Skin Care Secrets From a Pro

I won a free facial/peel in a drawing at my dermatologist’s office. I
have never had a facial in my 60 years, although I have experimented
with over-the-counter peeling products. The peel I received is Radiance by Obagi (link for info only, I’m not being sponsored). Obagi is famous for its “blue peels” that turn you into a Smurf, but this peel was lighter and left no colorful residue.

I can’t say if was the product or the gentle administration by Medical Aesthetician Bridget, but this peel left my face comfortable and looking fresher, with a nice glow. The stinging lasted only two minutes, and Bridget gave me a cooling hose to stay chill (note to self: I need one of those cooling thingies for hot flash time.)

We talked about skin care while my peel was cooking. I asked Bridget what women can do every day, inexpensively, to keep their skin looking fresh and firm. Number one, no surprise, is to use sunscreen like a madwoman.

The researcher’s gold standard: identical twins with different lifestyles.
Twin A had more sun exposure. Source

Bridget says the mistake we make with sunscreen is not re-applying it. “It only lasts for about 90 minutes, so if you’re spending time outdoors, you have to re-apply frequently.” I’m guilty, I have been a once-and-done sunscreener for years.

Three of my favorites: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, and Pure and Free Baby lotion, and old
workhorse Retin-A.

If we’re just outdoors to get in and out of a shop or the car, a once-daily application should do, but make sure it’s an SPF 30 or higher. You don’t need to go to SPF 100, as it provides minimally more protection but has more potential to irritate your skin.

The second “secret” to smooth skin is to use Retin-A or another form of powerful retinol regularly. This ingredient is virtually the only one proven to reduce wrinkles, dark spots, and rebuild small amounts of collagen. I use a .05 Retin-A cream every night, and while my face shows its age through some sagging, I have very few surface wrinkles and spots. Good stuff.

And speaking of dark spots, I don’t like the “coffee spots” on my hands and forearms. Bridget recommended a super-strong spot reducing serum to use for three months. Any product containing hydroquinone is recommended for three months only. I also use a mild lightening cream with kojic acid and sunscreen over it. I’ll keep you informed on any progress.

The major takeaways: consistency is essential, and you don’t need to bust your budget. Don’t smoke and don’t drink alcohol “to excess.” (I made Bridget add that last disclaimer – Not Dead Yet!)

Stay fabulous,



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