Almighty skin update 6.0

Isn’t it great that I managed to stick with this New Year’s resolution 6 months later? I’m impressed, shocked even.

So, last month I vowed to fix the broken clip and start using my red-blue LED skin therapy light, aka “the Almighty,” regularly once more. First, I duct-taped the bejesus outta this thing, and after the third day it fell on my head while I was using it from beneath. Ouch!

I’ve been resting in bed and holding it vertically 4″ from my face now instead, usually for 15 minutes a day. Some days I’ve skipped, and some days I’ve done 30 minutes instead of 15 so I guess it all averages out. And… The Glow Is Back!

Again, as before, I notice after the first few treatments my skin is beginning to look slightly flushed and pink, glowing once more. Hooray! I attribute this to the increase in circulation, and it’s addicting to see in the mirror, I admit. The gadget is set to red LEDs at 660 nm, which seems to be the most effective setting.

One day, I spooked myself by wondering if red-blue LED lights give off carcinogenic radiation, and the thought that I was pumping my face full of it… just my luck, right? The answer is no, LED lights do not emit carcinogenic radiation. I might have read this fact before when initially researching LED skin therapy, but if so I had forgotten about it until recently.

The only other update is the fact that I started a new jar of Pond’s Cold Cream, as per my skin care regimen, and I bought the wrong “flavor.” The last jar I had was a “cool, cucumber formula” and this new one I bought isn’t. They both have a light green top and similar front packaging. And, it’s a lot thicker and oilier than the last jar I had. So far, it’s not making my skin break out, so I’ll keep up with it.

Still using Tretinoin about 3-4X a week, with breaks on nights my skin gets too irritated and dry. I have no idea what effect it’s having on my wrinkles because mostly I’m enamoured by the return of my pink glow, thanks to the Almighty. Still using daily L’oreal’s Revitalift with SPF, although it’s heavier and greasier than the Revitalift Dual Tube (without SPF), which I prefer. 

At six months, the most effective aspects of the skin care resolution have been 1) the red LED skin care gadget, 2) the Pond’s cold cream and spinning facial brush, and 3) of course, daily lotion with SPF. Least effective seem to be water and vitamins… which is to say, these help your skin, but in less immediately noticable ways.

In the past six months, I have seen 1) an increase in skin’s radiance, 2) less coloration on my age and sun spots, 3) plumper and more responsive skin tone, bounces back with less crepe, 4) less lines around the lip and mouth, with less lipstick bleeding, and 5) a slight reduction in the depth and prominence of my wrinkles. Those are good results! Good enough that I’m staying motivated to keep at this resolution, right?

Next month we’ll see how my upcoming vacation plays havoc with the skin care regimen, and if I can stick to my resolution when out of my element?

Published in: on June 29, 2010 at 1:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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Almighty skin update 5.0

I had to count on my fingers to try to remember how many months I’ve been doing these updates now. I missed last month… so sue me, eh?

Let’s back up to last March, I was sick and yet trying to keep up with the Almighty, and my entire skin care regimen. I renewed my vows to start using it daily.

After 3 days of seeing my vows through, I broke the clip that holds the light. Sigh. It was all my fault too. So, I quit using the Almighty. This was a good thing in retrospect, however, since suspending the treatment (yet keeping up with the rest of my regimen) allowed me to discover what, if any, effect the LED is having.

First, let’s review the regimen and all the products’ 5-month feedback…

The Pond’s cold cream and facial spinning brush is wicked good. A++. So good, that when I hit the bottom of the jar, I curbed my impulse to try a new skin miracle makeup cream, and stuck with what works. My skin is dry, and I live in the desert, this stuff rocks my world.

The vitamins, C-. I finished the bottle and I cannot tell you in any way, shape or form how they may have helped my skin. I would argue that vitamins aren’t going to show dramatic and immediate results, but that they are still beneficial. But I can’t share any results from taking them, because there is no noticable effect. I’m done with the special vitamins… I’ll stick to my multi-vitamin, calcium/magnesium supplement, and folic acid/omega 3. Three vitamin pills a day are enough to choke down.

