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Retinoids for Anti-Aging

What is a retinoid? Retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives, which are commonly used in topical medications for both anti-aging and the treatment of acne.  Retinoids are one of the most potent types of anti-aging medications, making their use a “must” for anyone who wants to prevent wrinkles and reduce the appearance of their fine lines. How do retinoids work? Retinoids stimulate the production of healthy collagen and elastin in the skin.  As a result, the texture of the skin is smoother and fine lines that would have developed over time are prevented.  Additionally, retinoids can help to reverse some of the pigmentation that develops after years of sun exposure.  Regular use of retinoids is required to achieve a dramatic improvement in skin texture and tone. What is the difference between retinols and retinoids? It is easy to confuse retinols and retinoids, as they sound nearly the same.  However, it is important to know the difference, because they are not the same products.  Retinoids are only available by prescription or when dispensed from your dermatologist’s office.  Numerous studies have proven the efficacy of retinoids in preventing fine lines, reducing fine lines that are already present, and decreasing sun damage to the skin. Retinols are the over-the-counter version of retinoids.  Retinol is a much milder compound, that has not been proven to have the same dramatic anti-aging effects as retinoid.  Once applied to the skin, retinol is converted to retinoid, but at a significantly lower concentration than prescription strength retinoid. Will retinoids cause dryness on my skin? Most people can tolerate the use of retinoids, when used properly.  However, many people use too much of the medication and experience significant dryness.  When starting a retinoid, we recommend using only a pea-size amount, followed by a moisturizing cream, applied every other night at the most.  Over time, your skin will adjust to the new medication and you may increase the frequency of application to nightly.  For patients with very sensitive skin, a once weekly application may be sufficient to begin; these patients may also benefit from applying moisturizer both before and after their retinoid. Where can I purchase a retinoid? Retinoids are available only by prescription or when dispensed from a dermatologist’s office.  During your consultation at Schweiger Dermatology, we will review the different options for retinoid therapy and recommend the most appropriate retinoid for you. Click here to schedule a visit to learn more about the anti-aging benefits of retinoids.

Schweiger Dermatology

110 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022

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