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I've actually read through a lot of the posts in this forums, from fake wrinkle cream scams, to product reviews, then laser treatments and botox procedures, there were posts about DIY serums and the highly recommended Retin-A and Vit C regimes.
I am trying to achieve a better skin tone, smoother and firmer skin, because from years of a very bad smoking habit and never having used any sunscreen(and have burnt the skin on my face many times during sunbathing), my skin is beginning to lose its firmness and glow, skin looks uneven and has fine lines, just not right... its bothering me because just a couple years back this aging thing just hasnt kicked in. and i am only in my late 20s

I have already ordered some retin-a and skinceuticals vit c serum, i'm just hoping someone here can help me with a clear guideline on how this all works, and what other products i need to use, wouldnt i need some moisturizer after putting on retin-a?..im a total failure when it comes to skincare and i need a little guidance from some experienced people here...

Thanks
 

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Hi Questions! Welcome!

...and they aren't stupid ones at all!

I'll try to answer them the way I use the products. As you go, you will get a feel for how your skin reacts and you may tweak your routine accordingly.

I use tazarotene 0.1% now and alternate with Retin-A every couple months so that my skin doesn't get "bored". Tazarotene is another form of retinoid, similar to Retin-A. I mix a pea sized amount of taz (or retin-a) with the same amount of an neutral emollient like Eucerin and apply to clean skin at bedtime. This makes it unnecessary to use a separate moisturizer at night. It also stretches the taz or retin-a farther so I can buy a higher strength (same price) and get more use from it. And I can customize it as my skin gets used to a lower strength.

In the morning I wash with a gentle cleansing lotion (Dr Hauschka) and apply vit c serum after 20-30 minutes. You must let your skin rest after cleansing and before vit c so that the pH can be acid enough for the c serum to work. Otherwise the acidity of the C is wasted compensating for the higher pH of your skin. A vit C serum must be pH of 3.5 to penetrate the skin. You can buy pH test strips online. Wait another 30 - 60 minutes for the C serum to penetrate before applying other products. You could apply other products immediately afterwards and still get the anti-oxidant benefits of the C, but you would miss out on the exfoliant benefits.

I use a hyaluronic acid serum after the C in the am (MyChelle Ultra Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum), then a drop of carrier oil (I use rosehip seed or coconut), then sunscreen (very important since your skin is very susceptible to sun damage with retinoid use), then makeup if I am using any.

Physical sunscreens like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are less irritating than chemical ones like avobenzone, but leave a white film sometimes. Devita is a good zinc oxide only sunscreen that isn't too white and is moisturizing also. Devita.com sells it. If you use a water-resistant sunscreen you must use an oil cleanser to remove it.

At nite I use a cleansing lotion and once a week a microfiber cloth to GENTLY exfoliate. No toner.

No products with alcohol! No scrubs! Be careful about applying other products that contain AHA or BHA or other acids at first until you see how your skin will react.

It doesn't pay to go too quickly with retinoids and burn your skin by overapplying a too strong %. If you burn and dry your skin you will have more damage to undo and get discouraged with it. GO SLOWLY! Patience wins the race! If you are getting too irritated, back off and dilute the retinoid more with Eucerin or wait a day or two till your skin settles down.

I hope this helps. Please ask questions!



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I use no moisturizer after applying my retin-a at night. YMMV
I have no dryness doing this. My skin actually feels slightly moisturized.
It used to be said to pretty much always use a moisturizer after applying retin-a.
After waiting 30 minutes-1 hour or so. The newer thinking that you will read on the net is to not use any moisturizer. Some believe the moisturizer can interfere with the actions of the retin-a. Since retin-a is the king of anti-aging products, I stick with this philosophy myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thank you for your replies, they were well quick and informative!
one more question! does this kind of retin-A treatment regime also help with minor sagging of the skin and loss of firmness? or is it the vitC serum that actually does the trick?.. botox is not an option for me, and i really hope something can help to restore some of the tightness my skin had originally had .
Thank you so much fawnie and periwrinkle! you guys seem like the experts, truly appreciate your advices.
 

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thank you for your replies, they were well quick and informative!
one more question! does this kind of retin-A treatment regime also help with minor sagging of the skin and loss of firmness? or is it the vitC serum that actually does the trick?.. botox is not an option for me, and i really hope something can help to restore some of the tightness my skin had originally had .
Thank you so much fawnie and periwrinkle! you guys seem like the experts, truly appreciate your advices.
Both products will help with this. Wise idea ordering the retin-a and Skinceuticals serum. Maybe you can make your own the next time and save a wad of cash.
Dont forget a quality photo-stable sunscreen everyday. Especially while using retin-a.
 

