Question & Answer– Am I a Retin A Failure?

Question:  You’ve totally sold me on the benefits of tretinoin but it just doesn’t work for me.  I used Retin A Micro  and  followed your guidelines– washed with  a mild soap, waited 30 minutes after washing, and used it 3X/week– but my skin is constantly  irritated and flaky.  What else can I do to deal with too many years in the sun?

Answer: Before you declare defeat, keep in mind that Retin A is a brand name( like Kleenex or Xerox) and there are different formulations that could be a better choice for  you.  Retin A  Micro is a gel that is actually approved for acne, not anti-aging.   It works well for thicker, oilier skin ( like  mine) but finer, drier skin types  may over react.

To get the benefits of tretinoin without irritation, Dr Heidi Waldorf of Mount Sinai Medical Center … Continue Reading…

Q and A– Diluting Retin A?

Question:  I’m concerned that  that Retin A Micro .o4% will irritate my skin.  Can I mix it with  my moisturizer before  applying it?

Answer:    I’ve received this type of comment  so frequently I think it deserves a post of its own.  Mixing  Retin A ( aka tretinoin) with a moisturizer immediately reduces its concentration and  impast on the skin.  If you take a pea size dab of  .04% tretinoin with an equal dab of moisturizer, the concentration is now .02%– lower than any other prescription grade  tretinoin.  If there is more moisturizer than tretinoin, then the concentration is even lower  and the action on the skin will be very limited.  Then there is the issue of cost.  Retin A  Micro .04% runs about $300/tube.  If you dilute it to .02%  you will get more  for  your beauty dollar if you buy  .1% Retinol from Skinceuticals which clocks in at $100.

Continue Reading…

Question and Answer– Retin A and the Eyes

Question:  If I can’t use Retin A ( aka retinoid) on my eyes,  what  can I use?

Answer:  I answer every email  that I get at  No-Nonsense Beauty Blog, but this one  is so relevant for all of us, I wanted to  put it in my Q& A.  While its  true that you can’t use  straight retinoids around the eyes,  a combination product of retinoids, a steroid and hydroquinone  known as Triluma can  deliver anti-aging benefits.   Triluma’s claim to fame is its ability to erase  dark spots and patches, but the retinoids  also  may build collagen and reduce wrinkling.  For reasons that are not clear, Triluma is  no longer available commercially, but a  full-service pharmacy can compound it specially for you.  I  did just that and uploaded up post about the process on March 28, 2012.

Triluma (  branded or custom made)  can only be used for  three  months at … Continue Reading…

Retin A and Acne– What Cleansers and Moisturizers Can I Use?

I got a great  email from a 16 year old  who  is using Retin A micro  for acne control.  Like most of us, she got the prescription with little or no advice about   how to use it.  She wanted to know what  scrubbing grains, toners and moisturizer I would recommend.  She was concerned about the redness and peeling and wanted to avoid these problems with additional  skin  care products

Retin A  was actually originally  developed and approved for acne  management.  This vitamin A derivative helps the skin to empty  pores clogged with debris, shuts down overactive oil glands and helps skin turnover to reduce discolorations from old acne eruptions.   This process includes flaking off old dry keratin that is contributing to blocked pores and breakouts. Some peeling and flaking is necessary and actually good.  However   you need to keep it under control to … Continue Reading…

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Today the  Glam Gals at Fabulous After 40 are hosting Fashion Flash. They recently posted a great article on how boomers can   wear the new sheer styles that are so popular this summer.  Now I get it!  When I saw them in stores, I passed them by without a second  thought.  With Jojami and Deborah’s style eye, I  now see how well they can work for me, especially for travel and summer restaurant dinners.

And now that the sun  has returned, please remember that  90% of skin aging is due to sun exposure.  The best way  to reverse  sun damge is with Retin A and  if you “like”  me on Facebook, you can download a  free copy of my guide to using Retin A.  Called Retin A Road Rules, it explains  how it works, the different types and strengths, and signs … Continue Reading…

New Respect for Retinol

I have often mentioned my reservations about retinols vs the more powerful retinoids like Retin A.  When applied to the skin, retinols have to convert themselves to  a true retinoid before they can be effective. Researchers estimate that a retinol is only 25% as effective as a Retin A.   For example, a .1% Retinol (  a very common concentration) is equal to a .025 Retin A–  which is actually the mildest Retin A on the market.  And then there is the problem that most retinol products don’t say how much of the power  stuff they actually contain.  You can’t know if a  product is to weak to be effective or too strong and irritating. 

I stayed away from retinol products until wandering in the exhibit hall  of a derm conference, I picked up  free samples … Continue Reading…

New Year, New Retin A

I finally got  my new Retin A this week and I’m lovin it.  To recap my Retin A adventures, I  had been using .04% Retin A  micro with wonderful results.  Its the lowest dose of  one of the gentlest forms  of tretinoin and I got good results  without too much discomfort. After about 10 months, I noticed that  I no longer could see  that characteristic yourthful glow you get with Retin A  and  realized  it was time to move up to the next level.  Dr Marmur gave me a prescription for.1%  Retin A– the  turbo powered one, not the micro-sphere stuff.  And here is where I went rogue.  In my local CVS, brand name Retin A was about $200.  I decided to order a generic version from Canada for $40.  I was so proud … Continue Reading…

Pelleve Before and After Photos– Day One

These photographs were taken  at the time of my first treatment with Dr Prasad. ( Before on the left and after on the right)  I was a little disappinted that the changes that I saw in the  mirror were not completely captured in these pix.  I saw “girlish” contours that had  been missing for  many years.  Pelleve changes are in millimeters while surgical facelifts alter centimeters of facial contours.  Personally I much prefer the subtle changes  of  less invasive procedures, rather than the unaturally tight and altered appearance of a full face lift.

According to Dr Prasad, Pelleve  helps to restore volume and reduces  crow’s feet around the eyes and smokers lines around the mouth.  I don’t have the latter two problems,  but  by adding volume to the understructure of my … Continue Reading…