Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough -The quest for ageless skin becomes part of getting older. Retinoids might be the very solution to help tighten skin’s elasticity, reduce the appearance of brown spots from the sun, minimize the
appearance of wrinkles, and slow down the breakdown of collagen (which helps keep skin firm).
Dermatologists love this product too. When this product first hit the market in the 1970s, it was used to fight acne. Now, it is being used to treat warts, psoriasis, aged skin, blotchiness, and wrinkles.
Retinoids are able to make the skin’ surface turn over and die rapidly, which creates the path for new cells to surface from underneath. They also slow down the breakdown of collagen which helps thicken the skin where wrinkles occur. Retinoids also slow down the rate of melanin production which is the darker pigment causing sun spots.
This product can be found over the counter or can be prescribed. Dermatologists often prescribe
tretinoin and retinoic acid which is 100 times more effective than an over-the-counter formula. Sometimes starting with over the counter products then building the skins strength to use prescribed formulas can be helpful. It generally takes about 3 to 6 months of daily use to see a difference. However, the use of prescription retinoids can produce a noticeable appearance within 6 to 8 weeks. Retinaldehyde is another form of retinoid that has been found effective to rejuvenate older skin.
A little goes a long way with retinoids. You only need a tiny pinch, pea sized amount. Using more than this can irritate the skin. The skin has to build a tolerance to this product and sometime using it every other day at first is recommended. You may also need to avoid using other medications, so asking a doctor is important. The sun should also be avoided, especially between the hours of 10am and 2pm. Protective clothing and sunscreen is recommended. Retinoids should be applied on clean, dry skin. It should not be used with other products, especially those containing sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, or salicylic acid.
Some of the common side effects include stinging, burning, itching, redness, peeling, or swelling, especially if the product contains tretinoin. Moisturizer can help and of course backing off and building up to their use can help gradually build tolerance. Retinoids, especially those over the counter, are mostly safe and can be used forever. Products continue to improve and sometimes results vary by person. Taking care of your outer layer is important. Although the years can’t be completing erased, retinoids are quite the magic potion to help reverse the clock even only minutes. When you see a noticeable difference, you feel more confident and radiant.