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…

Tri-luma– Its back!

The return of Tri-luma, an effective treatment for dark spots and melasma Continue Reading…

Budget Beauty- Part 2

Costs seem to explode when daily skin care meets anti-aging.    Brand name tretinoin ( eg Retin A) clocks in  at $300 for a tube that lasts  six months.   Generic Retin A drops to about $200.  Upscale anti-aging  brands with  effective levels of retinol are lower at about $100, but still a  significant bit of change.  And then there are the luxury department store brands  like La Mer and Perricone  that will cost more than $300 a  jar– and thats   just for one product in the recommended routinue.

There are  anti-aging products  that don’t   cost much, but they  don’t do much either.  The challenge is to find affordable   anti-aging  forumlations that  deliver  real results.   I believe that   when a  low cost  cream or mask  doesn’t  deliver,  you are still wasting your  money, albeit less of … Continue Reading…

Beauty Time– How Long Does it Take To Work?

Last month I was dealing with a hair trigger skin  that seemd to develop red splotches at the slightest  provocation.  It went on for weeks until I tried Metrogel and the problems ended  overnight.  This was obviously great news but  it set me thinking– “how long should it take  to get results from a skin care treatment?”

The answer  obviously depends on the problem and the cure:

1.  Tretinoin ( aka Retin A) — Tretinoin is approved for both acne and anti-aging, but the time frame is significantly different.  Its no secret  that I am a big fan of tretinoin and  I feel that its the foundation of an anti-aging plan.  It clarifies  the surface, fades dark spots, encourages collagen growth and stimulates circulation.  Used 4-7x/  week, you may start seeing … 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…