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.

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