This is a little different than my usual post but I do believe the way we feel about our appearance does matter. We should all be proud of who we are and embrace our imperfections. At the same time, putting a little effort into our appearance with makeup, skin care, clothing and personal style is so much fun and a big part of who we are.
If you can embrace your aging or hyperpigmented skin that’s great! Seriously, the world needs more people like you! But I’m not there yet. I’d still like a little help.
My skin care is part of my self-care. If you’re like me, read on!
Once I started understanding ingredients, I was surprised to know that there are SO many products out there that claim to make you look younger yet have very little effective ingredients in them and/or are way overpriced.
Ladies and Gents, I am a nurse who used to work for a dermatologist and a plastic surgeon. When I first started, I could not WAIT to find out which products I needed to keep my skin looking good. At the time, I had adult acne and was very self-consciousness about it. I felt even MORE self conscious working for a dermatologist. I just KNEW all of our patients were looking closely at my skin. Luckily for me, he put me on two products that completely cleared my skin.
I’m here to tell you the ONE product you need is a retinoid. It comes under several brand names. The most popular being Differin (adapalene) and Retin-A (tretinoin). Don’t get it confused with retinol which is less effective. Link to a source for you.
Tretinoin is available through a prescription and more expensive but is the gold standard. I personally use adapalene because it is available OTC and also works very well. (You can buy Differin gel which is adapalene at Walmart or Target). It’s a lot cheaper too. This is one of the meds the dermatologist I worked for put me on that I’m still on. (The other was Klaron which is a topical antibiotic but I don’t need it anymore). Adapalene is the second choice of dermatologists after tretinoin.
A retinoid is a Vitamin A derivitive which is indicated to treat acne. If you don’t have acne you still need it! It works by sloughing off (exfoliating) the top, older layers of skin and exposing the plump fresh, newer, baby skin cells. If used regularly it evens skin tone and reduces wrinkles.
It’s not meant to be used as a spot treatment. It needs to be used as part of your skin care routine because the effects happen over time.
Be sure to read the instructions thoroughly. Don’t use if pregnant! Also, less is more. You only need a pea sized amount for your entire face. Your face must be clean but completely dry before applying it. You should know that in the beginning you’ll have to build up to using it daily. Because it’s an exfoliater, you may see dry patches, some redness and slight irritation at first. If you have acne, it may worsen temporarily because it’s bringing all the pimples from the deeper layers of your skin forward. Do not fret! That means it’s working.
It’s not recommended to use other exfoliaters, whether mechanical like a loofah or chemical like salicylic acid or alpha or beta hydroxy, when starting a retinoid. I wouldn’t even use benzoyl peroxide or anything else to spot treat. It will only make the irritation worse and take longer for your skin to get used to. It’s best to use a mild facial soap also. Look closely at ingredients to make sure you’re not doubling up on exfoliating ingredients.
That beginning period is annoying but so worth it. You may want to start with a once a week application and build up from there to lessen the dry skin side effects (again that only happens temporarily until your skin gets used to it). You’ll need lots of moisturizing in between uses. You’ll want to avoid the sun and use adequate sunscreen because you’re more likely to burn. Just read the packet and this in full to get all the info you need.
Why I love Differin (adapalene)
Differin is less than $20 and truly replaces a lot of expensive lotions and potions. If you stick with it, you WILL see results. I stopped using it for a while and recently started back up because I noticed more fine lines and brown spots. The spots did go away. If you have large or very dark spots it may take a long time to lighten. I love it because it keeps my skin looking really even and smooth. People think I am younger than I am which I attribute to this one product. I don’t use any other exfoliaters or topical anti-aging treatments and have never had any laser treatments, fillers or other dermatological procedures. I’m not against them but just haven’t felt the need/been able justify the cost yet. I’ve even had more than one person say my skin was “doll like” because of the even coloring.
The fact that it evens skintone is huge. Those little brown spots are a sure way to give away your age. It isn’t indicated for this, but I also use it on the top of my hands to keep those spots away too. It is working.
Whether you’re in your twenties, thirties, forties or beyond, it’s never to early or late to start. Obviously, the sooner the better. My husband is 51 and just started using it.
I don’t know if Differin gel is news to you or not but thought I’d put it out there for anyone who doesn’t yet know. For some reason, there are a lot of people who are still spending A LOT of money on other products. I’m assuming because of good advertising, luxurious bottles and name brands. I promise you, they aren’t necessary.
Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in my skin care routine. It doesn’t consist of a lot and is definitely affordable. I’m all about getting the most for my money and don’t care about packaging. This is not sponsored, by the way, even though it sounds like it. I just love Differin and want to share the information. I hate to think that people are being pulled by a savvy advertisement or pretty bottle when I know they won’t get the results they are hoping for while spending a lot of money.
Please let me know of you like information like this. Give it a like if it’s helpful! It really helps me to improve my content and give you something relevant.
Thank you for reading. I really appreciate it. May you be happy and well.
PS I am 51 years old in the photo above for your reference. When I squint, my wrinkles show quite a lot under my eyes which is why I don’t smile with a huge smile in photographs. That’s another tip for you ladies and gents who want your wrinkles to be less noticeable in photos. Keep your eyes and face soft and slightly smile.
Here are two more high res pics of myself that aren’t retouched. These can be zoomed in so you can see my wrinkles. The pics aren’t the most flattering but do show my face well.