What Are Retinoids?
Retinoids are the most studied anti-aging compounds ever. They are topical vitamin A like molecules that were first used for the treatment of acne in the 70’s. Serendipitously dermatologists discovered that tretinoin or Retin-A also smooths fine lines, evens pigmentation, and speeds the turnover of superficial skin cells.
There are several other retinoids both prescription and over-the-counter. Tretinoin (Retin-A), tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac), Trifarotene (Aklief), and adapalene (Differin) are all prescription retinoids. Retinol and adapalene are available OTC. All the retinoids fight acne only tretinoin and tazarotene have been proven to reduce wrinkles.
Many over-the-counter products contain retinol, and many people prefer retinol because it is less irritating than prescription retinoids. Retinol is probably not as effective at reducing wrinkles as tretinoin or tazarotene.
How to Use a Retinoid?
Because retinoids can cause dryness and irritation, we recommend using them only every other day or every third day at first and then gradually working up to nightly applications. It is important to wear sunscreen during the day because retinoids increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.
How you apply a retinoid is important. Cleanse your skin and allow it to dry. It should be applied to skin that has been dry for at least 15 minutes. Apply a pea-sized amount, dabbing it on your cheeks, forehead, and chin, and then spread it evenly across your face.
When to Expect Results
Retinoids reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also normalize the production of blood vessels in the skin, which can reduce redness. Retinoids also improve the health of the epidermis fading dark spots and smoothing rough skin. It takes up to six months of regular use before improvements in wrinkles are noted and the best results are seen at 12 months.
If you’re interested in treatment with a retinoid please call Sullivan Dermatology today or book online to schedule a comprehensive consultation.