Like just about every healthy skin expert, dermatologist Lucy L. Chen, MD of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., Is a big fan of retinol – and says the active A-List spends a bit of “time. In his practice. âYounger and younger patients come and ask: ‘How do I take care of my skin? Retinols are such a fundamental part of a good skin care regimen and, after sunscreen, this is usually the second product I will recommend when someone asks me what they can do for a skin condition. good skin. But, like most potent ingredients, Dr. Chen says it’s a good idea to know how to use the Gold Standard before you start.
There are many different types of retinols. Is there a particular vehicle in which you prefer it?
âUsually, creams will be better tolerated, especially in people with dry or sensitive skin. Gels will be more preferable for people who are more oily or prone to acne. There is a wide range of over the counter options on the market, compared to prescription strength, which we call retinoids. Basically, a large umbrella term is retinoids, and retinols are in the category of over-the-counter retinols. As a general rule of thumb, if someone is just starting out and primarily looking for something to help fight aging, wrinkles, skin maintenance, and pigmentation, then I would recommend an over the counter retinol. Then when someone is looking for more acne fighting or something harder, this is where prescription retinoids are going to be my choice.
Do you have any favorites?
âAs for the prescription, my choice for someone who is just looking for an anti-aging and who is in their 20s, 30s, 40s, is Altreno. It is a prescription retinoid that comes in a very nice lotion form with hyaluronic acid, which will alleviate some of the irritating side effects. This formula is really interesting and has enhanced the game of prescription. Over the counter, we carry the SkinBetter AlphaRet to our office, which you can find mainly distributed in offices. This one has lactic acid bound to the retinoid, which actually gives you a greater degree of exfoliation, but it’s still very good tolerance. These are my two must-haves for anti-aging.
Economical in terms of budget, Neutrogena fast wrinkle repair is a really excellent and very tolerable retinol. The other brand that I like is RoC, which has its deep anti-wrinkle night cream. It’s a product that people can walk into a drugstore, pick it up off the shelf, and it’s very affordable. Since your skin tolerates these over-the-counter products – and if you’re really looking for a stronger potency – I would recommend that the next step is to talk to your doctor about getting a prescription dosage.
Do you have any tips for new users?
âWhen you’re starting out with a new product, you want to assess how sensitive your skin is, particularly with the notoriety of retinoids to be potentially a little itchy, and causing some redness and peeling, at first. I usually say if you’re super sensitive start two to three times a week to get a few days off and it should be a nightly application, with a pea-sized amount all over your skin. It’s not just for your wrinkled areas and problematic acne areas, it’s for the whole face. You can actually extend it up to your neck if you want! As your skin tolerates it, this frequency may increase over the next few weeks to every other night and potentially even overnight. This whole process is called retinization. Depending on your motivation, it can take two to three months to get there every night. But trust me, it’s totally worth it, in the long run, so take it easy.
Are there any myths about the ingredient that you would like to break?
âA lot of people – especially those who are prescribed because they pack a punch – can go through what we call a ‘bleeding phase’, especially when treating acne-prone skin. It almost looks like acne is getting worse, but your skin is purging itself because it increases your skin’s cell turnover. A lot of patients are automatically, âOh, my God. It doesn’t work, âor think the dryness or itching means they’re allergic. This is not the case. This is just a side effect of the topical and methods of slowly introducing it or even dabbing it with moisturizer.
Another tip I’m going to tell patients is to apply moisturizer first, then apply retinoid or even leave the retinoid on for just a minute and then wash it off. You will always enjoy it. Rest assured: irritation is not an allergy and purging does not mean it is not effective. You just have to get through it, in a way. This is where the frequency reduction strategy will really help. “
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