I am just super excited about the events that have taken place in my life in recent days. Last Thursday I took my very first trip to the dermatologist (in my adult life). I decided to finally make an appointment and go because my skin has been giving me strange problems for awhile now. On my face I would break out on my forehead and on my cheeks. I never messed with the pimples because I know that you're not supposed to or you can risk scaring and dark marks, but for some reason I still ended up with dark marks. And the dullness was just impossible! My skin didn't seem as bright and alive as it should be. It looked like the skin of a smoker or heavy drinker. It was driving me crazy, so I decided to do something about it.
So, I got to the dermatologist expecting her to think I was a little crazy for what I was thinking...one of my girlfriends looked at me like I had two heads when I told her that I wasn't happy with my skin. Apparently there are some who think I have nice, pretty skin, to which I disagree. Anywho, the dermatologist was really nice and understanding about my concerns. She told me that she could see what I was talking about and she prescribed a few things to help with my skin issues.
The first thing is Retin-A or Tretinoin, as its also known. According to http://www.yourplasticsurgeryguide.com/, "the primary purpose of Retin-A is to provide a light chemical peel that speeds the natural exfoliation process and enhances collagen production." "It's typically prescribed for acne, hyperpigmentation, poor skin texture, and preparation for other procedures such as facial surgery and laser resurfacing." I definitely have hyperpigmentation and poor skin texture. I really don't have acne except for the occasional breakout, which I mentioned above. This, I have been using at bedtime only at the recommendation of my doctor because it will make the skin very flaky and peel.
The skin around my mouth and nose has been peeling so much. I look like Ashy Larry or something...like I don't believe in moisturizer. And it's strange because the skin on my forehead where I have the dark spots hasn't been peeling. I think I'd feel a lot better if it did start to peel because I'm assuming that would be helping with the dark spots fading. But I'm not sure. This lack of peeling could be a good thing. At least my entire face doesn't look like Ashy Larry. But anywho, when I use this at bedtime I don't apply any moisturizer over it. I don't want anything to interfere with what this Retin-A is supposed to do. The only other thing I use is tea tree oil on my nose piercing (to help it heal) and Clinique's All About Eyes eye cream. I put that under my eyes and I don't use the Retin-A in that area. FYI, the Clinique eye cream is actually okay. I've been using it since March and its been working great. The results haven't been super dramatic but it has definitely helped to get rid of the dark circles under my eyes.
The second thing my dermatologist prescribed is a special wash called Sodium Sulfacetamide 10% and Sulfur 5%. This is supposed to do away with all of the bacteria and other yucky stuff that can inhabit your face. Let me tell you how much I love this. I've only been using this a few days now but I can see a slight difference. I use it twice a day, morning and night. At night I make sure that I take all of my makeup off first with my Clinique Take the Day Away makeup remover and then I wash my face with this. I'm a wash-rag girl...I never wash my face without one, but with this new wash I don't have to. I just wet my face and apply a quarter-size amount in my hands, massage it all over my face, let it sit for 2 minutes and the rinse. My skin feels great afterwards. The smell is a little funky but it's nothing that will stick with you as you go about your day. I am in love with this already. Before I got this from the doctor I'd been using Ambi's Clear Complexion Cleansing bar. That is actually pretty okay too but not as good as this new stuff. So since I have a lot of those left, I'll be using those for my body.
The third item the doctor prescribed is a lotion that I use specifically for my elbows, knees and toes. Like a lot of Black women I've found myself with knees and elbows that are darker and rougher than the skin anywhere else on my body. This is no bueno for me. I like to match all around :) And I do not like rough skin, so hopefully this will work for me. I actually do not remember the name of it (sorry, I will check once I'm home and list it) but I know it was a very "scientific" name and started with an 'A.' In addition to that she also recommended that I use the Ambi fading cream to help clear up the dark patches of skin, so I'm heading out on my lunch break to pick some up.
In conclusion, I am feeling very confident about the new "weapons of mass beauty" that I have. I feel like I'm on my way to clear, healthy, pretty skin. But the most important thing I have to remember is that all of the creams and lotions in the world will not take the place of simply "taking care" of yourself. Drinking plenty of water, eating well, exercise, staying away from tobacco and excessive drinking. And a good multi-vitamin never hurt anyone. I will report back in a few more weeks with an update of how my skin is doing.
p.s. If you go to http://www.ambiflawlessskin.com/, you can sign up for a $3 off coupon to use towards any of their products (except the soaps because they're only $1 - $2).