The products offered by SkinMedica can be overwhelming. Here is a quick break down on how to choose the right products for you.
SkinMedica's GRASS anti-aging regimen stands for:
G- growth factor
First question: what are your skin goals? Whole regimen or targeted treatment?
Second question: what type of skin do you have? Dry, oily, or combo? Acne-prone?
TNS is the growth factor found in TNS Essentials (TNS plus antioxidant), and TNS Recovery (just the growth factor). If acne prone, the high concentration of vitamin C can predispose to break-outs, so TNS Recovery might be more suitable. TNS essentials pump problems? Try priming the pump by firmly pressing your finger over the 2 holes to keep product from dispensing, and depress the pump. This will help dislodge air bubbles that may have become trapped. Also store the product upside down. See 0:58 in this video
Please note that the TNS essentials lasts approximately 6 weeks of twice a day use, and I cannot accept returns if you have used most of the bottle.
Go with the highest concentration of retinoid that you can tolerate. If retinoid naïve, I recommend the Retinol 0.25, starting weekly and going up from there. The goal is work up your tolerance to use every night. Wait 20 minutes after washing your face to decrease irritation risk. Remember that other exfoliating treatments can increase irritation risk as well, such as using the AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser. Use 1-2 pumps, apply to face and neck, avoiding the eye area.
The TNS essentials has an antioxidant in it (the pale yellow side), so no separate antioxidant is needed. If using the TNS Recovery, then the Vitamin CE complex or Lumivive system would be your antioxidant. The Lumivive system is the new generation of antioxidants.
This stands for targeted treatments. If you have uneven pigmentation, Lytera is SkinMedica's non-hydroquinone solution. You do not have to cycle off of Lytera like you do with hydroquinone. This is also where you apply any prescription medications for the skin.
Use at least SPF 35 daily and re-apply throughout the day.
I have dry, sensitive skin, with occasional pimples before my period. In the PM: I use in order of application: TNS Essentials serum, Lumivive (even though I don't need to because of the antioxidants in the TNS essentials, but it makes my skin look radiant), Retinol 0.25 twice a week because my skin is very sensitive, Lytera, TNS ceramide mixed with Ultrasheer, Uplifting eye for puffiness, and HA5 to seal the moisture in. I like mixing my TNS ceramide (most moisturizing) with Ultrasheer (oil-free) to be thicker at night, and thinner in the AM.
AM regimen: TNS essentials, Lumivive, TNS ceramide mixed with Ultrasheer, Uplifting eye, sunscreen. I usually don't use Lytera and HA5 in the AM because if I don't wait long enough before applying my sunscreen, it pills, and I do not have time for that on busy mornings!
A note on moisturizers
TNS ceramide is the most moisturizing, and good for dry skin. Dermal repair is medium, and good for dry or combo skin. Ultrasheer is oil-free and good for oily skin.
A note on eye products
Uplifting eye is great for puffiness, especially if you store in the fridge. TNS eye repair is great for wrinkles. Unfortunately, there is no magic cream to erase under eye circles, but if you find one, let me know!
HA5 is not considered a moisturizer but a hydrator. It helps keep the moisture on your skin