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Retinol is a naturally occurring Vitamin A derivative but also a medical-grade acid! A one-stop-shop – does it all type of product. It helps improve collagen production, provides natural plumpness to the skin, and can smooth out fine lines. I always recommend that anyone over the age of 25 should definitely be incorporating a medical grade acid into your skincare regimen. Using acids can really make a CHANGE in your skin. If nothing else start with a cleanser, retinol, and a moisturizer.
Let’s talk details about retinol
Retinol works by increasing skin cell turnover. It encourages dead skin cells to fall away from the skin and that stimulates the regeneration of new skin cells. As we age the skin cell turnover process slowly declines, so a product like retinol can help a woman in her 40s have the same rate of skin cell turnover as a woman in her 20s! Who wouldn’t want that? This process leaves the skin more tight, bright, FRESH, and YOUTHFUL. Retinol also helps to cure acne, lighten and erase pigmentation, reduce pores, and fight fine lines and wrinkles. Everything you could ask from a product, really.
What is the difference between Retinol and Retin-A?
Retinol is a little more dilute and less irritating on the skin especially in those new to the product. Retin-A is the more purified form and requires a prescription. In my practice, I will sometimes put patients on Retin-A once they have been using retinol for a while with success but still need a little more help. Out of the two retinol is the best place to start.
How to Start Using Retinol In Your Skin Care Regimen
I recommend taking it slow. A little goes a long way. Start off using retinol 2-3x per week. As you tolerate the product more you can slowly and gradually increase the frequency of use over time. For example, slowly increase from using every 3rd night to every other night. It can take the skin anywhere from 4-6 weeks to become acclimated to retinol and during this time it is normal to experience dryness, flakiness, or mild redness. This is what I call the “purging” process. The retinol is helping to exfoliate all of the “junk” up and out of the skin. This is shedding of those dead skin cells and unclogging of pores. It sometimes is not fun, but it is an important part of the process. This is how the product is going to get your skin looking more fresh, clear, and bright!
In my practice I use retinol cream and retinol pads. I like to start patients who are new to retinol on the Retinol Renewal Pads. They are very gentle and easy to use! The pads are great for people with sensitive skin. The Retinol Cream is good for more mature skin or someone who has been using retinol already. The cream also contains a lightening complex that will help to reduce pigmentation. It is stronger than the pads so it can be a bit drying at first. I like to have patients do a round or two of the pads and then switch to the cream.
Get started on Retinol today! Order below 🙂
If you are new to retinol or have sensitive skin:
- Cleanse with a Neo Cleanse Gentle Cleanser
- Apply Retinol Renewal Pads 2-3x per week by wiping all over face
- Do not moisturize on top of the pads, but DO Moisturize on alternating nights with Renewal Facial Lotion
For more mature skin or a previous retinol user:
- Cleanse with a Neo Cleanse Gentle Cleanser
- Apply Retinol 2-3x per week at bedtime (I love this Neocutis 0.6 Retinol)
- Moisturize Nightly with Renewal Facial Lotion
Again, you will likely go through what I like to call the “purging phase” for the first couple of weeks of use. During this period it is normal to see some shedding of dead skin, redness or irritation, and surfacing of white/blackheads. This is a good thing! You are seeing the effects of the cream working! This is the skin shedding off that old, dead skin and bringing all of that “junk” up and out of the skin. After you have been using the product for a few weeks you will no longer see these effects, and you will then be able to use more frequently with less side effects.
Retinol can be used in sensitive skin and in rosacea prone patients (and it can help) but again just go slow with it and don’t quit. It’s a marathon to good skin, not a race. It doesn’t happen overnight but if you make a commitment to better skin – we will get you there!
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