Tretinoin or Retin-A cream is considered to be the gold standard in topical anti-aging products for its proven ability to stimulate the reproduction of collagen. It is one of many different forms of “retinoids” on the market today. Other familiar versions of topical retinoids include Retinol, Differin and Adapalene.
Chemically speaking, all retinoids are related to Vitamin A. As an anti-aging treatment for fine lines and wrinkles, the retinoids are considered to be “wonder drugs.” They can be used to treat fine lines and wrinkles, assist in diminishing pore size, address hyper-pigmentation and acne and generally speed up cell turnover. In addition to all of that, retinoids slow down the development of skin cancer. There are also several different strengths of topical retinoids on the market. Sometimes the stronger versions can cause mild irritation of the skin. It is important to have Dr. Richards or Todd, our Physician Assistant, evaluate your skin to determine which of the many subclasses and strengths would be most appropriate for you. Our esthetician, Gina, also carries a wonderful line of Retinol creams especially formulated for our office.
In order to achieve optimal results from your tretinoin topical, make sure to wait at least ten minutes after washing your face at night before applying. Try to use only a small pea-sized amount. Sometimes less is more especially in the world of tretinoin where irritation can occur. Studies have shown that using a tretinoin topical three times a week is equivalent to using it daily. So if you find your skin is getting irritated from every day use, it is fine to go down to three times a week. You can gradually work back up to daily use if you want even more benefit. Night time use is best as the tretinoin product can break down in the sun and be ineffective if used during the day. In addition, to reversing sun damage on the face, all forms of tretinoin can work just as well on the neck, chest and hands.
Tretinoin is truly a wonder drug. If at all possible make sure to incorporate this amazing anti-aging topical into your regimen at night. Your skin will thank you now and later!