Miracle cream? The amazing power of retinoids!

Looking for the best and most effective anti-wrinkle cream, pore minimizer, pigment and tone corrector, acne healer, and skin firmer? Well, I have great news! You don’t have to look any further. I have the perfect topical skin treatment that addresses all the above, and there are clinical/scientific studies that prove it.

I know it can be frustrating looking for that perfect topical treatment that addresses multiple skin issues while improving your skin’s overall health at the same time. And, with all the different skin-care products on the market, it’s impossible to find one topical treatment that is appropriate for all skin types, colors, good for men and women, doesn’t discriminate against age, and is safe to use long term. I’m sure you’ve seen several different skin-care specialists and aestheticians looking for answers, and wouldn’t you know it, each one recommends something different promising you the world…and healthier looking skin, of course! You leave feeling confused and frustrated to the point where you just continue using what you already have in your bathroom cabinet, which weren’t really working in the first place.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a topical treatment that you can use for the rest of your life and the longer you use it the healthier your skin gets? Yes, this topical treatment really exists! It really is true! Now that I have your attention I’m sure you are dying to hear what this “magical” topical treatment is….

Those of you that know me know that I have three staples in my skin care regimen that I swear by, and one of these happens to be this all-in-one skin corrector. It sounds too good to be true but it isn’t! It’s topical retinol. My nightly ritual.

Retinol is a form of vitamin A. There are different forms of vitamin A which can also be referred as retinoic acid or retinoids. Retinol, retinoic acid, and their derivatives have over 25 years of clinical studies and scientific evidence supporting the benefits and positive health effects on the skin. Retinols and their derivatives are the only ingredients scientifically shown to work on a molecular level to date. With all the modern technology and new “miracle” anti-agers, retinols are still considered the gold standard by doctors, dermatologists, and skin-care specialists worldwide. Now that’s big.

Retinoids really do address and help correct most skin issues by diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, fades brown spots, reduces the appearance of pore size, helps acne, unclogs pores, speeds up cell turnover, slows the breakdown of collagen while stimulating new collagen growth, and improves overall skin texture, integrity and health.

So, if retinol can provide all these benefits why isn’t everyone using it? The most common complaint I hear is skin irritation, dryness with peeling or flaking, and redness. Most people have tried using some type of retinol in the past but discontinued because of these affects. All of the reactions listed are valid making it hard to be compliant, but what if I told you there is a way to still incorporate retinol in your skincare routine without the harsh side effects!

The best way to incorporate retinoids into your skincare regimen while minimizing skin irritation is to ease into it slowly starting with a low level of retinol. You can begin with using an over-the-counter retinol, then move up to a pharmaceutical-grade retinol cream available at spas and dermatologist offices. Once you have acclimated to the pharmaceutical-grade cream you are ready to move up to prescription strength. Prescription retinols come in different strengths as well, which will make your transition easier while your skin adjusts.

I educate my patients on how to start using retinoids and retinols in their regimen to minimize irritation. Starting on a lower dose is important, but starting slowly by applying it every 3rd night and increasing frequency once skin has acclimated is also important. Apply only a pea-sized amount to the entire face. More does not speed up your results and will only make your skin more irritated. It may take baby steps to get there, but once you are able to use it nightly (or at least every other night) you will be thrilled with the results you will see. Be patient. It’s worth it and you will get there.

When using retinol, it is best to avoid other potential irritants as well, such as AHAs and BHAs (alpha and beta hydroxyl acids), alcohol containing products, harsh soaps or deep cleansers. Using other products that soothe the skin may help with the transition period making compliance easier. My goal is to promote glowing, smooth, healthy-looking skin, so compliance with retinol is ultimately the goal, and you can only do that if you are comfortable with the process. I am here to help you with that process and take that journey with you.

Also when using retinol products, it is especially important to practice safe sun exposure. Retinol will make your skin more sensitive to the sun increasing the risk of burn and damage. Retinol itself is sensitive to the sun so it must only be applied at night. Daily sunscreen is mandatory using SPF 30 and higher. Reapply every 2 hours if outdoors. No exceptions.

As good as retinol is there are times when it is not best to use it. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use retinol or its derivatives. You can resume after without complications. Avoid facial waxing while using retinols, as it can cause excess skin to be removed with the wax resulting in oozing and scabbing.

Always Beautiful carries IMAGE Skincare who offers the Ageless Total Repair Crème, which is a great way to ease into a retinol routine. We also prescribe retinoic acid through our compounding pharmacy at prescription strengths when you are ready to move to the next level. We will guide you and help you through your retinol treatment plan. You will be thankful you decided to give it a try. Retinols really are the ultimate powerhouse in anti-aging therapies, and overall skin corrector for everyone wanting healthier, younger-looking skin.

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