I’ve been fairly lucky when it comes to skin issues – for my age and lifestyle, my skin is probably pretty average. I don’t suffer from conditions like rosacea or eczema, and I’ve never had major issues with facial acne. I did, however, suffer from horrendous acne breakouts on my back starting from about the age of 10 until I was 14 – it was bad enough that my mom took me to a dermatologist to treat it. I was prescribed Retin-A, but the problem didn’t go away completely until after I spent a week working as a camp counselor when I was 14. I don’t know what finally made it go away, if it was all the sunshine and swimming, or if the Retin-A finally kicked in, or if it was just coincidental timing, but whatever it was, hooray!
Now, at the age of 38, I have some fine lines starting to make an appearance, and my skin isn’t as smooth as it used to be. The author of The Skin Regime, Dana Ramos, would probably slap me for admitting this, but I’m really bad about using sunscreen on a regular basis. On my kids? Always. On myself? Eh, maybe if my moisturizer or BB cream has it already included. Unless I have plans where I know I’ll be in the sun for a prolonged period of time (going to the beach, say, or one of the kids’ school field days), I don’t make a conscious effort to use sunscreen. (Sorry, Dana, I’ll try to be better!) On the plus side, I’ve never seen the inside of a tanning bed in my life.
I know that there’s more I could do in addition to using sunscreen to make my skin healthier, but there are three main problems: (1) I don’t have the money to buy a bunch of expensive skin stuff that may or may not work, (2) I’m still learning what products and brands work for me when I do get a chance to try them, and (3) I’m lazy.
The Skin Regime: Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin was written for women like me. And for women like you, too, even if you’re not like me. There’s no new information in this book, no miracle “get perfect skin in an hour!” fixes. What The Skin Regime does is consolidates all the information that’s floating around out there and puts it into layman’s terms. And it’s done in an entertaining, easy-to-read way. Dana Ramos has taken what could be a very dull, dry subject (your dull, dry skin), and puts the information into a conversational tone instead of a boring academic one. It’s like she’s sitting down having a one-on-one chat with you – you might even find yourself laughing as you read (like when you get to the part about how she reacts to discovering “dirty brown patches” – melasma – on the sides of her face). She’s somewhat lighthearted but also serious, if that makes any sense at all. (You can read the first chapter for free on the website if you want to see what I mean).
The book opens with an in-your-face (so to speak) challenge to cosmetics companies: gather up a few customers and have them use your company’s products on one side of their face, and the suggestions from the book on the other side. If after a few weeks, any company’s products even come close to the results of The Skin Regime’s, then The Skin Regime will donate to their charities and promote them in future revisions. BUT, if they fail, The Skin Regime not only gets bragging rights, but the losing company will have to donate to The Skin Cancer Foundation and other charities of The Skin Regime’s choice. No one has taken the challenge yet.
Dana shares her own experiences as someone who experienced severe acne stretching into her adult years, plus issues like melasma (those dark patches you might see on your skin, caused by hormonal changes and/or sun damage) and the typical fine lines and wrinkles that started showing up in her thirties.
The book lets you know what to expect from the Skin Regime (like an adjustment period as your skin gets used to your new routine), and what not to expect (like instantaneous, miraculous results). Dana is also very thorough with her warnings – things like how long you should wait between peels, and how to maintain your new skin after completing her Boot Camp (hint: the answer is not to keep doing regular peels!) And just like when you’re cleaning out the hallway closet and the mess gets spread out everywhere as you’re organizing, your skin might temporarily look a little worse before it starts looking better.
Dana lets you know right up front that her book isn’t for everyone. It’s not for people who have more severe skin problems like cystic acne, open lesions on the skin, or hypersensitivity to skincare products – she recommends that you consult with a dermatologist FIRST to resolve severe issues like those, or other conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema. The techniques in the book also should NOT be used by women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, or by nursing moms. Some of the products are safe during these times, but as the author says, why take the chance?
Following the Boot Camp and Maintenance sections, Dana branches out into other areas: the rest of the skin on your body, a discussion about various treatments like lasers and liposuction and hair removal, and closes with a shopping list with everything you need to follow The Skin Regime. (It’s a surprisingly short and inexpensive list, and includes optional prescription and over-the-counter medications you might need or want under some circumstances, like retinol cream).
There’s also a small line of Skin Regime skincare products – the 1-4-All Peel, a Gentle Cleansing Lotion with Jojoba Esters, a Peel Preparation Solution, and an Advanced Care Moisturizer. I received a sample of the 1-4-All Peel (enough for up to four peels) to try out. This is a layerable peel, which means you can make it stronger by first applying a single layer to your face, waiting a minute, and then applying another layer, up to a total of four layers.
