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… →
I get more questions about Retin A than just about any other topic. I believe that this retinoid is the foundation of anti-aging skin care- but it can be tricky to use effectively. The package insert never tells you the important stuff like what’s the difference between the available brands, kind of cleanser to use, and should you put a moisturizer on before or after the Retin A.
Ten years ago I tried Retin A and gave up after a week or two. Now ten years older, I really needed to use it and I was determined to become a Retin A master. I have been writing about my Retin A journey and posting the results, but its annoying to have to track back through the archives to get the answer to a … Continue Reading… →
I was so delighted with the gentle progress of my new .1% Retin A Micro, I decided to step it up and use it every night after just a week. Not my best idea Seemingly overnight, my skin sprouted dry white flakes. I’m sure that the cold windy weather didn’t help. I can’t control the weather– but I am the supreme master of how often I use Retin A. I’m going back to an every -other- night routinue. Lesson learned.
So what do I use on my Retin A night off? I know that I can’t use Vitamin C at the same time – potentially irritating- but what about on the Retin A free nights. There are shelves of peer reviewed studies that demonstrate Vitamin C ( a powerful anti-oxidant) can smooth out lines and wrinkles and increase healthy collagen– and after age 50 who can’t use some extra collagen.
Its amazing what you can learn at a medical conference. At a lunchbreak at the recent Mount Sinai Derm meeting, I sat down next to two young dermatologists. They were talking about milia, those little white bumps under the skin– sort of faux pimples. ( In the picture below my milia is under my eye). Milia are formed when a pore becomes blocked with dead skin cells. They are more common as we get older, the result of slower cell growth. Unlike the garden variety pimple, they do not contain oil or bacteria so they don’t become red and inflamed. Milia just sit there. Forever.
Another important difference, milia are actually in the dermis and if you try to remove them yourself, you can do real damage to the skin. Seriously, you … Continue Reading… →
Glycolic Acid is an amazing anti-aging tool. Used in a peel it gives the skin a fresh rosy glow tht lasts for hours. In a moisturizer, glycolic acid increases cell renewal, stimulates collagen and reduces wrinkles– sort of a baby steps Retin A. The trick is getting maximum benefits.
1. What’s the difference between a glycolic peel at home and an office based peel?
The glycolic peel you can buy in stores contains 10-12% glycolic acid. It will give your skin a little extra boost and a bit of a glow. Cost: $2/treatment. THe office based peel uses 30-70% glycolic acid. It can leave your skin pretty red, and by the next day, somewhat flaky. Everything calms down within 48 hours leaving your skin especially smooth and fresh. Cost: Range form $100-150 per session. Home peels can be used several times a week, while office based peels are used no more than once a … Continue Reading… →
The flaky dry skin has arrived. I had almost forgotten the white peeling skin that goes along with Retin A treatment. The weather has turned cold and windy which isn’t helping matters. My regular moisturizer can’t keep up, so I’m going to have to crank up on the hydration.
I’m also a little concerned that I don’t see my skin “pinking up”. One of the first things that I noticed with Retin A Micro was a youthful healthy glow, the result of an increase in circulation. This was just about my favorite anti-aging benefit from Retin A, but so far, I don’t see it from this generic, albeit much stronger formulation. Even my mom said I looked pale– and when the one person in the world who thinks you always look good says you are pale– well, I pay attention.
Readers of The No-Nonsense Beauty Blog have sent in some really interesting questions about Retin A and you may have missed the answers in the comments. These questions showed that there are so many details about Retin A that can spell the difference between getting the results you want and just giving up using it.
1. Can I use Retin A on my neck?
Absolutely! It will take longer to see improvement and it won’t be as dramatic as on the face, but it certainly will help. Use a little pea size dab, about the size you use on your face.
2. Can I use both hyaluronic acid and Retin A?
Again, yes. There are actually two forms of hyaluronic acid– one that is injected into lines to smooth out the face and the other is added to creams as a super moisturizer. Both can be used with Retin A. In face, hyaluronic acid is … Continue Reading… →
My new Retin A prescription (.1%) arrived this week and I am getting things in order to try it out. I have my mild Cetaphil cleanser, Aveeno Ultra Calming Sunscreen for daytime and Fresh soy enriched moisturizer at night. I’m a little anxious since this is the first time I have used a generic product from Canada but the cost saving were irrisistable. My Retin A from the north was $44 including shipping. At my local CVS, brand name Retin A was almost $200. I have big plans for that $150 difference.
I am also doing a little experiment. Today, celebrity dermatologist Dr Neil Saddick is examining my face with a Wood’s lamp which will highlight the areas of sun damaged skin. I will use my new big girl Retin A and in a month, plan to check the progress with the Wood’s lamp again. When I first started to use Retin A, I could see real changes in the … Continue Reading… →