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Should we make it a Tshirt?

Retin-A
Vit C
Sunscreen
Oils
Exercise/Massage
Microfiber cloth

Did I leave anything out?

Oh yeah: babyQ
Mybe I could wear a shirt around with that and add this to it, "Ask me how"

I could then sell them some of my DIY serum.


A babyQ for this baby is in my future.
 

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Mybe I could wear a shirt around with that and add this to it, "Ask me how"

I could then sell them some of my DIY serum.


A babyQ for this baby is in my future.
Hey! Good idea there! (assuming you look like the Poster Child for C serum!)

Any luck with the Lycopene sunscreen yet, Baby?



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Hey! Good idea there! (assuming you look like the Poster Child for C serum!)

Any luck with the Lycopene sunscreen yet, Baby?
Hey dont let the cat out of the bag
Just kiddin.....
No I've not ordered any yet. I just might yet though. I've been applying more of my sunscreen but have not been getting any weird stares from people so all is good so far.
 

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Hey dont let the cat out of the bag
Just kiddin.....
No I've not ordered any yet. I just might yet though. I've been applying more of my sunscreen but have not been getting any weird stares from people so all is good so far.
Peri - when you mentioned the benefits of tomato paste in an earlier post, I cannot remember - do you eat it or wear it?
 

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Peri - when you mentioned the benefits of tomato paste in an earlier post, I cannot remember - do you eat it or wear it?
Now that's an idea....wearing it......hum

I eat it. Aprox. 5 tbsp a day
Fawnie was refering to a lycopene extract sold at skinactives.com
I was thinking of putting a slight bit into my sunscreen and seeing what would happen.
Might just kill the whiteness some or make me look like an Indian.
 

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fawnie: don't you use any eye cream, night moisturizer? Your skin must be perfection -- did you ever have any problem areas? (Getting a bit personal, you don't have to answer.)

Recently (the last 3-4 years) my skin seems to react at some point to most products (even the Vit C sometimes really stings). I can use a product for a few months then my skin will react by breaking out or becoming raw/sore. ??
 

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Now that's an idea....wearing it......hum

I eat it. Aprox. 5 tbsp a day
That's about half a can a day, right? Do you eat it cooked or right out of the can?

Thinning it down with water might and serving it on ice with a garnish might make a nice summer drink (w/o alcohol, of course).
 

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fawnie: don't you use any eye cream, night moisturizer? Your skin must be perfection -- did you ever have any problem areas? (Getting a bit personal, you don't have to answer.)

Recently (the last 3-4 years) my skin seems to react at some point to most products (even the Vit C sometimes really stings). I can use a product for a few months then my skin will react by breaking out or becoming raw/sore. ??
HaHa Mari,
Thanks for your kindness, but not perfection here!
I forgot that I do use Viterol A for Eyes and Corners of Mouth cream
DS Laboratories Viterol.A - Eyes and Corners of Mouth at DermStore

It was just a splurge-thing that I wanted to try. I think I like it! It has a lot of voodoo ingredients that I wanted to try (Matrixyl, peptides) just to see if they would do anything. Hard to say, but they might be working....

You must be very sensitive Mari! Usually within a week I will react, not a few months later. Wonder if it's some kind of allergy/sensitization....I don't have a clue! Maybe combining some products together does you in...
What things are you reacting to now? Yes, the vit C serum makes me sting too.



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HaHa Mari,
......
You must be very sensitive Mari! Usually within a week I will react, not a few months later. Wonder if it's some kind of allergy/sensitization....I don't have a clue! Maybe combining some products together does you in...
What things are you reacting to now? Yes, the vit C serum makes me sting too.
Thanks for the info re: Viterol A.

I haven't a clue what causes the sensitivity -- this has been happening it seems forever. I've had allergy tests which basically indicated I'm hyper-sensitive to most foods, spices, plants ... I guess after a while the stuff builds up in my system and all hell breaks loose.

I started using a cream with glycolic acid at 8% because I couldn't tolerate retin-A a couple of year's ago. I used that cream at night and alternated with a light hydrating cream by day. I noticed my skin was getting dry but considering it was an oil slick before I didn't worry. (my skin looked good -- pores seemed less prominent and there was good colour) Last Friday I woke up and noticed dry red patches on my forehead and cheeks, that looked all crinkled -- ugh! Today the patches look like wrinkled tissue paper. I have an appointment with my MD in 2 weeks.
 
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