With anything, the more you research, the more you know. When it comes to skincare, I used to be that girl who just slabbed on anything that was “apparently” good for me. After a while, I realized that I don’t really know WHY I’m using X, Y and Z and if it’s really helping me.
Why will this make me have glowing skin? Why will this help firm my skin? What is the biggest cause of wrinkles?
In my opinion, it’s hard to really know what’s right for us if we don’t understand the foundation of how skincare works or why we age in the first place.
It wasn’t until I started doing a lot of research on my own, read articles and followed some YouTubers who weren’t being paid to push a product that I felt truly comfortable with what what best for me.
How can you really trust the brand if they’re looking to make a profit off of you?
The original idea behind this post was “5 top skincare hacks that won’t break the bank,” but then I realized I have so much to say on each one, I decided to make it into a series titled skincare proven to work! (Most of them happen to be affordable too).
RETINOLS/RETIN-As – From the research I’ve done, Retin-A is one of the best things you can do for your skin and has been proven to work. The New York Times quotes:
“With so many doctors and beauty companies on a hunt for the next big anti-aging product, why do Retin-A and retinol still have so much appeal? The answer, many dermatologists say, is simple: They work.”
Further the article shares:
“To my knowledge, this is the only drug for which there has been crystal-clear demonstration that it works on the molecular level,” said Dr. John J. Voorhees, the chairman of the dermatology department at the medical school of the University of Michigan.”
Here’s my experience with it:
A few years back, my roommate at the time looked way younger than her actual age. I asked her how she looked so young and she didn’t really know the answer but she did say that she had acne issues since she was younger and had been on Retin-A her entire life. I didn’t think much of it but until I saw a couple YouTube ladies that were in their 60s and spoke about how they wish they started using it earlier. They both had some impressive before and after photos.
Thankfully, shortly after learning all of this amazing knowledge, I started working with Dermalogica on a campaign. I decided to select a few items with Retin-A’s cousin ingredient, Retinol. (Retin-A requires a prescription). I’ve used this in the past, briefly, but again, I’m the type of person that doesn’t really believe in something until I know WHAT it’s doing and WHY I should care. I need understanding of it all to full grasp why something is as important as it is. I remember people saying my skin did look good but I didn’t really understand the long term benefits of it all. SIGH, had I only known back then.
It’s never too late to start, though.
Following instructions, I used it every other night with a buffer cream, shortly working myself to every night and without the buffer cream. The product has lasted me about two months and it only took a couple weeks to start receiving compliments on my skin. I love the instant effect, but really, I am into Retinals and Retin-As for the long time benefits.
Retin-A has been proven to help with skin texture and elasticity (something I’ve absolutely noticed already with my skin), but it’s also been proven to help with collagen retention overtime. From my understanding, our skin cells have retinoid receptors, which absorb the product. Naturally with sun exposure and the natural progression of aging, our skin cells stop working properly and retinol and retin-A help our skin cells remain functioning properly.
FEW THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RETINOLS/RETIN-A:
- It may cause flaking, redness and dryness if you go to aggressive with it. Follow instructions – usually it’s using the product every other night (retinol) or every 3 nights (retin-A).
- Retinol is a less aggressive member of the family. I’ve only used Retinol but I’m working myself up to Retin-As.
- Many people say to let is sit on the skin for about 20 mins before applying other product. Other’s just layer one after the other. There seems to be a lot of talk about what is best, so do what feels right for you.
- Realize that every time you do a treatment, your skin needs love to repair itself. If you are doing an aggressive peel, Vitamin A treatment, etc, treat your skin with kindness after the fact. Maybe do a mask the next day or make sure to moisturize very well after letting the product soak in.
- Your skin will be more susceptible to the sun. MAKE SURE you are wearing sunscreen daily – you should be anyway
After so much proven research and noticeable differences in my own skin, it’s something I recommend to everyone of all ages as long as you will commit to using it properly (if you are not pregnant or becoming pregnant). Start with a retinol and don’t go too aggressive at first or you may want to stop.
Stay tuned for next week’s Skincare Hack number 2!