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What are retinoids?

“Retinoids” are a family of skincare products, both prescription and nonprescription, that are derived from vitamin A. The retinoid family includes tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene and retinol. Retinoids are considered to be the most effective skincare ingredients for improving visible signs of skin aging and sun damage. They are the most proven of all antiaging ingredients and are a must for anyone wanting to preserve the looks of their skin. Retinol is the only effective retinoid that is available without a prescription. (Retinyl palmitate and retinyl linoleate are in non-prescription products but are not effective).

Retinol and retinoids do many important things:

  1. Increase the skin’s production of collagen, which helps smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

  2. Promote the skin’s natural exfoliation process to eliminate damaged surface cells

  3. The exfoliation helps fade excess pigment and even skin tone

  4. Prevent clogged pores and improve the appearance of pores

  5. Prevent and treat acne

Problems with retinoids:

  1. They can cause redness and irritation when beginning them if they are not used properly.

  2. Air and light inactive them so they should be used at night and kept in airtight packaging.

  3. There are many “retinol” products on the market that do not contain enough retinol or are not formulated properly so they are ineffective.

  4. There are many expired, old or counterfeit retinol products sold on the internet.

How to use retinol

Apply to skin at night after cleansing in the evening. Place a pea-sized amount in the palm of your hand and divide the medication among the four quadrants of the face (forehead, chin, and two cheeks).

If you are beginning a retinoid, follow these rules:

  • Ask your doctor which form of retinol is right for your Baumann Skin Type®

  • Apply the medication at bedtime every third night for 2 weeks.

  • If you aren’t experiencing side effects, apply every other night for 2 weeks.

  • Once skin is tolerating the retinoid every other night, increase to nightly use.

  • After applying retinol to the face, use any remaining product on the neck, chest and the backs of the hands.

  • Avoid waxing while using retinol. If you must wax, stop using retinol one week prior to waxing.

  • If getting a facial or other professional skincare treatment, tell the aesthetician that you use retinol.

  • Be patient. It can take 6- 12 months to see results, but the results are more permanent than the “quick fix” antiaging options.

Retinoid myths

Myth #1: Retinoids causes sun sensitivity.

Fact: Dermatologists recommend applying retinol and retinoids at night because sunlight breaks these ingredients down and renders them ineffective. Retinoids actually protect the skin from sun damage.

Myth #2: Retinoids thin the skin.

Truth: Retinoids thin the uppermost dead layer of skin cells but actually thicken the lower levels (dermis) of the skin by increasing collagen production. This makes skin stronger and improves fine lines and wrinkles.

Myth #3: You should stop using retinoids if your skin gets irritated.

Truth: A little redness and peeling is part of your skin getting accustomed to the ingredient, and these symptoms usually subside within a few weeks. The best thing to do is use less product less often or apply it on top of a moisturizer to decrease the amount that gets into the skin.

If you have any problems with your retinoid, contact our staff so we can help you figure out what you are doing incorrectly. Although many people have trouble beginning a retinoid, if they start slowly, most people can tolerate it and the long term effects are worth the extra effort.

The MOST important skincare products to use daily to prevent skin aging are:

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