Retinoids. These vitamin A derivatives can do a lot for your skin. Contained in over-the-counter and prescription products, retinoids help you manage everything from pigmentation to pore size to cellular turnover. Initially, prescription retinoid (tretinoin) cream was approves for the treatment of acne. Today, retinoids are a girl’s (and guy’s) best friend.
Which way is the Right Way?
Once you understand that retinoids are valuable little chemicals for your aging skin, you will want to run out and grab some for yourself. However, it is important to do your research. There are side effects to retinol creams. Those who have heard of them may have held off on starting their own anti-aging journey with skin care. The fact that retinoids can be drying to the skin, and possibly cause redness or flaking, is no reason to avoid all retinol products!
Retinoids can be started gently, as an over-the-counter moisturizer, to see how your skin responds. If you go this route, just be prepared to be patient. It can take up to 12 weeks for your skin to look refreshed and dewy. A prescription product, on the other hand, can bring about more obvious change within a month. There is no reason to endure a rough transition into the daily use of retinol cream. Talk with your dermatologist. Talk with an aesthetician. Consider using a prescription cream only every other day – and always at night before bed.
- Start out small, using only a pea-sized drop for your whole face.
- Wait about 15 minutes after washing your face to apply prescription retinol cream.
- After retinol has had a chance to soak in, apply moisturizer.
- Do NOT layer retinol with acne creams containing benzoyl peroxide, or with alpha hydroxy acid. This will offset the benefits of your wrinkle-fighting solution.
- Be conscientious about using sunscreen while you are also using a retinol product. Stop using a prescription retinol before going on a sun-filled vacation.
Patients of Laser & Mohs Dermatology of New York receive personal care for their medical and cosmetic skin concerns. Call (212) 391-8600 to learn more about maintaining healthy, youthful skin.