Retinoid Products: 3 Tips for Using on Sensitive Skin
As a dermatologist, I know how powerful retinoid products are for fighting the signs of skin aging.
I've personally used retinoid products on my skin for more than 30 years.
Over that same time, I've prescribed these products for thousands of patients too. Over the years, my patients and I have seen the results - the appearance of retinoid-treated skin barely ages! It's so satisfying for me to see this. Frankly, after a year of battling breast cancer, it feels almost like a skin-care legacy that I'm giving my patients from my almost 30 years of practice. Now, my new Retinol Night Creams give you a great non-prescription retinoid option to add to your anti-aging skin care routine without a trip to the doctor. The creams are formulated to maximize retinoid benefits while minimizing skin retinoid irritation. But, retinoids are still tricky, especially for people with sensitive skin. That's why I've developed my tips to help people with even the most sensitive skin tolerate retinoids. I myself have exquisitely sensitive skin. I tested these tips on myself and have proven them time and time again on my sensitive skin patients.
“It was my 38th birthday yesterday and this woman giving me a pedicure thought I was in my 20s! She couldn’t believe it. I credit it to your products…” Tracy A, Penngrove, CA
New Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Night Creams Now Available!
If you are interested in adding a retinoid to your anti-aging skin care routine, my Retinol Night Cream is an ideal choice. Here are my tips on how I do it:
Tip #1: Always start with lower levels of retinol products and work up
Your skin needs time to adjust to retinoid therapy. It's just like lifting weights, you don’t start with the biggest barbells, you start with smaller weights and work up to the big ones. Likewise, you don’t start with the strongest retinol – be patient, you'll get there! Tip #2: Avoid all other irritating products while your skin is adjusting to retinol. There is always an initial break in period called “retinoid dermatitis” when you start using a retinoid. Retinoid dermatitis is a subtle irritation that develops in the first weeks to months of initiating a retinoid product into your skin care routine. This dermatitis makes your skin more porous. If you apply an irritating product such as an AHA, BHA, or harsh soap it will get into your skin more to sting and irritate. This additional irritation may make it harder to get through the retinoid break-in phase. When I start someone on a retinoid product, I always recommend they use only trusted non-irritating cleanser on their skin. My favorite is Toleriane Cleanser. I also recommend that initially they put aside any other other potentially irritating products like AHAs and possibly even vitamin C until their skin has acquiesced to the retinoid. Then, slowly we resume these products to maximize the anti-aging benefits of their full skin care routine. If their skin gets irritated anyway, we skip several nights or a week on the retinoid until their skin has settled down. Then we resume the nightly retinoid product but applied less frequently at first. We again work up to every night as tolerated. Tip #3: Use more green tea antioxidants, a moisturizer, and sunscreen every day when using a retinoid. Help support your skin's barrier strength with the other skin care products that you use. I've found that the 3 biggest supportive steps to help people with sensitive skin tolerate retinoid therapy are: 1. Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy applied every morning after washing your skin with Toleriane Cleanser. 2. Applying a moisturizer matched to skin type after the Green Tea. The products I use in my practice include:
- Daily Face Cream for Normal to Oily Skin
- Daily Face Cream for Normal to Dry Skin
- All Natural Face and Body Butter
3. Mineral zinc oxide sunscreen worn every on sun-exposed retinoid-treated skin. Layer sunscreen on top of your moisturizer. Mineral zinc oxide sunscreens are better tolerated by sensitive skin than chemical sunscreens. The products I trust and that I recommend for my patients include:
- Citrix Sunscreen (for all skin types)
- Suntegrity 5 in 1 BB Cream Sunscreen (tinted BB cream for normal to dry skin types)
- EltaMD Daily Sunscreen (for dry to normal skin types)
- Elta MD Clear Sunscreen (for oily to normal skin types)
- MDSolarSciences Mineral Cream Sunscreen (tinted and mattifying for extremely oily skin)
"Retinoids products are worth the effort; they are one of the most powerful skin care products you can use to keep your skin looking timelessly youthful."
Retinoids are tricky though, especially if you have sensitive skin.
My Retinol Night Cream is the ideal non-prescription retinoid for everyone who wants retinoid benefits. It's doubly ideal for people with sensitive skin and for those who have not tolerated other retinoid products in the past. If you have found these retinol and retinoid products tips helpful, please show your thanks by commenting on, sharing, “liking,” Google+, tweeting, and “pinning,” using the social sharing buttons above and below this blog post with friends and family.
Retinoid Product References
Improvement of Naturally Aged Skin With Vitamin A (Retinol), Reza Kafi, MD; Heh Shin R. Kwak, MD, Arch Dermatol. 2007;143:606-612 Improvement of photoaged facial skin in middle-aged Japanese females by topical retinol (vitamin A alcohol): a vehicle-controlled, double-blind study. Kikuchi K, Suetake T, Kumasaka N, Tagami H, J Dermatolog Treat. 2009;20(5):276-81 Choosing Topical Retinoids for Aging Skin, Sachs, DL, Dermatology Focus, Summer 2013 Vol 32 No 2 page 4 Application of Retinol to Human Skin In Vivo Induces Epidermal Hyperplasia and Cellular Retinoid Binding Proteins Characteristic of Retinoic Acid but Without Measurable Retinoic Acid Levels or Irritation, Sewon Kang, Elizabeth A. Duell, et. al., J Invest Dermatol 105:549-556, 1995 Vitamin A Antagonizes Decreased Cell Growth and Elevated Collagen-Degrading Matrix Metalloproteinases and Stimulates Collagen Accumulation in Naturally Aged Human Skin, James Varani, Roscoe L Warner, Mehrnaz Gharaee-Kermani, et. al., J Invest Dermatol (2000) 114, 480–486; Topical Tretinoin for Photoaged Skin: a Double-blind Vehicle-controlled Study, Weiss JS, Ellis CN, et. al., JAMA. 1988, 259: 527-532 Tazarotene Cream for the Treatment of Facial Photo Damage: a Multicenter, Investigator-Masked, Randomized, Vehicle-Controlled, Parallel Comparison of Tazarotene 0.01%, 0.025%, 0.05%, and 0.1% Creams and Tretinoin 0.05% Emollient Cream Applied Once-Daily for 24 Weeks. Kang S, Leyden JJ, Lowe NJ, et al., Arch Dermatol. 2001;137:1597-1604. Mechanisms of Photoaging and Chronological Skin Aging, Gary J. Fisher, PhD; Sewon Kang, MD; et. al., Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(11):1462-1470 Photo attribution: Thanks and gratitude to © Mina Chapman/Corbis and © Inti St Clair/Blend Images/Corbis