This dual-tube L’oreal Revitalift is still my favorite facial lotion, A+, but I’m only using it sporadically. I finally did buy some Revitalift with SPF for my daytime summer skin routine, but it has a different texture and scent than the one I’ve been using all winter. This stuff is still my favorite OTC lotion, and the only one that wouldn’t cause breakouts due to excess oil on my skin.

The Tretinoin (generic Retinol) night time lotion is having a modest but positive effect on diminishing my wrinkles, so I give it a B-. I’ve finally reached the point where I can use it on my face about 4-5 days a week. I take breaks in between, mostly because I forget some nights, but also due to occassional excessive dryness (in which case, I reach for the dual tube Revitalift lotion as my alternative).

Water, 64 ounces daily. Um… for me most days yes, but not always. I refuse to grade water’s effect on my skin. It’s just a healthier habit to have, so I try my best, but I admit to being a black tea addict, so there ya go.

Which brings our post back to where we began, the absence of the Almighty. The radiance that I saw before is gone, and I miss it. The effect on wrinkles might not have been so dramatic, but the radiance and clarity was much more pronounced when I was using it, even sporadically.

I must must must find a way to use it again. Rig a new clip to the headboard, grab the duct tape and fix what I can… I dunno. But at this point, I would say the Almighty did have a positive effect on my skin, and that discontinuing usage (yet keeping up with the rest of my routine) resulted in loss of radiance and clarity. Maybe a little loss of elasticity too.

New vow: fix the Almighty and go back to using it, a lot, again. And keep up with the blogging, because it really does help me stay motivated and maintain my regimen.

Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm  Comments (5)  
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Almighty 3.0

Alright, no one but me is really interested in these skin updates, but blogging the results once a month is part of my attempt at staying on track and remaining disciplined about my new year’s skin care resolution.

It’s been a tough month. The kids caught colds, and once I finished nursing them back to health, I’ve been unable to shake the cold myself (it’s been 3 weeks of coughing). We’ve had spring break (which means, my 8 year old is bouncing off the walls and riling up my 2 year old all day long). Even today and tomorrow are MORE days off from school (why didn’t they have this many days off when I was a kid?), the sun is barely up, and my children are raising Cain in the background while I type. I wake up exhausted every day (including today).

My point is: I’ve been literally sick and tired, and skin care is low on the list of things to-do. Blogging is low on the list of things to-do. Everything that doesn’t involve survival is low on the to-do list.

My skin results are the same as ever. My forehead wrinkles look slightly improved. My eyes look tired though, because I am. 

Tretinoin (generic Retinol) lotion: Still really harsh on my skin. I remember to put it on maybe 2 or 3 days a week, with the hope that cumulative results are still in the making.

Water: Sorta.

Vitamins: Only thing I’ve really kept up with, mostly from desperation to get healthy.

Pond’s + scrubby brush: Down from daily use to more like once or twice weekly. Too tired to care, and brushing my teeth is taking priority.

“Almighty” red LED therapy: Here’s where I need to get serious. Many nights, I’ve fallen into bed and been too tired to even watch TV, or knit, much less set up the red light wand. I’ve used the Almighty maybe once a week this past month.

But I’m going to recommit myself to 15 minutes a day with the Almighty, every day. And I hope to God that by the next Almighty update I’ll be much healthier and more energetic again.

Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 8:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Almighty results 2.0

Two months into the Great Skin Care Experiment, and I’m ready to share more of the latest results.

Let’s start with the Tretinoin (generic Retinol) cream. I was SO excited to start using my miracle-in-a-tube. My skin, however, was not as excited. My doctor recommended using the night cream “every other day for the first week, until your skin adjusts.”

Instead, I turned into a lizard for the first 2 weeks. I have never seen my skin molt so much, it was gross. “Every other day” wasn’t happening, not with the way my face was falling off, so I ended up using it twice a week for the first 2 weeks, about 3-4 times the 3rd week, and now I use it about 5 days a week. I still need to take a break occassionally when my epidermis is falling off again.

