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My ugly experiment is underway - no retinoids no acids!
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Molly
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:41 am      Reply with quote
I've been threatening this for some time and its well and truly underway. I've not used acids for maybe 10 days (was only using very minimally anyhow) and none of the delightful Diacneal/Ystheal for about a week. I'm not having to meet a lot of strangers at the moment so it seemed a good time to start this.

Firstly I really want to see whether my previous improvements with these have been long-term. Then I want to see if I can use totally non-irritating things and get more improvements and finally I want to be free to enjoy myself outdoors without worrying about my thinner corneal layer making me sensitive to the sun, which it does despite SS.

My skin's already looking a bit rougher all round. People familiar with me have been eyeing my cheek meets eye crumples suspiciously, my pores look bigger, my hyperpigmentation looks a bit more obvious. But the side of my face where I've been using supercop (stopped that as well a couple of weeks ago) does look smoother and more even than the other side which is good to see.

I'm going to introduce the Super peptide treatment from skincarecentral and maybe the Nia 24 as I understand neither of these are irritating nor barrier thinning. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm waiting for those. In the meantime my regimen is: AM - Berry Ben, PSFs Cranberry eye, Chrysalyx, emu, Avene SS

PM: Skinmedica's C Complex (I know its a bit acid and exfoliating, but its my new toy. I think I'll drop this too)

I'll let you know just how ugly I get.

Molly Very Happy
avalange
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:00 am      Reply with quote
Thanks for this Molly!

I have had similar intuitions, but for different reasons--I have been noticing more and more broken caps and spider veins since I've introduced acids. I have unnaturally thick skin, even on my face, so I'm not that worried about thinning, but it is certainly a consideration overall.

About three months ago, I cut down to using vitamin c only twice or three times per week in my am regimen, and retinol (SC 0.1%) only once per week, maybe twice if I think I am entering what you call the uglies--larger pores, dead looking skin, etc. Then doing an exfoliation mask once per week, but only if it is necessary. I found that even a strong exfol mask used once a week did not exacerbate my broken-cap prone skin, whereas low concentrates of acids on a daily basis DID--meaning, I was indeed irritating my skin by using them every day, potentially doing more harm than good.

I think the most important lesson that can be learned from both our posts, that should be passed on, is that we need to listen to our skin and address its needs on a daily basis RATHER than have blind faith in the daily and continued application of a "regime." Does that make sense? It is about becoming familiar with what the actives DO for YOUR skin individually, and to apply them only when you think it is necessary, in order to minimize irritation and maximize their effects...

So it sounds like you are in the prime listening stage, and will be making your decisions soon! I am excited to hear your progress. You seem like such a methodical experimentress!

btw, not to hijack this thread, but was one of the sunscreens you said someone burned with Bioderma Photomax fluid 50? I just bought it and I LOOOOVE it, and will be disheartened to find out that it doesn't work.

--avalange

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Molly
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:09 am      Reply with quote
avalange wrote:
You seem like such a methodical experimentress!

btw, not to hijack this thread, but was one of the sunscreens you said someone burned with Bioderma Photomax fluid 50? I just bought it and I LOOOOVE it, and will be disheartened to find out that it doesn't work.

--avalange

There's nothing methodical about me Laughing I tend to do what you say about listening; so its a bit of that and a bit of that when required, but even when I use just enough I feel more sun sensitive.

Don't worry about the SS. It was the Bioderma AKN that I burnt with, amazingly quickly (40 mins) late afternoon, but the highest UV index. I think I must have been very sun sensitive that day.
avalange
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:11 am      Reply with quote
Molly wrote:
avalange wrote:
You seem like such a methodical experimentress!

btw, not to hijack this thread, but was one of the sunscreens you said someone burned with Bioderma Photomax fluid 50? I just bought it and I LOOOOVE it, and will be disheartened to find out that it doesn't work.

--avalange

There's nothing methodical about me Laughing I tend to do what you say about listening; so its a bit of that and a bit of that when required, but even when I use just enough I feel more sun sensitive.

Don't worry about the SS. It was the Bioderma AKN that I burnt with, amazingly quickly (40 mins) late afternoon, but the highest UV index. I think I must have been very sun sensitive that day.


thanks, that clarified a lot. photomax fluide for everyday, avene creme minerale for beach days!

