Note: This is an honest discussion of some products that I have tried or am currently using. None of the products were provided for me to review -- I bought them all with my own money or my prescription coverage. Most of the links here are Amazon.com affiliate links, but I mostly provided them so that you can get information on the products in case you are interested.
I have a dermatologist's appointment tomorrow. This is a 6-week followup after being prescribed two topical prescriptions, Retin-A and Finacea. I had used Retin-A and had success with it before. The Finacea was new to me -- I had never been told I had rosacea before, but this dermatologist thought I might.
I still don't know if I really have rosacea, but I stopped using the Finacea after a couple of days because it burned my skin. It made me feel like I had just smoothed on a battery acid facial. I decided to give it a second try a little later, and it still was a no-go. I am sure I will hear some negative feedback about not deciding to continue with this, but I read the patient insert and it sounds like a lot of the patients in the clinical trials dropped out with similar complaints.
The Retin-A is fine, though it makes my skin very sensitive. I had to stop using The Miracle Worker, which I had liked, because it was too harsh and was giving me a rash. I decided to try CeraVe cleanser and lotion because it was recommended for use with Finacea, and if you could tolerate the cleanser and lotion after using an irritating product like Finacea, I figured it had to be pretty gentle. It is. I love it and the moisturizer, though I also use Dermalogica tinted moisturizer over it for the sunscreen protection.
I got introduced to the Dermalogica products by an aesthetician at my local Ulta. I was having some dryness due to the Retin-A and I was also having some breakouts. I wasn't sure what to do. I got the facial mostly in desperation. It really helped a lot, and it was very relaxing. The aesthetician told me that my breakouts seemed to be from sensitivity, not oiliness. She said my skin was very dehydrated and sensitive from the prescription products. She recommended a couple of Dermalogica products: besides the tinted moisturizer, she suggested a hydrating booster and the antioxidant hydramist. I don't use the mist that often, but the booster is amazing. It really has changed the way my skin looks and feels. Everything is clearing up. I also decided to get the concealing spot treatment to help with any flare-ups in the future.
She also recommended that I buy a facial brush. I had one that came with some skin care products but it seemed to be too scratchy to me. Regular washcloths felt too scratchy too, so I ended up buying a multi-pack of baby washcloths so I could use a new cloth every day and gently remove the flaking skin, which seems to have helped a lot.
Hopefully the doctor will see the improvement that I see and agree with me that I don't need any more harsh products in my routine. I feel happy with what I'm doing now and feel confident that things will continue to improve.
I've also been using the Go Smile touch-ups to whiten my teeth. There is a whole expensive whitening system you can buy, but for me, these touch-ups that are supposed to be just for maintenance seem to be doing enough. I had tried the various strip things and didn't really like them. With these, you just flip the little capsule over in its cardboard tube, squeeze it to activate the whitening gel, and then scrub it on your teeth with the little applicator. I had been doing them in my car (the rear-view mirror always makes me want to fix myself up) but it gets you a really weird look to do this in the parking lot. I thought I might start doing them before bed instead.
So America, the next time you see me, I will be a clear-skinned beauty with a dazzling smile.