Easy Does It– Retin A and Buff Puff

For the past week I have been happily combining Retin A and  a medium strength exfoliating sponge  and have been delighted with the results.  However I have to  add two notes of caution:

1) For the first four months I  used Retin A  I played it very safe with  Cetaphil, an ultra-mild cleanser and waited up to an hour between cleansing and  my nightly dollop of Retin A.   It worked beautifully, but in cold windy weather I   still got pretty red and raw.  I would never  use  an exfoliating cleanser when starting  a Retin A program. 

2) I just back from a trip  and found that the industrial strength air-conditioning  in the hotel  dried out my skin. Combined with the Buff Puff and my Retin A,  I  woke up to a face full of  dry, white  flakes.  The best way to deal with  this type of flaking is to apply a very rich  cream  for  30 minutes and then wash it off.  I was in a hotel and the sundry shop was not  yet open, so I decided to be a little creative.  I dashed into the coffee shop, scooped  up a couple of tiny takeout packets of mayonaise and  sprinted  back to my room.  I applied the mayo heavily, left it  on for 20 minutes ( I  was so  late already) and washed it off.  Et voila, no more face flakes.  True, I  probably smelled  like a chicken salad sandwich, but no  one seemed to notice. My point, and I do have one, is that  we need to be flexible when working with retinoids. Weather,  indoor heating, and air-conditioning  are just a few issues that can affect the way  your skin reacts to Retin A.  Retin A is the  foundation of great anti-aging skin care, but  you need to be aware of  issues that can pop up.

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