Thursday, December 4, 2014

my skin care journey (part 3)

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?

Monday, December 1, 2014

weekend shopping

I went a little crazy with some shopping this weekend.  Am I the only one?

Mike has been out of town for week but he splurged with online shopping too so I wasn't the only one.  
Here's what I bought online and my justification, because it always feels better when you have justification ~> :)

  • 4 swimsuits - Mike and I are going on a 14 day warm weather cruise in the near future and I have been eyeing a few suits on at Victoria's Secret.  Ok - 4 swimsuits is probably unnecessary but I wanted choices so I could return as necessary. (bonus: free shipping & a free tote bag w/ my purchase)
  • iPod nano - Mike and I got new phones recently and it's too big to wear on my arm when working out now so I decided to purchase an iPod nano.  #firstworldproblems :) (bonus: $25 iTunes gift card with purchase)
  • 3 Firedaughter Clothing shirts - Ok, so I have no justification other than I love  LOVE Firedaughter Clothing and it was on sale.  The sales sucked me in this year.  Since I live in comfy clothes or workout clothes, her tops add a little extra "style."
  • A gift - can't tell you what it is but it was for someone special. (bonus: it was $15 off)
  • A gift - can't tell you, but again, it's for someone special. (bonus: it was $20 off & free shipping)
Ok - that doesn't seem to bad, right?  Well...then I ventured away from the computer and visited TJ Maxx, Target, & Kohl's yesterday.  I did it more out of boredom because Mike is out of town and I was sick of crocheting but I found things I couldn't live without. (obviously untrue but I like to dramatize stories)

  • TJ Maxx - bought two shirts...well, just because.  I love the sale sections of TJ Maxx.  A few weeks ago, I bought a summer dress in clearance for $5.  It will also be going on the cruise with me.  I swear that NOW is the time to buy summer stuff.
  • Target - I spent a lot of time at Target and I ended up with the movie White Christmas.  I need to invest in some more Christmas movies...let's see Grinch(the Jim Carey version), Elf, The Holiday, The Christmas Story, The Santa Clause, & the cartoon classics(Rudolph, Frosty, & Grinch Stole Christmas) are all on my list.
  • Kohl's - This is another place that usually has some good clearance and sales takes time to dig through everything but I can usually find some good deals.  This time I found another summer dress for $6.80(regular price was $68<~that's 90% off folks).  They also had 40% off of toys so I got a few toys for some little kids I want to buy for.
Gotta love the hubs - after describing everything I purchased and the "deals" I got, he said "That's cool!"  Thank you for your support lover.

Am I the only one that succumbed to the deals and steals of the shopping weekend?  What'd you get?  Are you an online shopper or an in person shopper?