--avalange

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snowstar
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:15 am      Reply with quote
thanks for sharing. i've stopped using any retinoids for a year or so. the pores are bigger but my skin flushes less easily.

maybe i should go back to using vit c or retionoids once a week or so.
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:33 am      Reply with quote
Molly, million thanks for the thread and report. This is very much an issue i was thinking of again & again in the past (and continue doing so).
Unfortunately i very much like Skinmed's VitC... - but i have zero history in using retinoids, and stopped using any acid peels months ago.
I'm worried about my eye-area at the present, but the rest is pretty o.k. right now (especially today, having a good hair- and skin-day, somehow).
have a lovely time !
lin
m.april
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:56 am      Reply with quote
Hi ladies - Well, I couldn't agree with you more avalange. I've found it's most beneficial to observe my skin's condition and treat it accordingly rather than adhere to a strict routine.

A year ago at this time I was trying to tolerate SC Retinol .5% with little success, even when I only used it a couple of times a week. I was also using ISC Firming Complex in between, which only has 5% AHA. I've since abandoned both products and began using Avene retinaldehyde and PSF Pumpkin Enzyme Peel instead, AS NEEDED. My skin has thanked me for it.

I've said over and over again on this forum that I could never tolerate Rx retinoids when I was younger. Well, I can't even tolerate daily use of OTC ones now, but Avene has been a breakthrough and I could probably use it more often than I do without irritation. But especially when it comes to most active products, AS NEEDED works best for me. I CAN use SC CE+Ferulic even twice a day without irritation. It doesn't cause any peeling, etc., yet plumps fine lines, evens my skintone and diminishes pigmentation. This is the most frequent use of any "active" I've ever been able to not only tolerate, but look good while doing it.

All this will probably change as the weather changes, and also as my skin condition changes. But I know now that I have to be flexible and willing to adapt, day to day.

It always made me feel like there was something wrong with me and my skin that I could never tolerate using actives as frequently as product directions advise, or as other people do. And I cringe sometimes when I read what some people put on their skin every day. But each of us is different and more and more of us are coming out of the closet so-to-speak, and 'fessing up to the fact that we don't benefit from following strict directives when it comes to active products.

Molly, please keep us posted about your experience!
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:24 am      Reply with quote
I've stopped my Ystheal gel for the past one month and my skin is certainly making that fact known; skin is looking quite blah and tired and pores definitely bigger. I just couldn't help but be fascinated with the deluge of other "mainstream" aka non retinoid/vit C based products available and thus strayed. I feel guilty each time I do, like I'm doing something really bad for my skin just coz I skipped my ystheal and my vitamin C. Sad How can I be bored of something that is giving me results and is reasonably priced at the same time? Why do I still feel the call of other crappier products just coz they sound so damn good even though I know they'll probably do nothing more than moisturize and I've already found my almost-HG? What is wrong with me?! Sad Even while writing this, I'm rather lusting after Dior's insanely expensive new cream as well as some liquid oat beta glucans. Sigh.

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oriana808
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:43 am      Reply with quote
This is an interesting discussion and ties into something that's been on my mind lately - which no doubt has been discussed here at EDS at some point - and that is the issue of reaching a plateau. You can easily reach a plateau with both dieting and exercise and I don't doubt that this applies to skin and hair care products as well. I tend to use a bit of this and a bit of that, because I do have an arsenal of products (a small one mind you) and don't want to use every one every day or layer too much. Sometimes I wonder if this is a good thing or not.

That being said, I was C deprived for about 3 wks. and started noticing a regression in my skin, back to pre-C. I also believe that the C has made the most difference in my skin so far, out of all the products I use. Still, it doesn't hurt to take a break, listen to your body and cut back if necessary, especially from some of the more powerful actives. You can build up tolerances, dependencies and in some cases do more damage by lambasting your face everyday. It's also interesting that claims of long-term physical changes fall short when specific product usage is stopped.
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:24 am      Reply with quote
It's funny. As you stop using acids and retinoids, I've just started in earnest! About 6 months ago I started cautiously with green cream 6 and skin bio exfol and was pretty pleased with the results. I'm now ramping the acid use and using ystheal, though I'd like to try the retrinal.1

Despite my nearly burning my face, I'm pleased with the results, but I'm not sure about long term. I may go back to my vit C copper pep as only actives routine.

Keep us up to date though Molly!

