Retinoid Use: What you Need to know

skin looking healthyRetinoids are all the rage in men and women who want to keep their skin looking healthy and young. Many of the cosmetic products available in retail and department stores today contain small concentrations of retinoids, and then there are the prescription products. Prescription retinoids get the job done, so they are quite popular.Patients with acne, as well as those who want a more powerful method of replenishing the skin may be interested in speaking with Dr. Citron about a prescription product. While the results of use are more noticeable, there are some details about retinoid use that you need to know. Specifically, you need to know how to use retinoids in the right way to manage how your skin reacts.

Patients with acne, as well as those who want a more powerful method of replenishing the skin may be interested in speaking with Dr. Citron about a prescription product. While the results of use are more noticeable, there are some details about retinoid use that you need to know. Specifically, you need to know how to use retinoids in the right way to manage how your skin reacts.

Go slow.

As excited as you may be to see your skin clear up, or see that glow return to your face, going too fast with a prescription retinoid cream could spell disaster. Retinoids can dry out the skin and cause irritation. Because you cannot predict just how strongly your skin will respond to this new topical solution, start by using only a pea-sized amount every few days. Three days a week should suffice at the beginning of your new routine. As your skin becomes used to the retinoid you use, you may increase frequency – slowly!

Perfect your technique.

There are steps you can take to minimize skin irritation when you introduce a retinoid product to your normal routine.

  1. Wash your face before applying your product. But, give yourself about a 20-minute window between washing and dabbing on your retinoid. This allows the lipid layer on the surface to replenish somewhat, mitigating the drying effects of retinoids.
  2. Apply your retinoid, then wait another 20 minutes before applying moisturizer – but apply your moisturizer! Dry, clean skin is the best surface for retinoids to do their magic. However, retinoids are drying, so your skin needs extra TLC. By waiting a few minutes between the two products, you maximize effect while minimizing the downside of dryness.
  3. Buffer if you need to. To buffer your retinoid means to mix it with your moisturizer. Yes, the product alone will be more powerful. But if your skin starts flaking and turning red, chances are you won’t want to use the prescription product at all. Mixing diminishes the drying effects while only slightly reducing power. You will still get the benefits of your retinoid if you buffer; it just may take a bit longer.

Would you like to know more about retinoids from your West Orange dermatologist, Dr. Citron? Give us a call at (973) 243-2300.

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