Is This your Answer for Younger Looking Skin?

Younger Looking SkinAsk any skin care expert how to keep your skin looking young, and the first answer you will hear is "use sunscreen - every day! Since we know this, we are going to move on to the next best thing you can do for your skin as you age. Any man or woman who consults with an aesthetician or dermatologist about skin health and vitality is likely to hear that they should be using a retinoid. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A. They are touted for their ability to boost collagen proliferation and even out skin tone, among other things.

Prescription or OTC?

Because the benefits of retinoids are so well-known, many of the over the counter skin creams sold today contain retinol. The clear benefit to obtaining prescription retinoid cream is potency. Many of the men and women who start using a prescription product such as Retin-A or Tazorac notice that their skin looks brighter and more dewey after about 4 weeks of consistent use. Commercial products, on the other hand, improve skin when retinol is transformed into retinoic acid as it interacts with skin cells. The improvements from non-prescription creams occur over about a 12-week process.

The fact that prescription retinoid creams are stronger does not mean that's where you want to start. People with sensitive skin may gain the most benefit from a lighter, gentler product. Jumping right in to a concentrated retinol could lead to flaking and dryness. Lower concentrations of retinoids are also kinder to the delicate skin around the eyes, even if you don't have sensitive skin.

Is it an Age Thing?

The use of retinol products used to be associated with acne, and thus with younger patients. Today, we hear more about retinoids and their action against the process of aging. The fact is, there is no "right time" to start using a retinol cream. We consult with patients in their early 20's who can benefit a great deal from this ingredient. The only time we may recommend otherwise is during pregnancy.

A Matter of Timing

According to studies, retinoids do not lose their power, even after years of regular use. Once you begin applying retinol products to your skin, chances are you won't want to stop. The caveat is a trip to the Bahamas! Really, any sunny location could cause an adverse reaction in your skin, especially if you are using a prescription-strength cream. Before a beach vacation, it is wise to stop using any retinol product for a short time (about a week). Also, retinoids should be applied at night, and sunscreen during the day, just as a general guideline.

Do you see brighter skin in your future? Call 206-859-5777 for a visit to Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center.


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