How to Use Retinoids for Anti-Aging Skin Care First we need to know what retinoids are and what to expect from their use. Retinoids are not for everyone. Once knowing what to expect, individuals can make decisions on how to use retinoids for a long term anti-aging skin care routine.
Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A. They are available in 3 types:
- Adapalene - the mildest form of the retinoids
- Tretinoin - medium strength with name brands that are quite familiar
- Tazorac - the more intense of the retinoids
Retinoids are available in over-the-counter creams and lotions in the mildest of formulas. There is no set standard as to how much of the retinoids are contained within these products. Once these products are used, it is typical to schedule a dermatologist visit for a much stronger form of retinoid product. As with any drug, it is good practice to be under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
The use of retinoids for skincare have some of these desired effects:
- as an anti-acne treatment
- as able to thicken the skin and bolster elasticity
- to reduce the appearance of wrinkles
- to slow the breakdown of collagen thereby keeping skin firm
- of lightening brown spots
Although retinoids can be miracle drugs for reducing the effects of aging, there are side effects that may influence the decision to use them. Retinoids work by speeding up the process of sloughing off the top layer of skin cells promoting the faster growth of new ones from below. Newer skin cells are smoother, plumper and firmer. The underlying skin layer becomes thicker hampering the development of deep wrinkles.
For those with sensitive skin, Retinoids can irritate the skin to during the rejuvenation process. This irritation initially causes redness, drying and flaking. Heavy moisturizing can help soothe the skin until these symptoms subside in a week or two. By replacing the top layer of cells quicker, this leads to lightening of dark spots and evening of overall skin tones. Continued use can decrease the production of melanin in the skin.
The benefits of using nonprescription retinoids take around 3-6 months or longer to become noticeable. Prescription strength retinoids show smoother skin within 6-8 weeks.
While using retinoids, the sensitive skin must be protected from sunlight with a high SPF sunscreen and protective clothing. The use of retinoids may adversely interact with other topical products and medications. Read labels and discuss interactive usage with a pharmacist or other health care professionals.
Knowing that the use of retinoids is a commitment to a long-term routine that has immediate adverse side effects and takes several weeks to show signs of skin improvement, the decision is not a snap one.
Using retinoid products is usually a case of less is more. Follow directions closely. Use no more than a pea-sized application. Monitor progress with a qualified dermatology expert.