Is it working? Seriously, people… I’ve put the cream on my face maybe 10 times in the past month. Too soon to say. But I’m keeping at it.

And, of course, it’s been 8 weeks since I first began using the Almighty. At week 4, I was disappointed that I hadn’t seen the same results as the LED wand I bought prior. However, I did some more reading and discovered one big problem in my usage of it: I had it on the “wrong” setting. The apparatus can be set for low-medium-high, and being the typical American, I figured, “Bigger is always better,” and set the Almighty on high.

Turns out, the medium setting targets the skin at 660 nm beneath the skin (which is the frequency that the LED wand operates at). The high setting penetrates the skin at 880 nm, and for my purposes, I don’t think the first 4 weeks of treatment were doing much of anything. Maybe improved circulation, but that’s about it.

So here we are now, I’m still using it about 3-4 times a week (for one 15-minute session… if I had more time in a day, I’d up it to 30 minutes, but as of yet that hasn’t happened). I think the Almighty works, but I can’t tell you how. My wrinkles are trying to retreat, but gravity is a constant. I just feel as if I am putting light into my face, and that my face radiates more now… it’s a strange description to capture. The medium setting also makes my skin tingle pleasantly, the same as the wand did. So maybe at last, I’m using this correctly.  

I still think the most effective part of my new regimen is the Pond’s + spinning facial brush. The Pond’s saved me during my lizard phase, the spinning brush removed the molting skin and kept me looking less Zygon, and more human.

The vitamins? Still choking them down. I’ve made them a part of my calcium discipline so I don’t forget to take them, but once these are gone, I doubt I’ll go right out for more. Still would like to try straight biotin and see how that works.

L’oreal’s Revitalift lotion… love love love. Still using it, same bottle I bought 2 months ago, and it helped get me through my Tretinoin lizard-ness. Think I’ll look for the brand with an SPF for a good summer daily lotion.

Overall? I’m happier about my radiance than I am about my wrinkles. But I’ll take what I can get.

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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Almighty results?

It’s officially one month since I began my skin care experiment. Results time! My goals were:

  • 2 15-minute sessions with the Almighty daily
  • Morning and evening facial scrubs with Pond’s cold cream, using my electric spin brush thingy
  • GNC’s Hair, Nails and Skin vitamins daily
  • L’oreal’s Revitalift skin lotion twice daily
  • 32 ounces of water (cheapest, but hardest for me to stick with)
  • I’ve faithfully used the Almighty — usually one 15-minute session a day, sometimes twice — and only missed 2 days in the past month. The results fom my $40 LED wand were more impressive at 4 weeks, which is disheartening, but I still see improvement, so not so disheartening that I’ve discontinued use. However, with the wand, I would place it directly against my skin, and I bask in the Almighty’s light, about 6-8″ from the lights themselves. This could lessen the results, but I’m sticking with it. (Click the pic for the best ebay price I could find, if you’re in the mood to shop).

    The Pond’s cold cream and electric spinning brush ($24) is by far the most effective part of the regimen. I credit this for my really smooth, velvety cheeks and brighter complexion. The spinning brush is a wicked good buy, I’ve had mine for over 2 years and it’s still going strong.

    The GNC vitamins do seem to be working, but I’m noticing hair growth and slightly stronger nails more than anything. Bravo ho HannahM got me all excited about the power of biotin, and after these vitamins run out, I’m gonna try plain, OTC biotin vitamins. But, my hair is brushing my forearms again!

    L’oreal’s Revitalift lotion is interesting. Love that it moisturizes without causing breakouts (as usually happens when I use facial lotions regularly). Maybe the Almighty’s blue LEDs are working too? Dries light on the skin, not greasy. But, I don’t love that there’s no SPF, so I can’t use this for on days I’m going outside.

    And water? Sure it helps, but can you quantify how water helps? I didn’t think so either, but I still know it’s good for me, and for my skin. I know, I should drink more than 32 oz. a day, but give me credit for trying.

