“What about Retin-A for wrinkles?” I asked my dermatologist, as she removed the four stitches from the spot of pre-melanoma that she had taken off my back a week earlier. “Before you try a prescription medication like Retin-A or Renova for your wrinkles,” said Dr. W, “I would suggest you try a milder form in an over-the-counter version. Some people are sensitive to Retin-A and you have to stay out of the sun when you use these products.  I like the RoC line with retinol. Why don’t you try it as a night cream?”
Off I went to Ulta, the beauty supply store, to buy my new wrinkle cream. I purchased the RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum. (There were so many products in the skincare aisle that I likely added a wrinkle or two to my face just squinting to read all the fine lines of copy on each package.)
According to the RoC website, RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum will help me “get up to 10 years back to the look of my skin.” (Ooh, ooh, ooh, will I look like I am 44 instead of 54 after 12 weeks of using this serum? Ooh, ooh, ooh, I hope so!)
After washing my face, dabbing it with diluted cider vinegar, and putting on my RoC retinol serum (it does have a bit of an odd odor to it, but the odor dissipates quickly), I climbed into bed and opened up the March issue of InStyle magazine to learn more about “turning back the clock on aging” from Dr. Fredric Brandt. According to In Style, Dr. Brandt is the celebrity go-to guy for nonsurgical facelifts and so-called Baron of Botox. Here are Dr. Brandt’s tips:
1. Dr. Brandt recommends wearing at least a teaspoonful of sunscreen on your face every day. He says “protecting your skin from the sun lets the repair enzymes shift from defending skin to healing it.” (I agree and have been using SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 on my face instead of foundation. My esthetician D suggested this UVA/UVB sunscreen fluid which is water and sweat resistant. I also like that it is tinted, so I don’t have to use foundation.)
2. Dr. Brandt say to exfoliate just once a week with an at-home microderm system or peel.  Dr. Brandt says that if you exfoliate too often you won’t be able to use other anti-aging products, like retinol. (Ooh, ooh, ooh, I want to use my RoC retinol serum, so I better listen to Dr. Brandt.  I only exfoliate when I go for a facial, which has been about once every few months. I will have to do some research on at-home exfoliates or just make more appointments with my esthetician D.)
3. Dr. Brandt says women spend too much time focusing on tiny fine lines that don’t have a big impact on their appearance.  He says that “it’s the changes in the shape of your face – sunken cheeks, undereye hollowing – that really show your age.” (Sorry Dr. Brandt, but as of now I am not going under the needle with a filler to plump up my face. Nope – no Restylane for me – not yet – I am too afraid of using any fillers.)
4. Dr. Brandt says that the redness and itching that many people feel when they first add vitamin A-based creams to their regimen are “all part of the acclimation process.” To see results, he says you have to persist. (I hear you Dr. Brandt. I will be persistent.  I will rock the RoC retinol serum for the next several weeks.)
5. Dr. Brandt says that the older you get, the less foundation you need. He says that “base tends to settle into wrinkles and lines , which makes skin look duller.” He says to apply a light weight tinted moisturizer instead of a heavy foundation. (I agree and that’s exactly why I switched from foundation to a tinted sunscreen fluid. I feel guilty that I stopped using my Bobbi Brown foundation – so sorry Bobbi I love your makeup book called Living Beauty, plus your name ends in an “i,” just like mine.)
6. Dr. Brandt says that “if you don’t protect your neck now with SPF, prepare to be covering up in your 50s.” (What?  Am I going to have to wear turtlenecks for the rest of my life? I really don’t like the way turtlenecks look on my body. They do not flatter my face or neck at all.) Wait a minute – Dr. Brandt says that I should not worry. He says that I should be proactive and use cream below my chin, but be careful.  So glad I read this article because Dr. Brandt says that “the skin on the neck is more sensitive and that I should use retinol on this “fragile area no more than two or three times a week.” (Thank you Dr. Brandt for this important information. I just went out and bought L’oreal Age Perfect cream to put on my neck four to five nights a week when I am not using my retinol serum.)
This is really starting to get very complicated. With my menopausal memory, I know I am going to become confused. I better mark up a calendar just for my wrinkle creams and tape it to my bathroom mirror so I can coordinate my regimen. I do want my face and neck to stay forever wrinkle free during my 50+ years. I definitely don’t want to have to wear turtlenecks the rest of my life.