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Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:01 am      Reply with quote
I use Tazorac regularly but have never had redness or drying.

I also use glycolic acid peels and it has removed my lines from nose to mouth over three years (I am 51). That said I only spot treat with anything over 10% and I give my face a break from time to time. For me it is really beneficial as long as it is not over done. I have seen real skin thickening.

I think we just have to get to know our skin and if something causes problems stop using it or use it differently. I also change from time to time. In winter my skin gets dry patchs whereas in summer it is oily. I also like the beach and how it makes me feel so I only spot glycolic lines during this period.

Good luck with the clean spell!
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:07 pm      Reply with quote
I took a two month break from tazorac and it was a disaster. My pores clogged up instantly and my skin just looked rough and bumpy everywhere. Not doing that again.
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:11 pm      Reply with quote
oriana808 wrote:
This is an interesting discussion and ties into something that's been on my mind lately - which no doubt has been discussed here at EDS at some point - and that is the issue of reaching a plateau. You can easily reach a plateau with both dieting and exercise and I don't doubt that this applies to skin and hair care products as well. I tend to use a bit of this and a bit of that, because I do have an arsenal of products (a small one mind you) and don't want to use every one every day or layer too much. Sometimes I wonder if this is a good thing or not.



That's an interesting theory and I'm sure that it has some merit.

I too, seem to stick with the basics and then I have a number of products that I bring into rotation periodically. I think that it works well for me.
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Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:59 pm      Reply with quote
Ive been thinking about all this too lately and trying to finetune my routine to avoid irritation. Ive cut back on avene retinol products. I was using them 7 days but am back to 3 days for now and my skin still looks ok. I had started using IS Clinical active serum everyday but that became too much for my skin as well. So i use retinol 3 days and active 2-3. It seems to be working and i have no redness except for some cappillaries.

I hope the avene is still effective in the antiageing sense when only applied 3 days but i cant stand how it was making my skin feel drier and i seem to flush more easily.

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Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:56 pm      Reply with quote
I stopped the Retin-A for 4 weeks and just using Neutrogena Copper and my skin showed ugliness! Large pores, zits, lines, saggy, and not bright. What the heck will I do if I become pregnant one day and need to be off retinoids for 9 months or more? Oh the horror!

I'm back on but using it about 2-3x a week with 10% AHA on alternate days. I also added back my Skinceuticals Vitamin C and my skin has never looked better.

Imagine what I would look like without all these great actives?
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Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:03 am      Reply with quote
I will be very interested in your updates on this new regime Molly.

I'm also sure ugly is something you'll never be.
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m.april
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Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:32 am      Reply with quote
Molly - How's it going? Has your will to carry on without acids weakened at all?
Molly
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Fri Feb 09, 2007 9:51 am      Reply with quote
Hi m.april
I'm not hiding from my own thread. It's just there are too many responses to respond to so I'm avoiding it Smile

I've not been tempted to chuck acid on my face yet. I'm actually feeling quite pleased with the general tone of my skin. I have a slight, healthy rosiness compared to my radioactive glow of the past couple of months. That's not exactly irritation; not red, not sore - just sort of overactive, over-vitaminized skin. It's waxier looking, which is a positive for me. I've even got a spot on my nose - a very rare event which makes me think there must be some oil in there somewhere.

I'm busy reading about the different types of C. I've gone back to Perricone and his theory about any kind of irritation including L-Ascorbic causing aging. I'm re-reading his book. There was a lot I'd forgotten.

See you
Molly Cool
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Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:02 am      Reply with quote
Molly wrote:
I'm busy reading about the different types of C. I've gone back to Perricone and his theory about any kind of irritation including L-Ascorbic causing aging. I'm re-reading his book. There was a lot I'd forgotten.

See you
Molly Cool


I read his book before, but don't recall that part. Sadly, I gave his book away. Could you elaborate a bit on his theory?

Thank you! Smile
Molly
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Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:06 am      Reply with quote
I may have mis-quoted him Embarassed haven't got to that chapter yet. He defo is anti-L-Ascorbic though that much I remember. Plus very much against irritating your skin.

I will report back...........off to read the C chapter now
Molly
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Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:12 am      Reply with quote
In a very tight nutshell Perricone says any inflammation sets off free radicals so that one's easy to understand.

