Decades of research suggest that the use of retinol can slow the aging process. Applying retinol to the skin will help with fine lines, textural irregularities, and also help to fade brown spots on the skin. Those people who use retinol for many years indeed have smoother, tighter skin as they age. Retinal is probably the most important ingredient one can have in his or her skincare regimen.

So, how do I add retinol to my routine? Allow us to help you!

Retinol can be irritating, so it is important to start low and work up over time. I often recommend that a patient with sensitive skin start with an over the counter or low strength cosmetic grade retinol. Those of us who have less sensitive skin may be able to start with a more potent retinol, such as a higher strength cosmetic grade retinol or even a prescription retinoid. Most of us can move on to stronger retinoids over time. Remember, skincare is a marathon, not a sprint, so increasing the strength of the retinol over time is encouraged.

Retinol should be applied at night as it can be inactivated by sunlight. One should always couple the use of the retinol with an application of a good moisturizer (see recommendations below). Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so please use SPF during the day. Retinol should NOT be used in pregnant or nursing women.

Retinol can be irritating, so please start slowly:
-apply a pea-sized amount of RETINOL to the whole face
– then apply moisturizer to the face (about 30 seconds later)
-use every other night, at least for the first 2 weeks, then try to get up to nightly (some people need to stay at every other night for much longer, and that is OK – you will still get benefits!)

Here is a list of retinols that I recommend starting with:

• ROC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream (over the counter – drugstore)
• SKIN MEDICA Retinol 0.25%
• SKINMEDICA® Retinol 0.5%
SKINMEDICA® Retinol 1.0%
Skin Medica is known for its gentle retinol products. We can ship any of these directly to you so you can get started right away!

Here is a list of moisturizers that I like to recommend for use with retinol:

• CeraVe PM (available over the counter)
SKINMEDICA® Dermal Repair Cream (available from our office)
SKINMEDICA®CERAMIDE Cream (best if you have very sensitive dry skin) (available from our office)

For more detailed information or to discuss other skincare products that might complement your use of retinol, please schedule a skincare consultation with me or one of our other board-certified dermatologists by calling (978) 315-6320 or filling out the form below.

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