Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions about skin care. I’ve blogged about grown women’s skincare and the need for a regimen in the past, but it’s been a while. I’ve tried a few new things and had some new experiences. It’s time for an update.
As we get older, our needs change. Our bodies change, sometimes in totally unexpected ways. You don’t lose weight as easily. Your hair becomes more brittle, especially if it turns grey. Your skin loses some of its elasticity and you might STILL get acne even though you’re grown. You notice the changes in your hormonal cycle, things become more dramatic in their effect on you. When I got into my thirties, my skin issues changed. I went from being oily to combination oily – especially in the winter, my skin looks dry and dull. I felt that my usual exfoliation wasn’t doing enough anymore – my skin looked and felt rough, especially on my chin. I knew I needed to step up the game but I wasn’t sure how.
Then I went out to lunch with dermatologist Dr. Monika Kiripolsky, and over cocktails and light bites at Sixteen at Trump, she dished the behind the scenes tea on how the pros do it. At one point, she challenged me to guess her age. I couldn’t do it. Dr. Kiripolsky looks like a beautiful doll with flawless skin. Then she admitted to me that it’s hard to tell the age of most dermatologists, because they all are in on a secret we’re not. That secret is retinol. Vitamin A. She put me up on game that afternoon.
I told her I was concerned about the effects of retinol. From the little that I’d read, it seemed potentially life-changing and therefore intimidating. I’d read about the dryness, peeling and redness that many experience. I’d read that many people give up on using retinol because of those issues. Dr. Kiripolsky was basically like, whatevs, it’ll happen,woman up, ride the wave, deal with it for 6 weeks and you’ll see the difference.
I had been sent samples of StriVectin Advanced Retinol Day Treatment with Broad Spectrum SPF 30, and Advanced Retinol Night Treatment and quite honestly they were just kind of sitting there because I was hesitant to make the commitment and endure the side-effects I’d heard so much about. But the conversation I’d had made me feel brave. I decided my first experience with retinol would be the StriVectin experience.
What really enticed me into trying StriVectin’s day treatment was the SPF factor. Retinoids are known for causing sun sensitivity and I was concerned about using a cream that would make me think twice about enjoying the outdoors. Broad spectrum SPF 30 meant I had less of a reason to fear. The site promises “…the potency of Retinol, the gold standard in anti-aging, without the Retinol side effects – including skin irritation, peeling, redness and sensitivity.” FYI, it’s $99. Not exactly the cheapest day cream on the market. I had to see if it truly was worth it and that meant forsaking all other face moisturizers for longer than I wanted to do so.
My main regret in this whole process is that I didn’t take any true, makeup-free before/after photos. I just decided to start using this product and by the time I was like “OMG, results!” it was too late to have captured the changes. My bad, and I apologize. I’ll try to be extra descriptive and share some photos from along the way at the end.
When I first tried the StriVectin day and night cream, I definitely experienced the effects of retinol that I was concerned about. I found myself dealing with the dryness and the peeling and if I wasn’t brown I suppose I would’ve had redness too. The area around my mouth and chin, especially. There were moments where I wanted to give up and go back to regular SPF moisturizers and night creams. I had to convince myself to ride it out into week 3. By the time I got to week 3, I felt like my skin NEEDED StriVectin every day. Even though I’m a writer, I have a hard time explaining this – just the way the cream sunk into my skin was different and somehow more penetrative. I started to feel like I couldn’t do without both the day and night cream.
Why do I need both?
I love the day cream because I don’t have that concern about sun protection. The SPF factor made it fit easily into my lifestyle, and the product wasn’t at all greasy so after applying it I could put on my primer and makeup and keep it moving. I love the night cream because I could really feel and tell the difference and improvement in my skin when I wore it. My skin felt soft and smooth when I woke up, and I could see it was beginning to make a long term impact.
By week 4, I could see the difference. 6 weeks into it, I was so glad I’d endured the rough patch (literally) at the beginning. It’s been more than 9 weeks now and I’m about to run out of my tubes and you better believe I’ll be cutting those bad boys open to get to the last drops. It’s that serious.
This is my skin on StriVectin.
In general, my skin is brighter, clearer, softer to the touch and more even toned. But in the spirit of full disclosure, finally…
Ugh. Retinol won’t prevent you from breaking out altogether. I’ve found that I do break out less, but I got this nasty pimple in the height of my hormonal cycle, and now I’ve got resulting hyperpigmentation marks there. Because I mauled it 🙁
StriVectin isn’t cheap. Like I said, it’s basically $100 a tube. But this one-two combo has effectively resurfaced my skin from within.
It’s helped to reduce the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation marks that I thought would be with me forever. It made my skin softer to the touch. It’s the kind of quality, transformative skin care product that I truly dedicated myself to experiencing and saw real results from. THAT’s why it’s in the You Deserve category. It’s expensive but it really did work for me. My BEST advice for you is to go to a dermatologist and see if they’d recommend a similar course of skincare action for you.
And if you don’t believe me, read the Amazon reviews!
For more on retinoids in general, read this O Magazine piece that breaks down why you should give them a try.
Have YOU tried a retinol cream, bellas? Tell me why or why not!