Per the instructions, I did a patch test several hours before using the peel, just to make sure I wouldn’t have a sensitivity or allergy to it. (Unlikely, as I don’t have particularly sensitive skin or any known allergies to skincare products, but better safe than sorry!) When the patch test came up fine, I proceeded with the step-by-step peel instructions.
Step One is to thoroughly wash your face with a mild soap and a washcloth; Step Two is to clean excess oils from your skin (using a product like rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, or a peel prep solution). Step Three is when you apply the peel, using a cotton ball to apply one thin layer on the face. (Going over the same spot twice effectively adds a second layer). I’ve used a peel before with positive results, so between that and having done a patch test with this peel, I felt comfortable doing a two-layer peel on my face. I waited a minute or so after applying the first layer and then went over my face again.
When applying a peel, a slight stinging, itching, or heat sensation is normal (as is some slight, temporary redness). I found this peel to be quite mild – even with two layers, the “sting” was less than the other brand of peel I’ve tried. It felt similar to using any other product containing alcohol (which this product does contain, in the form of SD Alcohol 40B – the full list of ingredients can be found further down in this post); it also had the same “cooling” sensation as alcohol-based products. I guess I’m thicker skinned than I thought. 😉
I waited about three minutes and then washed the peel off with mild soap and cool water. (I discovered here that “warm” water is uncomfortable to rinse the peel off, and had to turn it down to a barely-lukewarm level). I then dried and moisturized my face, and ta-da, I was done! (At least until next week).
I did notice a “tightening” feeling on my face (I assume from the drying effects of the alcohol in the peel), but my regular moisturizer took care of that with no problem. I didn’t have any redness at all after rinsing off the peel, although I did notice that my skin felt a little more sensitive than usual (which is normal and expected). My skin did feel much smoother to the touch, and it looked smoother as well – less “textured.”
Here’s my “After” picture – unfortunately, I didn’t quite hit the mark in terms of duplicating the angle and lighting from the Before picture, but even with slightly more flattering lighting in this picture, I think you can still tell there was an improvement in the texture of my skin. (I know I could see, and feel, the improvement).
I took another look at my face three hours after using the peel, and I did have a couple of spots on my cheeks where some slight redness had appeared, but not to the point where I’d feel the need to hide my face from being seen in public, and they didn’t feel tender or sensitive. As with my previous experience using peels, I didn’t have any discernible “peeling” or flaking – which is okay by me, since I DID get the smoother skin I was after!
The thing to keep in mind is that The Skin Regime isn’t a one-and-done treatment. It’s more along the lines of a lifestyle change – like a conscious choice to permanently eat healthier, as opposed to a fad one-week diet. The Skin Regime Boot Camp is a six-to-twelve week process that’s followed by a long-term Maintenance program. You can learn more about The Skin Regime on their website and on their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages.
1-4-All Peel Ingredients: Purified water, SD Alcohol 40B (natural), Mandelic Acid, Trichloroacetic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Resorcinol, Pomegranate Extract, Lactic Acid, Sodium PCA, Urea, Inositol, Sodium Benzoate, Niacinamide, Sodium Lactate.
You can purchase your own copy of The Skin Regime: Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin by Dana Ramos on both The Skin Regime web store (bundled) and on Amazon (Kindle version for $9.95, paperback for $10.76). You can also find the sample 1-4-All Peel currently on sale for $14.95 (regularly priced at $19.95), in addition to other Skin Regime products and value bundles.
And now for not one, but TWO Giveaways!
The Skin Regime is currently running a giveaway for FIFTY free samples of the 1-4-All Peel! The giveaway is open to U.S. residents, and winners will be randomly selected on October 20, 2014. Click here to head over the The Skin Regime and learn how to enter (it’s super easy, I promise!) And if you aren’t selected as a winner, they’ll email you a coupon for 75% off a sample size peel!
You can also enter my giveaway, right here, to receive the same items I tried out (The Skin Regime: Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin book and a sample 1-4-All Peel)! This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends October 18th, 2014 (11:59PM EST).
DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides, Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Dividing by Zero is not responsible for prize fulfillment; the sponsor is responsible for shipping the prizes to the winner’s valid address (no PO Boxes). Your information will not be sold or shared; it is used by the blog owner only and solely for verification/prize fulfillment.