With all this talk of the new year and resolutions and all, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed at all the products and recommendations being thrown your way right now (I know I am). However, a quick visit to your dermatologist can resolve all of that and help you sort through all the claims and give you a tried and true product or two that will really work. And probably for a lot less than what you would pay at a department store, or even at the drugstore, trying out different products that ultimately don't do what you want.
If acne is your problem, try this: Ziana. Available by prescription only, Ziana is a topical vitamin A product (think Retin-A) but in a gel formulation, that is combined with a topical antibiotic, clindamycin. It is the only product on the market that has those two products combined into a gel and it works. It is an ideal product if you are over the age of thirty-five and are still breaking out (hello!), because while it's not as strong as the higher strength (and thus more irritating) traditional Retin-A, it will help control your acne and can still be used to help prevent wrinkles around the eyes. Yea baby.
Again, this is a prescription-only product and you must see your doc first. If you are pregnant or nursing, you are out of luck. Ziana is Pregnancy Category C, which is a no-no (though it has not been shown to cause birth defects, no doc will touch it with a ten-foot pole). Sorry.
Honestly, every woman should be on a topical Vitamin A product for all the benefits it provides your skin: It sloughs off dead layers far better than any scrub; it fades brown spots; prevents and treats acne; and prevents wrinkles and lines. If Ziana isn't for you (start first with samples), there are other types of products out there that your doc can prescribe. If you are age 65 and reading this, start now.
Oh, and I almost forgot the best part! In the past, insurance wouldn't cover these products with the flimsy excuse that they were being used for "cosmetic" purposes, even if you were using it (and your doctor wrote it) for acne; well, no longer. These products are FDA approved and indicated for acne so the insurance companies had to throw that excuse out the window. Ha! In addition, the drug companies now provide prescription card vouchers that you take with you to the pharmacy that guarantees your say, Ziana prescription will cost no more than $25--guaranteed. It's lovely, isn't it?
If you really want to go on the attack and fade those brown spots and/or scarring but want to avoid hydroquinone (a somewhat controversial lightener), ask your derm for Finacea (azelaic acid). Technically indicated for rosacea, Finacea has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and germ killing properties. It also helps reduce skin thickness, even skin tone and improve skin's appearance and can safely be used in conjunction with the Ziana. They even offer a $10 off coupon at the pharmacy--hey hey! No OTC product can do all that.
Your face is the first thing people see when they meet you, and it's the first thing YOU see when you look in the mirror. Invest in yourself and take the time to go to the dermatologist--these products can make a huge difference in your life and impact how you feel about that face you put out into the world. Do yourself a favor and make an appointment; you (and your skin) will be happy you did.