Want Strikingly Younger Looking Skin? My Two Top Product Picks

Are you ever frustrated and annoyed by advertising for products that claim to eliminate the “look” of wrinkles or otherwise improve the appearance of your skin.? What amazes me are “before and after” pictures intended to show near miraculous improvement but do not show much if any improvement, at least not to my eyes.

On a home shopping show, the show host gleefully shrieks, “Look, Isn’t this fabulous! See how the lines are diminished around the eyes! Isn’t this fantastic!” I don’t know what everyone else sees, but I usually don’t see enough improvement to motivate me shell out the asking price. I’m not blind!

And how about that Olay commercial that suggests the product is as good as a face lift. The young model’s skin is tight and flawless. Do they really think we are gullible enough to believe we will look like the model if we use the product? I guess so. Hope sells.

Is there anything that works – more than a little bit? Yes. I have found two products that work for me. (You may have found something fabulous – write and tell us about it.) One product works a little and the other works a lot. Here they are:

I like a product called Nutrius. I used to buy it at Sam’s Club – two tubes for around $39. Sam’s stopped carrying it and I later found it on HSN Home Shopping at a higher price for one tube. But I think it’s worth the price. Even though I give Nutrius a glowing recommendation, I know many women think it’s useless. If you check customer picks for the product on HSN you’ll find a range of opinions about the product.

What does Nutrius do that works for me? I am blessed that my face is not wrinkled. However, and this is a BIG however, my skin does have some “cross hatching” that is typical of older skin. Nutrius smoothes out the surface somewhat. It’s not perfect, but for me, there is a definite improvement if used daily.

Beyond Nutrius, here’s my best kept secret you won’t find on an infomercial or home shopping show: It’s retinoic acid cream, (brand name Retin A) and requires a prescription from your physician. I use the 0.1 percent strength. It will smooth out the surface of your skin as if you ran over it with a flat iron. Having said that, there are women who have used it and don’t like the result it produces, which is primarily redness, flakiness and burning. But if used properly, this can be avoided. It will eventually clear up, but in the meantime, it’s not pretty or comfortable.

If your doctor will give you a prescription for retinoic acid here’s my best advice to use it safely, just in case s/he doesn’t tell you: Apply it once a day at bedtime on clean BONE DRY skin. Wait at least 20-30 minutes after washing your face before applying the cream. That will eliminate a lot of redness and flakiness. Take care not to get it in your eyes – that’s very important. I would not use it directly under the eyes at all or at least not until you see how your skin reacts to it.

To start, use a small amount, about the size of a small pea mixed with an equal amount of moisturizer. I like Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion, which is more like a cream than a lotion. As your skin adjusts to the retinoic acid, you can reduce the amount of moisturizer or use the cream straight out of the tube and apply moisturizer over it. If your skin becomes too red, don’t use it every day. “Easy does it” is a good rule to observe when using retinoic acid. Better to get results slowly. If you decide to use it under the eyes, I’d really dilute it with a lot of moisturizer to start.

And above all, when you go out, use a sun block. Don’t lie in the sun while you use the product!

What does a small tube (about one ounce) cost? (It is unlikely your insurance will pay for it).If you buy the brand Retin A (a waste of money) it’s about $150. Generic retinoic acid is about $100 and the price will vary widely depending on the pharmacy. Shop around. You may be able to get it for $70 or less. Whatever the price, it may seem like a lot of money but many products pitched on TV and in department stores are just as expensive and don’t produce enough benefit to justify the price.

While retinoic acid is great for improving the texture of the skin, I don’t know what it will do for wrinkles. I suspect it would help soften lines because of the peeling effect.

By the way – I use the Nutrius in the morning.

One last bit of advice: Please don’t bypass your doctor and buy retinoic acid on the Internet. You never know what you are getting. If you have an unpleasant reaction, you have no recourse. It’s not worth the risk.

As the TV commercial might suggest, “Ask your doctor if retinoic acid is right for you.” S/he probably won’t know if it’s right for you, but will give you a prescription anyway. So it’s up to you to be aware of possible side effects and use it carefully.