Jill writes abstracts of academic and technical books for the Protoview database. She holds a bachelors degree in German.
Where Did All These Wrinkles Come From!
While I have been spared the horror of hot flashes most women suffer during menopause, one unpleasant effect I have not escaped is the loss of skin elasticity due to declining estrogen levels. Around age 45, I noticed my skin was losing vitality as small wrinkles began appearing, especially along my jawline and around the mouth. My skin became ashen and I joked that I looked like the walking dead.
I tried three skin care lines—Dr. Hauschka, Clinique, and Origins—that helped add a bit of moisture but weren't really restoring vitality back to my skin. An aesthetician recommended I try Epionce and gave me a trial kit for combination skin. My skin felt better after a week and I've been using the Epionce skin care line for three years now.
Epionce Skin Care
My skin used to be combination leaning towards oily as I've always struggled with acne around the nose and mouth, but now my skin is definitely dry. Epionce has three skin care lines ranging from dry to oily. I use the line for Dry/Sensitive to Normal skin. (I tried the sample kit for Normal to Combination Skin and found it a bit too drying.)
Every morning I wash my face with Milky Lotion Cleanser, dry it lightly, and spray two pumps of Balancing Toner, distributing it over the face with my hands. The next step is probably the most important. Lite Lytic Tx contains salicylic acid that dissolves impurities in clogged pores, and also contains several botanicals that even out skin tone. Wait five minutes to let the exfoliating action work before the final step, moisturize. The Renewal Moisture Creme is nice and thick, and a little goes a long way, which is good because this stuff ain't cheap!
Epionce has a fantastic website (epionce.com) that explains their approach to skin care and recommends products for each skin type and concern. Products are full-price on their website so I have been ordering from skin-etc.com at a 20-25% discount. A sample/trial set can be purchased on skin-etc.com for $22, or I have seen them for sale on eBay.
Prescription Retin-A (Tretinoin)
So my skin had returned from the dead but I still had fine wrinkles and crepey skin on my neck that really showed my age. I asked my doctor during my annual exam if she knew of any products that help with wrinkles. She said the only product clinically proven to reduce wrinkles is Retin-A, which is a vitamin A derivative.
I did some research, evaluated product/cost options, and asked her to write me a prescription for Tretinoin cream 0.05%, 20 grams. It's not covered by insurance for wrinkle reduction purposes and can be fairly expensive. My pharmacy told me to go to GoodRx.com and print out the coupon for a lower price. The GoodRx prices seem to change periodically and do seem to be trending lower.
The trick to using Retin-A is to apply it very thinly at night before bed, just a pea-sized amount. Apply it every other night to begin with to make sure your skin doesn't have a reaction such as reddening and dry flaking. Do not apply near the eyes! This is strong stuff that irritates mucosal tissues. You can then apply a night creme if desired. Retin-A can take over a month to start working, so be patient.
I used tretinoin for six months with success, mostly softening the crepey skin on my neck along with reducing wrinkles on the jawline, and have now bumped up to 0.1%. Retinol also lightens brown spots and combats acne, in fact it is covered by most insurance when prescribed for acne. My first 20 gram tube lasted six months but my second one looks like it will last a year, so not totally sure how long a tube should last.
Many expensive skin care products contain Retinol, which is a version of vitamin A that must first be converted by enzymes into retinoic acid. Prescription Retin-A is far superior for reducing wrinkles and often more cost-effective. Retinol is a better option for younger women and those with sensitive skin.
Retin-A leaves the skin more vulnerable to damage from sun exposure so daily sunscreen is very important. After my Epionce routine, I apply Oil of Olay ProX Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30. This also helps keep my skin moisturized as my skin tends to dry out during the day. Pretty much any Oil of Olay with sunscreen will work. I prefer Oil of Olay over other drugstore lotions because it doesn't make my skin break out.
Cleanser $32, Tonic $27, Lytic Tx $54, Moisturizer $94
Oil of Olay
Retinol 0.05% (20g)
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Jill Townley