Glycolic Acid and Retin A– What’s The Difference?

Q&A logoGlycolic acid and Retin A are two of the most popular and effective skin care ingredients  that are used  in two very different skin problems– aging and acne. Gycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid ( AHA) derived from sugar cane.  There are other AHA’s from  milk ( lactic acid), apples ( malic acid) and citric acid ( lemons), but glycolic acid is considered  just about the most effective.  AHA’s  help the skin exfoliate the top, dead, dry layer of cells that are clogging pores and dulling the complexion.  When the layer of dead cells are removed, it signals new growth of fresh healthy skin cells. In oily and acne troubled skin, glycolic acid cleans up clogged pores.  Skin growth in older skin is slowed down and can look dull and  dotted with brown spots and patches. Glycolic acid  can trigger  a better rate … Continue Reading…

Facials and Retin A– Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Question and Answer logoQuestion:  I used to have facials  several times a year.  Now that I am using  Retin A,   can I continue  my favorite  indulgence?

Answer:  I  love facials and I love Retin A, but together they may  pose problems.  If you are using Retin A, you need to weigh three issues:

1.How long you have been on Retin A ?

2. How is your skin reacting to Retin A?

3. What kind of facial do you want to use?

If you have just started on Retin A ( less than three months),   the short answer is no.  Retin A  is irritating on purpose and adding  a facial  early in the process can be asking for trouble.  Your skin could easily react with redness and peeling  that would require  stopping Retin A  for at least a month. 

If you … Continue Reading…

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…

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…

Microdermabrasion or Botox– Which is Better?

Question—  In a few months I’m turning 50.  After half a century, my skin is looking tired and I want to give myself a birthday present.  Which would be better, microdermabrasion or Botox?  You seem to really like both of them.

Answer— Happy birthday!  I do like both  microdermsabrasion and Botox, but  they are very different  anti-aging tools and  deal with different  problems.  Microdermabrasion  takes of the top dead layer  of skin cells to leave the skin smoother, brighter and softer.  In addition, removing these old cells actually stimulates the lower levels to grow.  Researchers have noticed that  mens’ skin seems to age more slowly than women’s– and they believe that part of the reason is the daily  shave which encourages the growth of  fresh new skin every day.

Botox injections at  problem areas  can erase fine lines and wrinkles, … Continue Reading…

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This weeks hosts are Fashion Flash founders The Glam  Gals of  Fabulous After 40.  I love to read their blog at the start  of each season to give me a cheat sheet on how a women over 40 can master  trends.  They decode the new ideas and then  explain how to use them in real time.  For example, plaids are  going to be  huge this year, but a grandma in a plaid mini skirt in not my idea of chic.  You’ve got to read Fabulous Over Forty to see  what smart ideas they have  for plaid.

And when you’ve clicked through all the great Fashion Flash  sites, please stop on Fab Over Fifty to grab a ticket for Beauty Bash.  Held on Oct 1&2 at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th St, this … Continue Reading…