    What’s next? I’ve gone to my dermatologist for my tri-annual mole exam, and updated my Tretinoin (generic Retinol) facial cream prescription. Last time, I used the lotion for all of 2 weeks before finding out I was pregnant (and Retinol products are a HUGE NO NO during pregnancy and nursing!) So let’s hope this time I can use it long enough to see good results. Tretinoin is known to show modest results in only one month, and continuous improvement for up to one year.

    Overall? Minor wrinkle diminishment (not as much as hoped). No breakouts, no zits (which I expected, so pleasantly surprised there). Big time improvement on clarity, brightness and texture though! And, my experiment has helped me set better daily habits that I hope to continue with throughout the year.

    As for the Almighty? I’m still using it! And still glad I bought it, even without the drastic 30-day results I hoped for. But I’ll check back in at the end of February and let you know.

    (And yes, poppy… I’m looking less blowzy too. I’m not acting any less blowzy, though).

    Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 11:23 am  Comments (8)  
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    Almighty Photon Tender Skin

    ‘Tis the season for self-improvement, and I’m about halfway through my own skin experiment. For Christmas, I ordered a red/blue LED light anti-wrinkle, anti-acne gadget and upon opening my present, I found it came with some amusing directions.

    I really love reading pamphlets written by non-English speakers. You know it’s gonna be a good read when the name they use for the device you’ve just bought is: The Almighty Photon Tender Skin, a.k.a. “The Almighty” by hubby and I. One of my favorite skin conditions you can expect to be rid of, according to the directions, is the mysterious condition they call “blowzy face.”

    I have no idea what blowzy face is, but it’s become my new favorite word. As in, “Here comes Ole Blowzy Face!” or, “Well, am I looking less blowzy yet?”

    I’ve resolved myself to a strict skin care regimen for the next 30 days, with the hopes that the results I’m sure to see in are the kind that I can keep up with.

    • 2 15-minute sessions with the Almighty daily
    • Morning and evening facial scrubs with Pond’s cold cream, using my electric spin brush thingy
    • GNC’s Hair, Nails and Skin vitamins daily
    • L’oreal’s Revitalift skin lotion twice daily
    • 32 ounces of water (cheapest, but hardest for me to stick with)

    I’ve even made a chart to fill in every day with tallies for the items I managed to complete, to help me to stay motivated. I started on Christmas day, and so far I’ve seen smoother skin within a few days, and a brighter complexion within one week. The wrinkles look a wee bit lessened, but it’s too early to tell.

    Down With Blowzy Face! Love thy Almighty!

    Published in: on January 7, 2010 at 8:46 am  Comments (1)  
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    Red LED light anti-aging treatments

    When I first heard of these red light gadgets, I admit I thought it was a gimmick. But, being curious (and obsessed with skin care), I investigated this new treatment to see if it was all hype.

    How does exposing your skin to red light from LEDs (light emitting diodes) reduce wrinkles? NASA researched this therapy in hopes of finding a way for astronauts to heal more efficiently when in orbit. Lab studies revealed skin cells grew 150-200% faster when exposed to certain LED light wavelengths.

    Red LED light, penetrating the skin at 660 nm (nanometers), increases circulation to the skin cells and stimulates collagen production, hence the skin plumps and wrinkles diminish. Blue LED light is used for destroying bacteria, and is being touted as a revolutionary new way to combat acne.

    Really? Really really?

     I dipped a toe in the water and purchased a Pretika red LED light wand for at-home use this spring. Every day, religiously, I held the wand to my face, slowly covering the entire skin area in 1-2 minutes intervals. For two weeks, I saw no difference. But, I persevered. By three weeks I wondered if I was really seeing results, or if it was just wishful thinking.

    After one month? I definitely saw the difference. Wrinkles around my eyes had retreated. Crepey skin diminished, becoming bouncy once more. I also used it on the back of one hand, but not the other. This gave me the most surprising results, as my hand seemed to go back in time, with veins that were less prominent.

     The down side was the half an hour it took to expose the entire face for each daily treatment. I’m waiting for birthday money, and I’m investing in a hands-free device that covers more skin (which should drastically reduce the “pain in the butt” factor of the wands).

    Published in: on August 14, 2009 at 6:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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