I often get the sense that my friends have an almost mystical faith in moisturizers. While they avoid taxis and stagger home from Costco with 10 pounds of rice, they have faith that a $300 moisturizer is the key to beautiful young skin. If only it was that easy.
First, a little back story. Water is essential for healthy skin. It promotes normal metabolism and keep skin cells organized and flexible. The mission of a moisturizer is to simply help the skin maintain a healthy water balance. The most basic water and oil formulas act like Saran Wrap to prevent evaporation of water from the skin. And the simplest moisturizers will do just that. But there are three affordable and effective ingredients which crank up water attracting and holding powers in a moisturizer. Hyaluronic … Continue Reading… →
Question: I’m concerned that that Retin A Micro .o4% will irritate my skin. Can I mix it with my moisturizer before applying it?
Answer: I’ve received this type of comment so frequently I think it deserves a post of its own. Mixing Retin A ( aka tretinoin) with a moisturizer immediately reduces its concentration and impast on the skin. If you take a pea size dab of .04% tretinoin with an equal dab of moisturizer, the concentration is now .02%– lower than any other prescription grade tretinoin. If there is more moisturizer than tretinoin, then the concentration is even lower and the action on the skin will be very limited. Then there is the issue of cost. Retin A Micro .04% runs about $300/tube. If you dilute it to .02% you will get more for your beauty dollar if you buy .1% Retinol from Skinceuticals which clocks in at $100.
I get frequent questions about individual anti-aging ingredients. Can it REALLY reverse aging? Is it natural? Dangerous? Last time, I reviewed idebone, a powerful antioxidant. Today I’m evaluating ceramides. I’ve seen it advertised on a number of products and thought it was finally time to do a little research.
Here’s how it works: The cells of the top layer of the skin are held in place by fatty ceramides, a substance which kind of acts like glue to keep the cells in order. In addition ceramides hold onto water molecules, helping to attract and retain moisture in the skin. And it will probably come as no great surprise that ceramide levels decrease as we get older. By age 60, we have lost so much ceramide that the upper layer of the skin is 30% thinner.
When I started exploring anti-aging options a few months go, I had just three go-to products. It wasn’t that I didn’t care — I just didn’t know what my skin truely needed. Too many times I would be vulnerable to great sales pitch and find that the expensive “miracle cream” either did nothing or made my face break-out. Now that I am testing out wrinkling fighting tools and techniques, I had to try out an endless buffet of skin care products. Trial and lots of error has resulted in a group of cleansers, moisturizers and sunscreens that deliever on their promises. I call them my “Fabulous Fourteen” and today I have uploaded that list in the blog tab ” Beauty Tool Kit”. I explain how to use them, how they work and how much they cost. I have only one face and can’t try out everything, so I would love to hear about your go-to products.
My new Retin A prescription (.1%) arrived this week and I am getting things in order to try it out. I have my mild Cetaphil cleanser, Aveeno Ultra Calming Sunscreen for daytime and Fresh soy enriched moisturizer at night. I’m a little anxious since this is the first time I have used a generic product from Canada but the cost saving were irrisistable. My Retin A from the north was $44 including shipping. At my local CVS, brand name Retin A was almost $200. I have big plans for that $150 difference.
I am also doing a little experiment. Today, celebrity dermatologist Dr Neil Saddick is examining my face with a Wood’s lamp which will highlight the areas of sun damaged skin. I will use my new big girl Retin A and in a month, plan to check the progress with the Wood’s lamp again. When I first started to use Retin A, I could see real changes in the … Continue Reading… →