If you want to read part 1 and part 2 of my skin care journey, click here and here.
I shared my history and my current skin care routine so now I'd like to share my experiencing going to the skin care clinic and my first impressions of Retin A.
Although I had just started using some new skin care(2 days before my appointment), my ultimate goal was to get recommendations on skin care products and discuss the possibility of Retin A. I have a few co-workers that use Retin A and swear by it. When I arrived, I started filling out my paperwork and I had to sign a bunch of different papers about the effects of filler injections. I only tell you this because I thought it was kind of funny because I don't have any intention of using fillers. :)
They call me back, we chat about my concerns, and discuss what products I've been using. She then used a skin scanner(similar to this) to analyze my skin. We reviewed and discussed my pictures, then discussed recommendations. Wow - these pictures are eye opening. It analyzes and grades your skin against others in your age group. She recommended I try a small dosage of Retin A and she also recommended the Clear & Brilliant laser treatment.
I purchased the Retin A and then wanted to do a little research on the laser treatment first. Not to mention, the laser treatment is not "cheap"(by my standards anyway) so I definitely was not going to make a decision to schedule an appointment right then.
My first impressions of Retin A:
Oddly enough, my skin was actually pretty clear when I went to the skin care clinic. I didn't have any blemishes. I read about different experiences with Retin A and started it the next evening. Everyone is different so you have to follow your doctors recommendations but I started with a .025% formula and it is put on in the evening. I wash my face & tone it, wait 20-30 minutes then apply Retin A(avoiding areas close to the eyes, corners of nose and mouth), then wait another 15 minutes and apply moisturizer. In the morning, I wash my face, tone it, then apply my moisturizer with SPF...SPF is crucial when using Retin A(products I currently use can be found here). I'm grateful I work from home because I don't have to apply makeup everyday. In the first week, my face was peeling and itchy feeling. I didn't have a breakout(which I had read happens to people sometimes in the first few days...your skin gets worse before it gets better) so I am grateful for that. I did realize early on the importance of moisturizing. By the end of week 2, my skin pretty much normalized except for a few flaky spots. I find I have to dab a little moisturizer on after applying foundation to lessen the flakiness. I probably would have increased my usage to every night except I had to stop the Retin A to prepare for the laser treatment.
So what about that Clear & Brilliant laser treatment?
I ended up deciding to go for it. I went to the web(where all reliable info is kept :)), learned about the procedure, read a few testimonials(preferably unbiased testimonials), and I decided to try it. Pain associated with the treatment was a concern for me because I basically have no tolerance for pain. Supposedly there is little pain but I'll let you know if I agreed in the next post. The thing that probably tipped me over the edge was that my skin care clinic was having a sale on single laser treatments in November. If you decided you wanted to buy a package, you could apply what you paid for the single treatment toward the total cost of the package.
In part 4, I'll describe my Clear & Brilliant laser treatment experience and any new impressions of Retin A.
Lesson of skin care journey part 3: No major lesson this time other than don't forget to wear SPF and drink lots of water to hydrate your skin. :)
Just checking in: Are you protecting your skin from the sun? Do you sense a theme here?