skin care product review

So, I’ve done my share of tanning, especially from age 13-21 or so. Although, now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever wore sunscreen as a kid, either. I just got really brown and that took care of that. I didn’t sunburn.

But I was a big fan of tanning beds as a teenager. (It didn’t help that I got free tanning bed usage when I worked as the juice bar girl in a health club.) I’ve been pretty careful the last ten years or so, though, and I am a big summer hat person, but if I weren’t afraid of skin cancer, dark spots, and wrinkles, I would be brown as a berry right now.

A tan makes me feel leaner, more energetic, and just prettier. People with a nice, medium-darkish tan just make me want to sidle up to them like a crackling fire and feel the stored sun warmth coming off of their skin.

Cut to my dream spot: my secluded white stucco villa on the mediterranean. I live in a macrame bikini and sarong and subsist on coffee, pain au chocolat, fresh fruit, and white wine. I lounge on the tiled deck, overhung with vines dripping with messy red flowers that stain my feet. The family of whiskered monkeys snickers down from the branches to snatch bits of fruit from me with perfect little doll hands, and my enormous pet macaw follows me with heavy wings when I go to dip my feet in the waves that roll up on round white stones.

(Hm, my dream spot is a lot like where Daddy J and I honeymooned. Go figure.)

When I get bored, interesting people come visit and we have elaborate feasts and listen to string musicians play languid, slow, intricate songs. And the people leave just before I get sick of them.

Lapping turqoise water; peaches, pears, mango, and sauvignon blanc; nuzzles from my macaw. My skin is as warm, brown, and smooth as the tiles under my feet.

I soak in the sun like a lizard.

(When I am 103 and all I do is stare out the window with a faint smile, THIS is where I will be.)

I digress.

The cosmetically ugly side of sun-worshipping, for me, anyway, is blotchy brown patches and fine wrinkles, which have been bothering me more and more over the last couple of years. (I think pregnancy hormones are to blame for the spots, too.) I had looked into getting lasering done, which kind of scared me because of the whole invasive, burned-looking, painful aspect. I talked with an aesthetician (and R.N.) about it, and she said that Yes, lasering would get rid of the brown spots, but another option that I might prefer was a skin care regimen with hydroquinone and retin A.

After talking with her and then researching on teh webs, I was sold and bought the starter pack of Obaji. I’ve never done a fancy skin care system before, just bits and pieces from this or that brand, so this is a new thing. They call the first 4-6 weeks the “hate it” period, when your skin is red and peeling and itchy and dry, as it gets rid of the old skin you don’t want. I’m in the middle of that. It was kind of kicking my booty for the first couple of weeks, but I think I’m on the upswing.

Anyhoo, right now I am resoundingly pro. I can already see reduction in brown spots, and the idea is that if you stay with the maintenance program, you won’t get any more brown spots and your skin will be much fresher and dewier. Buying it from the medspa was quite pricey, but it’s been nice to have an office to call with questions when I looked like I’d been scrubbing my face with a cheese grater and acetone. When I get on the maintenance program and feel like I don’t need a doctor/aesthetician on call to deal with me, I’ll buy the stuff online here, where it’s much cheaper.

Which brings me to the question of the day:

Are you on a skin care regimen? Are you a big fan of any certain brand of skin product, or do you try whatever sounds good at the time? Or do you have a minimalist approach (like just soap and moisturizer) because it’s not that big a deal for you?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sweetsalty kate
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 00:32:01

    First, I hear you on the tan-lust. I don’t tan, only burn. I don’t even really tan that well in beds – I tried, during university, and nothing ever really seemed to work. But still, god, I can’t stand the whiteness. Especially in the summer when my legs blind innocent passerby. So just recently I tried (gulp) (sototallyembarrassed) (vanity’snameisKate) a spray-tan. And decided not to do it again. Splotchy and silly is how I felt. So I’ll continue being pale as a sheet and jealous of nut-brown folk such as your sweet self.

    As for skin care, I’m just cetaphil twice a day and SPF moisturizer, and battery acid and/or tea tree oil once a month to try and curb the hormonal breakouts. And still wishing there was some way I could have a tan. The only thing I have left to try is a Personal Genie.

  2. thisbumpyjourney
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 12:36:31

    I’ve done a spray tan before, too, for a formal in February when I wanted golden shoulders. I guess it gave them to me, but the tactile experience was awful: soooo sticky and crusty, and you have to wait hours to shower (at least with the variety I used). I felt kind of coated with glue. It’s not the ideal choice. I wish I could safely have a deep natural tan all the time, too.

    I like cetaphil. My skin freaked out when the big boys were babies and reacted terribly to just about everything, so cetaphil was great then. I remember it leaving a nice, soft feeling. At some point I switched to sensitive skin Dove and usually Oil of Olay stuff for the face, which was pretty good, just not bringing the results I had in mind.

    I’ve heard of tea tree oil for breakouts – it’s good?

  3. Jackie
    Jun 19, 2009 @ 16:00:24

    You’re dream sequence sounds an awful lot like mine, except I’ll have Pinot Grigio 😀 I like the tan too as my face is very blotchy, if I eat better, it will help, I am working on that. As for skin care, I don’t do anything too drastic as many of the more expensive things I tried, either weren’t any different or caused a reaction.

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