Beauty: How to get the most out of your expensive night cream

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[Avene $54, Vanicream $13, Jojoba Oil $13]

Last year I shelled out over $50 on a teeny tiny tube of a particular night cream because I had read amazing reviews about how well it worked and was becoming concerned that at my age, I better take preventative measures and not have regrets later on.  But if I had used it as directed, I would have run out in 2 months.  It’s been a year now and I’m just running out now, so thought I’d share how I’ve made it last.

That particular night cream was Avene Retrinal 0.1%, made by a French manufacturer.  I searched pubmed (a subscription only medical journal database) for retinaldehyde (the active ingredient in Avene) and found an article detailing how retinaldehyde is a precursor to retinoic acid (from vitamin A).  It’s long been known that retinoic acid is extremely effective at increasing skin turnover to reveal more youthful skin at the expense of temporary horrible skin irritation, burning, and redness.  Retinaldehyde is thought to work similarly to retinoic acid but more slowly and gently.  The journal article showed that retinaldehyde was significantly more effective at reducing fine lines than placebo in just several weeks.  One disclaimer I have about the research though is that it was funded by the Avene company, so you have to take it with a grain of salt.  Anyway, the reviewers on Amazon were crazy about it so I gave it a try anyway.  It’s hard to say if it is truly effective for me because at my age, I have only the tiniest of fine lines.  But I do notice that my skin feels more supple the next day.

So finally, to get the most out of my night cream, I combine it with Vanicream and Jojoba Oil!

Vanicream is often prescribed by dermatologists as a moisturizer for people with allergies and very sensitive skin, but you can get it over the counter. Its ingredients are inert and serves as a great vehicle to deliver your night cream.  The jojoba oil, being an oil, is a great way to really lock in the moisture found naturally occurring in your skin, but also to lock in the water found in the Vanicream and your night cream.  Jojoba oil is thought to be the plant oil closest in chemical structure to your skin’s natural oil (sebum) and so generally it is not supposed to be irritating.

Recently, I spent a couple days out of town and forgot to bring this regimen with me and noticed that my skin looked significantly worse!  So at the very least I can attest to its short term effectiveness.  Yay.

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