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To Retinol or Not To Retinol, That Is The Question…

To Retinol or Not To Retinol, That Is The Question…

It seems retinol is making headlines everywhere and is being placed in every product imaginable.  Retinols used to be in night creams and serums only, but lately you can get your fill of retinol in everything from cleansers to sunscreens.  However there is a problem and that is that retinol should never be used during the day, a fact which cosmetics companies are ignoring to catch a ride on the ever fast Anti-Aging train. All retinoids should be used at night because they break down when exposed to sunlight and lose their efficacy. Vitamin A derivatives, including retinol, rapidly break down when exposed to the sun and air.

Retinol is a milder form of topical Vitamin A and the over the counter version of the prescription vitamin A derivative, tretinoin, also known as Retin-A.   Both are effective in reversing sun damage and the signs of aging. Both tretinoin and retinol aid in reducing the appearance of fine lines, evening out skin color, and increasing the production of collagen. Both also improve skin texture and tighten pores. However, many people cannot tolerate tretinoin because it can be highly irritating and drying. Retinol is milder; while the results may not be as dramatic people tolerate it better.

Generally, it takes about 3 to 6 months of daily use to notice a difference. With prescription retinoids, a patient might notice smoother, more even-toned skin in as early as 6 to 8 weeks.  Using tretinoin and retinols encourage skin cell turnover; the new skin is delicate and SPF should be used everyday daytime ONLY.

Be very aware of Retinol containing products that are to be used during the day.  Research and discussions with our own Dr. Resnik suggest that retinols in cleansers, lipsticks, day moisturizers and sunscreens are a BIG no-no.  Also women who are pregnant and breastfeeding should stay away from retinol and or any vitamin A derivative.

Benzoyl Peroxide and alphahydroxy acids may deactivate retinoids, so do not layer them.  Waxing and laser hair removal can cause excess redness on retinoid treated skin, so please do not use retinoids for several days before a treatment.

I love retinols and have seen amazing results in many of my patients when used correctly.  Here at Resnik Dermatology, we carry a variety of anti-aging products that contain retinol.  I love Afirm by TxSystems.  It comes in 3 different strengths allowing your skin to become accustomed to the different retinol strengths. All 3 products are designed to minimize the appearance of aging due to sun damage: fine lines, brown spots and surface roughness.  Regular use of AFIRM dramatically transforms your skin, providing a radiant glow. Afirm 1x has 0.15% Retinol which will gently begin to transform your aged sun-damaged skin into softer smoother younger skin; Afirm 2x delivers retinol to your skin to help reduce the appearance of fine facial lines for normal skin in a 0.3% strength.
Afirm 3x has 0.6% retinol which is a generous amount of retinol and is designed to vigorously treat photo-damaged skin. It is appropriate for maximal retinol therapy and is particularly helpful for those with more tolerant skin.

We also have available Replenix Retinol Plus Smoothing Serums in strengths starting from 2x up to 10x.
Retinol Smoothing Serum is a lightweight, antioxidant-rich serum, designed to even your skin tone, and smooth and firm delicate skin, especially around the eyes. They are all retinol based and enriched with caffeine. These serums boost radiance and neutralize free radicals with 90% green tea polyphenols. Sagging skin is lifted, hyperpigmentation is diminished and rough areas become soft and smooth, and luminosity is restored.
The 2X is for sensitive skin or first time retinol use.

The 3X is for normal skin.

The 5X is for normal to tolerant skin.

The10X is for a more tolerant skin.

I hope this clears up many of the questions on Retinols. If you have any questions in addition please call 305-692-8998 and ask for me, Lina.

Until next month!

Lina, your Skin Care Guru

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