But what I'd forgotten were his reasons for being anti-L-Ascorbic, as follows;

Firstly, it's only water (not fat) soluble. 'solubility determines which part of a cell the vitamin can protect from free radicals......it can only gain admission to the inside of a cell......it cannot prevent free radical damage on the outside of a cell' so he prefers the fat-soluble C-esters.

Secondly, it's acidic so irritating. This has always been a bit of an anomoly for me; that you put something irritating and exfoliating on your skin in the morning to protect from the sun Question so in the height of summer I only use it at night or after sun exposure.

Now here's the BIG ONE; which may account for the Vit C GLOW. 'it caused something called a Fenton reaction'. When L-Ascorbic comes in contact with iron (and your skin is loaded with iron), it breaks down the metal and produces a dangerous type of free radical, the hydroxyl. He says he began to believe this was responsible for the redness it stimulates when left on the skin.

So, this book was written several years ago and the Fenton reaction may have been refuted somewhere - been looking but haven't found anything yet. But a lot of people do wonder about that 'glow', whether it's irritation or not.

As a result of this I've given up my l-ascorbic. In fact I'm moving back to a total non-inflammatory program. For the moment I thought it would be interesting to repeat Perricone's first ALA experiment, which only used 1% ALA twice a day. For the past few days I've used my PSF diluted in half with rosehip oil twice daily and I guess it could just be wishful thinking, but I think my skin looks good; rested, calm, even (but not in a stripped white way more my natural colour) and even my pores look better than last week especially an aggravating one on my nose which I like to reduce with acid.

I've also given up my Berry Beneficial for the time-being and I'm only using emu on its own not over actives which I've always found makes them more irritating because of the deeper penetration.

I want to slowly introduce some other non-inflammatory actives; maybe a C-ester next and change my sunscreen because for all the science my skin feels calmer with mineral rather than high PPD Tinosorb SS.

As a footnote Perricone doesn't condemn gentle AHAs at all - quite the opposite, he considers they have anti-oxidant properties too.
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Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:12 am      Reply with quote
"As a footnote Perricone doesn't condemn gentle AHAs at all - quite the opposite, he considers they have anti-oxidant properties too."

what is considered a gentle AHA Molly please? Thanx for posting - interesting!!!

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m.april
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Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:08 am      Reply with quote
I have to admit I'm not a big fan of Dr. Perricone. Since he aggressively peddles his own products, I feel he can't be considered completely objective. Plus, he's been criticized for exaggerating his academic credentials, and for (I think) his testing techniques. I read one of his books (really more like a pamphlet) in which he offered anecdotes about the impressive effectiveness of his various formulae. That was enough to induce me to buy! But I was ultimately disappointed.

How he ever managed to get PBS to allow him the time to essentially broadcast an infomercial is beyond me.

There are some medical theories that point to inflammation as a culprit in disease -- atherosclerosis for example. It's thought that inflamed/irritated artery walls facilitate the ability of plaque to adhere, thus causing hardening of the arteries. That's why the prophylactic use of low-dose aspirin (an acid!) is recommended, since it's an anti-inflammatory drug.

Since l-ascorbic acid is a trickier form of C to effectively formulate, I wonder if this couldn't be one of the reasons he doesn't prefer it, since he has his own skincare line. I'm not saying other forms of C may not be effective, but I've read at least one clinical trial abstract in the past that said other forms didn't prove to be AS effective as l-ascorbic when it comes to certain anti-aging issues. I'm sorry I didn't save it so I could provide the link now, but if I could dig it up I'm sure someone else can.

And while I would never use any manual exfoliator on MY face, or any acid strong enough to cause redness or extreme dryness, I can say from personal experience that using acids per se hasn't caused my skin to look older -- rather just the opposite. Everyone's different though.

I'm no scientist, but I can't help but look with a jaded eye at most of these doctors who sell their own products. I don't doubt that their wares may be at least benign if not very effective. And it could be that an individual's skin may look better without the use of any acids. But mine isn't one of them!
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Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:14 am      Reply with quote
Apparently, Perry helped Jan Marini start up her skin care line-that's why she has c-esta. That being said however, she also pushes some very strong exfoliants (caused iritation even on rhino skin here).
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Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:18 am      Reply with quote
I think Perricone is questionable as well. Rolling Eyes We all have our beliefs, but how can he deny some of the research out there? For example, Molly posted this link to a pick on long-term retinoid use. Doesn't look like it's causing more damage to me, does it to anyone else?

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