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My Retin A Journey – 1st month

This year, I started using prescription Retin-A. You can read more about how I got started in my first post.

Turning 30 has made me a little more inclined to care for my skin and body in general. I am slowly stepping away from late nights, bad sugars and everything that messes up with my biological clock and system.

Here is a quick summary of using Retin-A for 1 month:

  1. I was able to start using Retin-A about 2 to 3 times a week. Anymore was just too much.
  2. I did not see any more break outs or pop ups at all after the first few weeks!!
  3. My skin peeled and got dry… like nobody’s business. Even when I applied a good layer of  moisturizer and moisturizing sun screen and got out of the door looking like a oil machine, I would have dry sports in a span of 2 hours- especially around my lips and nose. Not at all a good look for a 10:00 AM meeting.
  4. Skipping Sunscreen was NO LONGER an option.

By the end of the month, after a lot of trial and error I finally figured out the one moisturizer that can combat the dry skin.

Enter: The ultimate not-so-secret weapon in every East European old dame’s moisturizing routine! Nivea Creme.  A good dose of this at night and and a small bead of it in the mornings helped my dry skin so much! The fact that you can buy a  sizable jar for under $5 helps!

I specifically use the Made in Germany version. Despite of no big difference in ingredients, I feel it is better than the Made in Mexico version. It might just be in my head!

I was slightly iffy about the jar / tin version. I worried that it was unhygienic. But, at this point, I was desperate for a heavy, thick moisturizer. So, I took a chance and am very, very happy with the results. Since then, I have discovered that the same cream comes in a tube version too! Also Made in Germany!!

Nivea

Using Nivea brought back pleasant childhood memories. I remember my mom applying it to her hands every night before she went to bead. It was her own end of day ritual. After a day’s work, she would sit on the side of the bed, take the Nivea tin out of the night stand and apply a good sizable dollop to her fingers and back of her hands.

I am liking Nivea so much that I use it all over my legs and feet now. I might live dangerously by giving up Kiehl’s Body moisturizer this year!!

I am curious, do you have an ‘under $10’ product that brings so much satisfaction that you pat yourself for all the money you saved by not buying expensive alternatives? Right now, at the ripe old age of 31, I am patting myself on the back for ‘discovering’ Nivea. 

 

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Cetaphil moisturizer spf 30. Good dupe for the Dermalogica medibac spf 30 which is around $60. Also Neutrogena Clear Face SPF 30 for a water resistant version. None of these leave a cast on brown skin 🙂
    John Frieda/Frizz Ease dream curls hair spray–I go through bottles of this like I drink it. Same results as an Aveda Curls spray–without the Aveda scent–which is nice but can be a bit much.
    And I love Cerave PM.

    Look forward to reading about your journey. My face skin is so jaded, that it just ignores anything I throw at it at this point. I may have to resign myself to monthly chemical peels.

    Like

    December 30, 2017
    • SA. #

      I will have to try that John Frieda hair spray. My hair is absolutely unmanageable on the day I wash it. By the 3rd day, it looks great! On the 4th day, I am back to washing it again. In a given week, I have exactly one ‘great hair’ day. I have been managing it better these days with a electric hair brush (a la Amika), though I don’t want to over do it. I am going to report back after I try this hair spray 🙂

      Like

      December 30, 2017
      • Pret a Porter P #

        Whaaa…you have beautiful hair!!

        Like

        December 31, 2017
  2. I remember the big jars of Nivea my mom had around when I was a kid. That is a comforting smell for me too. But I am not a big consumer of skin products. I use a calendula salve for moisturizing and my own blend of facial oils. What products will remind my kids of their mom? 😣

    Liked by 1 person

    December 30, 2017
    • SA. #

      I am very sure there will many things that remind your kids of their mom! To this day, things like clothes starch ( my mom would starch her cotton saris to make them hold shape), chai infused with ginger (she loves it!) and rum fruit cakes bring back memories ❤️

      Like

      December 31, 2017
  3. Xin #

    It sounds like the Retin-A is working out well for you, particularly as it’s succeeded on the acne-fighting front. (Sadly, even daily use of Retin-A Micro isn’t adequate for my acne.) The extreme tendency to peel on Retin-A can be really obvious in the first few months, but I’ve always found that it goes away eventually (maybe six months to a year into the first time I started using it?).

    Fun fact, and this had only happened to me one time in the nearly a decade that I’ve used Retin-A, but if a big enough amount gets on your lips, it can cause a bout of really weird dryness and peeling there.

    Like

    December 31, 2017
    • SA. #

      Oh gosh, the lips!! You are so right. If I accidentally get some Retin A, I will have to physically attach myself to a good lip balm.

      Like

      December 31, 2017
  4. If you’re still having trouble with peeling, La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast was a lifesaver for me back when I was on accutane!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 1, 2018
    • SA. #

      Thank you!! I will keep that in mind.

      Like

      January 2, 2018
  5. maiastras #

    I’m glad that you’ve find a good routine that works for you! After being diligent about a retin-a routine, I’ve completely fallen off the track and am just using a DIY oil and hydrating toner (with vitamin c and hyaluronic acid) – no sunscreen, no serum, no separate cleanser. The toner was a gift, but the DIY oil costs less than 2 USD per fl oz, so I think I’m doing pretty good when it comes to being frugal : )

    Liked by 1 person

    January 5, 2018
    • SA. #

      Beginning 2017, I have been trying to streamline my skincare regime. It has been slow progress, especially as I am not as diligent as I want to be. Do tell more about that DIY oil. Is it effective? I have been trying to add Vitamin C and a hydrating serum to my kitty this year. I am always game for frugal skin care routines 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      January 7, 2018
      • maiastras #

        The DIY oil has been very soothing in this cold weather. I stopped using retin-a once my prescription of the 0.05% ran out and I switched to the 0.1% I got from my father in Japan. The formulation made my skin sting and peel even though I only used it once a week and used my moisturizing gel as a buffer. I just wanted something gentle, so I mixed grapeseed oil (I had been infusing it with gotu kola), with a dropper full of pomegranate seed oil (it’s very thick, but lovely) in a 1oz bottle. I’ve been using this mixture on my face in the morning, to oil cleanse and moisturize at night, on my body, and sometimes even on the ends of my hair. My face has been hydrated and happy, with only the occasional whitehead or blackhead – the high linoleic acid content of the grapeseed helps keep the pores clear. The hydrating toner is key, however. I can’t use oil without prepping the skin with some kind of water-based product beforehand.
        I plan to travel a lot this summer, so it’d be nice to keep a simple routine. I will probably switch to a blend of grapeseed oil with argan oil to make the formula more stable in the heat and give my skin added protection from the sun. I hope this helps!

        Liked by 1 person

        January 7, 2018

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