Budget Beauty Guide:Moisturizers

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…

Q and A– Diluting Retin A?

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.

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Are Ceramides the Key to Beautiful Skin?

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.

Ceramides are used  lotions, creams … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging Skin Care- The Fabulous Fourteen

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.

Moving Up to Big Girl Retin A

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…