Wow has my life changed! A quick recap before we dish about Retin A.
January continued with it’s life struggles that included weather, more illness, surgery and aftercare for a loved one as well as some unexpected travel. I’ve made it out on the other side and February has so far been much better- if not still action packed!
I’ve had some time to reflect and I am realizing just how much my life has changed since moving up here to Montana. I want to share more of that with you because when *I* follow someone, it helps me to know a little bit about where they are coming from. And my life looks much different than it did before!
To help you see just HOW FAR away from civilization we are at the moment, I took this video a few weeks ago. This is the drive up to our house (which you can see at the end). There’s been so much snow that the plows can’t push it up any higher, so the road has now narrowed to the point that only one car at a time can go through. If we meet someone else coming down the mountain, we have to back down the mountain until there is room to pass.
Since I took the video, the road has become impassable for most people. My husband, who has mad driving skills earned over many, many years- literally gunned it, in our 4×4, out of the garage in reverse for several miles- before being able to turn around and get to the airport for a business trip. People are using their snowmobiles to get to their cars parked down the mountain! It is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
The snow is so deep that the animals don’t move around that much, but when they do- they use the road too! Winston and I see tracks every morning from wild cats, foxes, and the occasional moose(the elk have moved further down river where the snow isn’t as deep).
The locals are telling me that this is WAY more snow than usual, so maybe there’s hope for an early spring? I can’t even imagine what this will all look like during the thaw!
There is a peacefulness up here that is so embracing. It isn’t eery- it’s comforting. We don’t get much wind so the snow falls so softly, just like a snow globe.The temperatures aren’t bitter, so you can still get outside. The houses up here are well prepared for this sort of winter, so it’s always cozy and warm and we always have a fire going. But since mid-December, hopping in my car to head down into Whitefish only happens when my husband is home. Thankfully my food and wine hoarding skills are on point!
In spite of what you may imagine, I actually like it up here. Maybe it’s because I know that it’s temporary or maybe I’ve just learned to embrace it. I don’t really know but it has slowed my life down in a way that has allowed me to really reflect on what’s important. My thoughts are richer and deeper and my appreciation for simple things has become finer tuned. What a blessing to all of a sudden, have your life pulled from the rat race and just…….quieted.
Don’t get me wrong- I still long to be able to frolick in town again driving a sparkling clean car, shopping, getting my hair and nails done ON SCHEDULE, grabbing a coffee whenever I feel like it, perusing Sephora and Ulta regularly……but this is nice. It’s REALLY different….. but it’s nice and I’m super thankful for this opportunity. My husband and I always try to keep an open mind, hold life loosely and never say never. I think it’s served us well.
I’m saving a fortune on sunscreen through this Montana winter. Seriously Y’all- there is NO SUN. When I wake up the sky is grey. 7:30 am looks exactly like 5:30 pm………. and then it’s dark. So my skin isn’t exactly experiencing a lot of photoaging right now <weak high five>.
*This post contains affiliate links*
But let’s chat briefly about Vitamin A(Retin A).
Do you use it?
Holy anti-aging! (Can we still say “anti-aging? What are we saying now for “not wrinkled”?)
WHY was I so scared to use this for so long? <bangs forehead on table>
I started about 8 months ago, using the very lowest strength (0.025%) every other night before bed. I felt a slight tightness each morning and that was about it for a few weeks. THEN I got a good peeling off of dead skin which was amazing and left my skin looking like I had just come from having an expensive facial. I continued with the lowest strength until I could use it every night, which took a few months. After a few months of that, I moved up to the next strength (0.05%) and used it every other night. I experienced the same effects……..tightness and an eventual peeling. Now I use it every night and I am about to bump up to the highest strength (0.1%). I’ve never experienced any redness or flaking, just that nice peel every so often and I’ve got to say- my skin is looking all the better for it. I expect the effects to be cumulative over time so I am a complete believer.
In the US, you can only get Vitamin A or Retin-A with a prescription. It seems that it used to be fairly inexpensive until it was found to be such an effective anti-aging skin treatment- then BOOM! You need a script and it’s gonna cost you $100 or more <eye roll>. If your prescription price is too high (and climbing!) and you’d still like to use Retin-A you, can do what I did and order from Reliable RX Pharmacy.
I’ve had no issues ordering from them whatsoever. The tretinoin is from Johnson & Johnson and the expiration dates are clearly marked, etc. The cost is less than $7 per tube compared with the average $125 for the prescription. Obviously, do your own research, but I’ve been really pleased with my experience ordering from them.(The first time that you order, they do give you a call to confirm your order, but I’ve not gotten a call since placing that first order.)
Retin A *IS* a vitamin. It IS strong stuff, so if you have ANY skin conditions or your skin is naturally sensitive to some things, I would strongly advise NOT using this. Talk to your dermatologist before using it at all. The reason it works so well is that it is that Vitamin A is able to penetrate several layers deep into the skin to promote cellular turn over. When used correctly it speeds up the rate at which our skin cells turn over much like they did in our youth. The results are cumulative and over time, with consistent and proper usage, you can see a real difference in your skin.
One of my favorite You Tubers is Angie over at Hot n’ Flashy. I’ve followed her Retin A usage for a long time and she recently did a 5 year update (now THAT’S commitment!) on her Retin A results. Amazing stuff. Have a look for yourself here.
Or watch her video:
I LOVE her because she is incredibly transparent about her results, always. If you’re intersted in
anti-agin, I mean wrinkle prevention, you will definitely want to subscribe to Angies channel, she is a wealth of information.
Being the only topical that has been clinically proven time and again to safely turn back the hands of time on your skin, I eventually had to give it a shot and I am so glad that I did. I will probably use it forever and I definitely wish that I’d begun using it at about age 40.
*Just FYI: My skin is normal to dry, no large pores and has never been sensitive to any products.*
I’ll talk more about all the derivatives of Vitamin A available over the counter as well as their effectiveness in a future post because there is a lot to cover on this subject….and you know…I’ve got to put snowshoes on just to walk my dog so everything I do now seems to take longer.
At the end of the day, everyone’s skin is different and has different needs so it’s always best to talk to your doctor first and let them recommend what is best for your skin. A quick search on YouTube will also pull up some Retin A horror stories as well- so DO NOT take using it lightly, because you can really damage your skin. In my opinion it is completely worth making the time and effort to see if your doctor thinks it is right for you because the results are pretty amazing over time.
Do you use Retin A? What’s been your experience with it? Do you think that you could you live up here in the backwoods of Montana for long?
Links to the Retin A that I’ve used and mentioned in the post:
Tretinoin Cream 0.025%