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…

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…

Milia – those annoying white bumps under the skin

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…

Retin A — Week 4

This is getting a little boring.  Using  this Retin A  2x a week  is not causing problems– but I’m not feeling it.  Where is the glow?   I’m beginning to believe  that the generic ( read cheap) Retin A does not  have  what it takes to get the job done.  I’ve committed  to using the product for at least eight weeks  to  see changes in facial imaging from Dr Katz.  I think I’m going to give  into the temptation  and apply it every other night for a few weeks, then step it up to  every night.

Lets see what happens.  I know my face is going to be  rough and irritated, but  if the end point is  healthier skin, its worth the trouble.  I have been talking to  women who have been using  Retin A “for years” and who  are not impressed with the results.  I’m beginning to wonder if they are  … Continue Reading…

Big Girl Retin A– Week 2

I’m learning  how to deal with this uber-strength Retin A.  I’ve stepped back  and now  using it every three days, rather than every other day.  The white flaky bits  are gone  and I can see a bit of a glow– rather than a chalky pallor.  When  we think of aging, wrinkles and lines are what  usually come to mind.  But its that dull  pale skin ( a combo of  a slow down in circulation and  increased dryness) that is making the skin  seem old and tired.   Every cell in my body  wants to  speed up  my anti-aging project– but I’ve learned to respect the process and  take it  slower.

I wait a full hour  between washing my face and applying the new Retin A.  After … Continue Reading…

When Retin-A Seems to Stop Working

Has your Retin-A lost its  magic?   For almost four months my gentle.04% Retin A micro  made my skin smooth, firm and  rosy rather than pale.  Recently I noticed   these improvements slipping away.  Dr Marmur gave  me a stronger prescription and I am waiting for its arrival from Canada.  But as I  am waiting, I began wondering if others had noticed if their Retin-A  had lost its mojo.    I didn’t have to wait long for an answer.

This weekend I  met two different women who had lost their faith in Retin-A.  Turned out that they  had been using the same mild formulation for three years.  In fact looking at their skins, I was actually surprised to learn they were using Retin A.   We compared notes  and they are now psyched to  see if a stronger concentration would bring back the results  they saw when they first started.   But the question then becomes, what IS the next step.  … Continue Reading…