Maybe I should change the name of this blog to Retin A News and Views. Not really. Most of the great questions I get deal with different forms of Retin A (aka tretinoin). This week I received such a well thought out question I answered her immediately and now I am posting both her question and the answer.
Question: Do I have to wait until bedtime until I start my Retin A ritual? And if so, why? The last thing I want to do is get up from having fallen asleep on the sofa, and throw water on my face and then wait 30 minues again ( again…why?)
Is the wait to let your skin fully dry? If so, couldn’t I just dry it with my hair dryer on low? Is it to allow it to calm down?
Am I supposed to wait until bedtime because Retin A is “light sensitive”? Couldn’t I do it after dinner since I will be sitting in a dimly lit room watching TV after that. Would a 40 watt bulb make that watch difference or is darkness important once Retin A is applied? I would appreciate the answers to these questions and feel others would be too.
Answer: When I first tried Retin A more than 20 years ago, no one told me to wait to apply the gel after washing my face After three days of red, tight burning skin, I gave up. I have this theory ( unproven) that the single biggest reason of Retin A fails is that the patient is not properly instructed to wait after washing the skin. When you wash your face, even with a mild soap and washcloth, you are taking off some of the skin cells on the surface, dissolving surface oil and altering ph. The skin is vulnerable and if you apply even a small dab of Retin A, the result will be red and irritated skin. If you have ever applied a moisturizer over freshly shaved legs, you know the feeling… and its similar to Retin A on freshly washed skin.
The Best Retin A Game Plan
And when it comes to light, indoor light is very different from penetrating UV rays from the sun. Because it takes off the tops layers of the skin, the skin becomes more exposed and vulnerable to UV damage. The light from a standard light bulb or a TV will not cause problems.
And I totally hear you about waiting those extra 30 minutes at bedtime. It is a pain and here’s an easy and effective solution. When we get home at the end of the day most of us change into more comfotable clothes. At this time, take off your make-up and throughly wash your face. You can certainly put it on after dinner if that’s good time cue for you. It actually gives you skin more time to benefit from Retin A You can actually put it on at any time in the evening, but setting a specific time eg before going to bed, will make it more likely that you will remember to do it.
And if are reading No-Nonsense Beauty Blog on a mobile device, the click-on envelope will be at the bottom, not on the right hand side. Just scroll down to the end of the screen and voila! Please let me know if you are having trouble downloading this basic guide.