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A Dermatologist Explains Why Following a ‘Retinization Process’ Is Key to Better Skin With Retinol – NewBeauty Magazine

Posted: May 13, 2021 at 1:48 am


Like pretty much every healthy-skin expert out there, Bay Harbor Islands, FL dermatologist Lucy L. Chen, MD is a big fan of retinoland says the A-List active is having a bit of a moment at her practice. Younger and younger patients are coming in asking, How do I maintain my skin? Retinols are such a fundamental part of a good skin-care regimen and, after sunscreen, its usually the second product that Im going to recommend when someone is asking what they can do for good skin. But, like most powerful ingredients, Dr. Chen says its smart to know how to use the gold standard before you start.

Usually, creams are going to be better toleratedespecially in someone who has either dry or sensitive skin. Gels are going to be more preferable for people who are oilier or acne-prone. Theres a wide range over-the-counter options on the market, versus prescription-strength, which we call retinoids. Basically, a big umbrella term is retinoids, and retinols are in the category of over-the-counter ones. Generally, if someone is just starting out and theyre mainly looking for something to help with anti-aging, wrinkles, skin maintenance, and pigmentation, then I would recommend an over-the-counter retinol. Then, when someone is looking for more acne-fighting or something harder-hitting, thats where the prescription-strength retinoids are going to be my go-to.

Prescription-strength wise, my go-to for someone whos just looking for anti-aging, and is in their 20s, 30s, 40s, its Altreno. Its a prescription-strength retinoid thats in a really beautiful lotion form with hyaluronic acid, which is going to buffer some of the irritating side effects. That formula is a really nice one that has elevated the prescription game. Over-the-counter wise, we carry the SkinBetter AlphaRet in our office, and that you can find mostly dispensed in offices. That one has lactic acid bound to the retinoid, which actually gives you a greater degree of some exfoliation, but it still as a really nice nice tolerability. Those are my two go-tos for anti-aging.

Budget-friendly wise, Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair is a really great, very tolerable retinol. The other brand I like is RoC, which has its Deep Wrinkle Night Cream. Its a product that people that can walk into a drugstore, pick it up off the shelf and its very affordable. As your skin tolerates these over-the-counter productsand if youre really seeking a stronger potencyI would recommend that the next step is to speak with your doctor about getting on a prescription-strength.

When starting out with any new product, you want to gauge your skin sensitivityespecially with the notoriety of retinoids to potentially be a little irritating, and causing redness and flaking, at first. I usually say if youre super sensitive, start two to three times a week so you get a few days off and it should be a nighttime application, with a pea-sized amount all over the skin. Its not just for your problem wrinkly areas and your problem acne areas, its for the entire face. You can actually extend it down to the neck if youd like! As your skin tolerates it, that frequency can be increased over the next few weeks to every other night and potentially even nightly. That whole process is called retinization. Depending on your motivation, it could take anywhere from two to three months to get to that every night point. But, trust me, it really is worth it, in the long run, so take it slow.

A lot of peopleespecially with the prescription-strength ones because they do pack a punchcan go through what we call a purging phase, especially when youre treating acne-prone skin. It almost looks like the acnes getting worse, but your skin is purging because its increasing your skins cellular turnover. A lot of patients are automatically, Oh, my gosh. Its not working, or think the dryness or the itching means that theyre allergic. Thats not the case. Thats just a side effect of the topical and the methods of slowly introducing it or even buffering it with a moisturizer.

Another tip Ill tell patients is to either apply a moisturizer first and then apply retinoid or even leave on the retinoid for only a minute, and then wash it off. Youre still going to get the benefit of it. Rest assured: The irritation is not an allergy and the purging does not mean that its not effective. You just have to get through it, in a sense. Thats where the strategy of diminishing the frequency is really going to help.

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A Dermatologist Explains Why Following a 'Retinization Process' Is Key to Better Skin With Retinol - NewBeauty Magazine

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