Research clearly shows that retinol has numerous benefits for skin. To make sure you’re getting the best of what this superstar ingredient has to offer, here’s what you need to know…
According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology and Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, “Your mid 20s is a reasonable time to start using topical retinol.” Retinol stimulates collagen and increases skin thickness and elasticity. For a young person, using retinol is making sure the skin’s foundation is as strong as possible, so it can resist wrinkling as much as possible as you age. Over the counter retinol is a great place to start. It is less potent than prescription strength retinoids, and also less irritating.
When applying a retinol cream, remember that less is more, especially for the prescription strength formulas. Use only a pea sized amount for the whole face. Apply the product every other night to start, then slowly work your way up to every night, over the first few weeks. If your face gets red, itchy, peels or burns, skip a day or two. You can also apply a moisturizer first to keep the skin barrier well hydrated, reducing the risk of irritation. – Dr. Joshua Zeichner
Over the counter retinols are available in a variety of forms and strengths. Dr. Debra Wattenberg, MD, who specializes in cosmetic dermatology at her New York Based clinic, NY Skin RX, suggests that if you have oily skin, use a serum; dry, use cream.
“Most retinol creams will contain some moisturizing ingredients like petrolatum or mineral oil. These can be occlusive and may clog pores, but if your skin is dry or sensitive, a cream might be the perfect choice. In contrast, most serums are water-based and tend to contain higher concentrations of the “active” ingredients. In addition, most serums tend to be light to the touch and rarely leave a residue, or sticky feeling. Serums are great for oily or acne-prone skin, or for those who prefer to apply a separate moisturizer in addition to their serum.”-Dr Debra Wattenberg
The delicate eye area can benefit greatly from a touch of retinol, but take Dr. Dennis Gross’ advice and use a moisturizer that includes the antioxidant ferulic acid, too: “This powerful combination treats the delicate skin around the eye, evens skin tone, improves dark spots and smooths lines and wrinkles. Ferulic acid is amazing for brightening, and it’s a powerful antioxidant. It also aids in the fight against free radicals.”
* Disclaimer : The content of the SKIIN Clinic web site, such as text, graphics, images, and information obtained from third parties, are for informational purposes only. Results from series of treatments performed may vary from a person to another. It is recommended to consult our qualified doctors, nurses or skin therapist prior to performing a treatment.