And as far as I am concerned, they are all long lasting. I work outside and with a little setting spray, usually leaves me looking sunkissed all day but without actually letting the sun rays do any damage. 

I wear a sunscreen every day. Usually an Spf of 50 + and a baseball hat. On a hot day, I hate wearing the hat as my head sweats so much. I have long hair and I tie it away from my face in a bun. It’s all worth the sweaty, itchy feeling I get when I’m sheilded from the damaging rays. 

The Sephora perfection mist airbrush blush in ‘such a peach’ is a really nice shade. This is my second time I’ve purchased this. I would say that spraying it directly on my face was not the best way to apply. Even though this is what the spray is meant for, the mist is just too saturated and there really is no way to tell exactly where it is going to go on your face. Plus it dried really fast and if you don’t blend it, it looks ridiculous. Just a big circle of color.  I spray it on a brush and before it dries, I apply it to the apple of my cheeks or anywhere else I need a hint of color. Works just fine that way and the color lasts all day.

The Sephora I ♥ cushion bronzer in light/medium is the perfect color for me.  Its a great bronzer, just the right amount of pigment to give me a nice natural glow. It’s not orange or too red. I use it to sculpt my cheekbones and my jawline as well. I love this stuff as I am not too keen in powders anymore. 

The Sephora Radiant Luminizing drops in Morning Light is absolutely gorgeous. It is a nice liquid, not too thick that comes out of a dropper. So you just use the amount you need. It had a gold undertone and there is no big flakes of glitter. Just a fine hue of, literally liquid sunshine. I highlight my cheeks and bridge of my nose with it. It stays put and gives me a beautiful glow that doesn’t normally last when it is in a powder form.

 I highly recommend these three products if you would like an all day sunshine glow without sitting in the sun. Please remember to wear sunscreen. Everyday. It’s a must. Please use it. 

Retin-A 0.05

Well, after some consideration and watching all of the hype on the internet, television and books, I have decided it was time to try something new.  I’m not talking about some Korean snail cream (done that) or Bee Venom serum (done that too). Its not like my skin is that bad that I didn’t like what I was seeing with all of the lotions and potions, but I wasn’t getting rid of the sunspots and fine lines.  I was super moisturized wp-image-1434779766jpg.jpgand dewy looking, that is for sure but what I wanted was to actually look younger, sleeker.  I went to my doctor yesterday and inquired about retinoids.  I had never requested this and being that he is one thorough doc, he pulled out this enormous Harry Potter style medical book and we went through it together.  He listed off what it was used for, the ingredients that made everything work, the downfalls, the advantages and the hazards.  He decided that we should start slow and work our way up to the top.  I agreed whole heartedly as I have had some disastrous results from going all in, immediately with other products.  I am going to do my research as I venture into this process of Vitamin A topical creams.

I took these pictures this morning as the best results are always captured in pictures.  I won’t be able to really tell and I am the kind of person that if I don’t see something, anything in a short while.  I might just tuck it into the vast cupboard of dinosaur products.

I pocked the tube with the cap and it pretty much exploded out of the tube.  It was a pearlescent white cream product and appeared to dry really quickly.  My doctor had wp-image-1920510516jpg.jpgsuggested using a pea size amount but what I had in my hand, without my own doing, was about a nickle size.  Waste not , want not.  I began the process on putting it on my problem zones.  Attack those freckles and lines around my eyes, saturate those smile lines and wait. I knew I had put too much on but it didn’t appear to be doing anything  hazardous. So this is good right?  wp-image-1387005536jpg.jpgMy face was a little on the tight side as I usually, at this point of the evening, at least do 4 of the steps of my Korean skincare routine.   But I had only done 2.  Washed my face, patted it dry, bone dry and applied the magic potion.  I think I will do alot of research on what I can and cannot do with this product. I am completely venturing into the unknown and would like to absolutely know what I can expect and be delwp-image-1757631848jpg.jpgusional about.  I know that this product does not work immediately, that it will take up to one year to see the results, that I will have to start slow and work my way up into looking 10 years younger.  I don’y know why I am starting this product now, well, I actually do.  My 50th birthday is right around the January corner and I don’t want to get there yet.

Stay tuned as I will update weekly as I am very interested in actually being able to piece together where it worked the best and what took the longest to achieve.  Let’s go Retinol.