My Epic RETIN A Guide!😳 BRANDS, PRICES, PRESCRIPTIONS & NO-PEELING Skincare Routine
Your Guide To Retinol And Retinoids
What ingredients have decades of research proving they can turn around aging skin? Only , which have been shown in studies to do everything from smoothing fine lines and fading dark spots to making pores look smaller.
The downside: These vitamin-A derivatives cause so much irritation that many women give up. That's where this complete guide comes in. Whether you're a retinoid rookie or a dropout, you'll learn to pick thebest anti-aging productand use it right—so the only "side effect" you have is younger, more sensational-looking skin.
Choose the Best Anti-Aging Product for You
Best for Beginners
If you have sensitive skin or are trying retinoids for the first time, an over-the-counter retinol is a good choice. These products irritate skin less because the retinol is slowly converted to retinoic acid, the active ingredient in prescription creams. It may simply take more time (up to 12 weeks) to notice a difference in your skin than if you'd used a prescription (4 to 8 weeks).
Look for products formulated with at least 0.1% of retinol (the most effective retinoid in OTC versions) and packed in aluminum tubes (air and light can degrade the formula, reducing effectiveness), recommends Patricia Farris, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Tulane University. If you don't notice benefits after 3 months, consider trying a prescription-strength formula. Bonus: The OTC product will have helped your skin acclimate to the Rx retinoid, so you'll be less likely to suffer the side effects of a more powerful version.
For More Improvement
Although OTC products are gentler on your skin and often less expensive, nothing compares to the changes you'll see with an Rx formula. "I can tell from across the room if someone is using a prescription retinoid—they're that effective," says Leslie Baumann, MD, director of cosmetic dermatology at the University of Miami. "Skin is brighter, softer, smoother, and more evenly toned." That's because retinoic acid is 10 to 15 times as potent as its chemical cousin, OTC retinol.
The most commonly prescribed retinoids for rejuvenative purposes areRenova(its emollient base makes it especially suitable for those with very dry skin),Avage(the strongest retinoid, it's ideal for seriously sun-damaged skin), andDifferin(easiest on sensitive skin). Your doctor will decide what formulation—gel or cream—and strength will work best for you and monitor your skin's response to retinoids over time.
It takes about 4 to 6 months for your skin to become acclimated to a retinoid. Check your calendar for a "safe window" where you have no major events (your daughter's wedding, a high school reunion) on the horizon. Then, follow these other starter steps to get the best results for younger-looking skin.
Any retinoid is likely to dry out your skin to some extent, so summer--when there's more humidity in the air—is an ideal time to start using one, says Farris.
Clean out your cabinets
"I tell patients to bring in everything in their bathroom so I can look for potential irritants," says Ranella Hirsch, MD, president-elect of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery and a dermatologist in Cambridge, MA. Facial products likely to react with retinoids: scrubs and exfoliation products, alcohol-based toners and astringents, and medicated cleansers and makeup.
Wax ahead of time
Schedule one last facial-waxing appointment—dry skin is more prone to burning. Allow any irritation from retinoids to subside before resuming waxing.
Dab only a pea-size amount
Avoid sensitive areas such as lips and upper eyelids. Immediately afterward, pat a tissue on your skin; if it sticks, you've used too much. Next time, halve the amount.
Sleep on it
Apply retinoids before bedtime because sunlight can destabilize their effectiveness, advises Baumann. To keep dryness, flakiness, and redness to a minimum, cleanse skin about 20 minutes beforehand; damp skin increases risk of sensitivity. Then apply the retinoid and, in another 20 minutes, your moisturizer. This will avoid sealing the medication into your skin, which makes it stronger and more likely to irritate.
Be vigilant about sunscreen
Because retinoids slough dead surface cells, removing skin's natural protection against UV exposure, every morning be sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (the higher the better); you can also use a topical antioxidant like a serum with green tea to reduce inflammation.
Most experts suggest applying a retinoid every third day, at least for the first 2 weeks. Use retinoids every other day for the next 2 weeks, and build up to daily use. For some people (especially those with fair complexions and light-colored eyes), the process might take longer (it took Hirsch a solid year to be able to use it nightly), and others may be satisfied with the results of using retinoids every other day. You'll have to keep up your routine for life to maintain the benefits.
Video: BEST SKIN CARE PRODUCTS- Retinol
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