Retin-A: StoriesWrite a Review
Miracle Product for Those Who Think They Can't Use Retin-A
- Worth It
- Cost: $50
- Earthsavers Spa (or online)
I am 27 years old and was fighting that in between...
- 24 Jan 2012
I am 27 years old and was fighting that in between skin, you know still break out around menstral cycle and showing very early signs of aging, small lines around eyes and just overall dull appearance. I live in the HOT and HUMID South so battle with clogged, over-sized pores, blackheads, shiny, oily skin with dry patches. I suffered from pretty moderate to severe acne my whole life from early highschool through college. I have tried every product out there both OTC and RX. I developed a very tramatic obessive compulsive disorder related to my skin breakouts which caused me to obsess over the appearance of my skin and pick at it making it 100 times worse. Because of this, I have some acne scarring on the sides of my face. It has always been a hard thing for me to talk about because I am a very bubbly outgoing person and my skin was always a very sensitive, shameful subject to confront. I had been prescribed every kind of retin-a product, but never had good experiences with them. I could never get past the horrible side effects such as redness, peeling, burning, worse breaking out, dryness, tichtness - makes me cringe just thinking about it. Finally in college I became so distraught over the bad state of my skin, I was reccomended Accutane. Let me just tell you, for acne, this is a miracle drug!!! I know some people have really awful things to say about Accutane, and trust me, I had an awful experience on Accutane, I became pregnant and was required to have an early term abortion (by pill ingestion), because of the devestating birth defects Accutane causes. It was a tramatic experience, but despite that, my skin became perfectly clear and beautiful. I regained my confidence and felt I could live a normal life. I felt like I could just be ME! My face has stayed clear ever since!!! I get a few mild breakouts still mostly around my period, but now I face the aging issue. I am in sales and make my money by talking to people all day long, so my skin has always been and will always be very important to me. My derm reccomended a product called the Green Cream (level 3, 6, or 9 in strength; you can build up over time to a higher potency) I tried it way back right after I did the Accutane and remember really liking it. It was kind of expensive for a college student to keep up with so I stopped using it. I got married back in May 2011 and before the wedding I started worrying about how my skin was going to look on my wedding day. It was like everything I had been through to make my skin look prettier was built up over the years of struggling for this one moment this one most important day. I knew all eyes were going to be on me and I would have to take lots of pictures that I would have for the rest of my life. I panicked and my skin looked awful due to stress and a relapse of the OCD behaviors. Well, I stopped everything and went to a spa for a facial and some advice. I did a microdermabrasion facial (which temporarily helped get through the dullness) and was recommended Green Cream again. I started the GC immediately and have never looked back. I had been using glycolics before I started GC so I knew I could handle the level 9 immediately. I do not have particularly sensitive skin, but if you do I would suggest starting with level 3 then working up from there. Now do expect to experience mild dryness, peeling or sloughing off of skin especially around nose and lips. I use Aquaphor on my lips and sometimes around my nose before applying GC to protect these areas and to prevent sensitivity and chapping. Just apply the Aquaphor before GC. The GC is gel-like so it tends to deliver to the skin a little more gently than a cream. Also, it contains aloe vera with is very soothing and helps reduce the redness. One of the things that makes this product so amazing is its delivery system. The derm who created this miracle cream was very knowledgable on retin a and how it works to best maintain its integrity and strength (she's a local derm - very proud!) Anyway, the container of the product is completely sealed and oxygen proof in the way that it is dispensed from the container. NO LIGHT or AIR can get into the container which keeps the retin a pure and at full strength. If retin a is exposed to light or air it immediatley begins to break down and lose its potency and effectiveness. Needless to say, after about a month and half of using the GC, my skin for the wedding was absolutely flawless. The make up artist barely had to use any make up on me. You would never have known I had fought horrible acne and scarring my entire life. Recently, around Christmas I went with a few a gfs to get a retin a facial (also amazing but only if you have been using retin a regularly). At this time, I was using GC one night, then mixing in a moisturizer the next night and alternating like that (I use Cerave moisturizer - awesome!!! very mild, no scent, and absorbs flawlessly) I did this trying to avoid any peeling or over-drying (I also sometimes use Aquaphor to protect my lips or around my nostrils to prevent sensitivity and chapping -this works very well; just make sure you apply before the GC). The lady who gave me my facial told me that if I use GC every night instead of mixing the moisturizer I would not even have to use moisturizer ever - I found out that this is very true. Also, she said that retin a is the best thing for sround the eyes. Retin a travels on your skin so you can put right under your eye brow and it will seep down and you can put it about one inch under the eye and it will seep upwards. You do not have to apply close to the eye. She also let me know that the GC manufacturer had changed and there were rumors of a formula change (if anyone has details of this let me know...) - I haven't had any issues with it, but bc the GC lasts me so long I may have the old product still. She told me about a newer product develped by the same derm that created the GC. It is is called DermAware and is supposed to be a "better" version of the GC. It has skin-plumping peptides (though no aloe, but does have green tea). Anyway, I love it! I am currently alternating the GC and DermAware (Vital Retinol Gel Extra Strong) every other night and my skin is literally glowing. I virtually have no pores. No blackheads! And no breakouts even around my period. And if I do get the tiniest little bump it sloughs off in a day. My scarring is almost completely gone. I have spent a small fortune in the past on the best most expensive foundations out there in an effort to cover my skin problems (I even invested in an airbrush make up system, which I do love and does cover up skin blemishes and uneven tone very naturally), well, now I have no need for make up at all. I only wear a little Laura Mercier tinited moisturizer in Sand just to have a little more refined look for work and going out. Make up has become so much more fun now that I have a smooth, even canvas to work with. I now use make up to enhance my features and not cover up skin problems. I feel so free from the constraints of my skin issues. I used to never leave the house without make up and sometimes it would literally take me hours applying make up and performing skin rituals. Now I wash and go (okay well I am a make up kind of girl so maybe a little eyelash curl and mascara)!!!All the ladies at work ask me what my secret is to my flawless, healthly, radiant skin (I of course share with them). It is still so weird for me to not have to worry about my skin and to have all this positive attention on the one thing that caused me such insecurity and pain over all these years. I know it sounds so vain, but your skin and your face is the first thing people see. It is an outward reflection of you and having beautiful skin allows you to look people in the eye and confidently be who you truly are! I no londer have dry patches or get shiny halfway through the day. My skin is so regulated it is amazing. I do use St. Ives Green Tea scrub every other night or so sometimes in morning. I use baby wask to remove my eye make up (have not found anything that has worked so well and I am a product junkie) For all those people out there who are discouraged by retin a products due to past experiences or because of bad things you have heard, please give this a try. It is gentle yet so effective and truly works miracles. It has seriously changed my life forever! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments! NOTE: you will not find any bad skin photos of me bc I never was strong enough to take them - sorry! (and excuse spelling and gramatical errors as I was so enthusiastics when writing this)