Knowing I worked for a dermatologist, a young woman asked me this at dinner the other night – “When will I know it is time to go to the doctor for some sort of injection?” With all the information on rejuvenating, even someone this young is thinking about options. My answer…

Not every person will feel the need to slow the aging process with a visit to the doctor. But, if you see yourself going that route one day, then remember this – the better you care for your skin on a daily basis, the further out your need for medical anti-aging will be way in the future. My advice:

#1 – Be Preventative

Make the Prime 4 products your  daily habit. (See Blogs/Articles)

– Sunscreen  – Cleanser   – Moisturizer   – Exfoliator

#2 – Add Additional Maintenance

Add Prime 4+ Products

– If you are seeing fine lines around your eyes, add an Eye Product.

– If you are seeing lines all over, add an Anti-aging Product. Don’t forget those neck and hands.

–  If you have a specific concern, add a Concern Product that addresses the issue such as oil control or pigmentation.

Start quarterly skin care treatments/facial with an esthetician who helps you with your at-home care as part of their treatment. They should appreciate your budget when recommending products and accept that you have products you already feel are effective.

(More on ingredients, products, medicines and procedures in my aging article – Fighting Time)

3# – Get Corrective Medicines and Procedures

If you had issues with your skin starting in high school, have been in the sun regularly for sports or play or have totally ignored your skin until the neglect started to show, you will need to catch up. It is wise to see a dermatologist yearly for a check up like you do for your teeth. Spots can be deceiving.

Or, if you have maxed out on what over-the-counter options available and you want to go the next step, book your consultation to See What the Derm Can Do.

Your dermatologist has an arsenal of products and procedures that can bring your skin to it’s maximum. Fresh, spot free, unlined – beautiful.

For more… Check out this Blog

Time Tellers

Medical Enhancements – Yes, No o Maybe?

The mind that is wise mourns less for what age takes away; than what it leaves behind.

William Wordsworth

When it comes to skincare, the popular terms “retinoid” and “retinol” are often used interchangeably, but they are not one and the same. Retinoid is the generic term for all topical products that contain derivatives of vitamin A. Retinol is simply one example of a retinoid.

Although these ingredients can be excellent additions to your anti-aging regimen, choosing the right retinoid product can be a bit confusing. Here is an overview of some of the different types of retinoids and how to incorporate them into your regular skincare routine.

Types of Retinoids

There are countless prescription and over-the-counter topical products that contain retinoids, but keep in mind that not every product is going to be effective for every skin type or condition. Some of the most popular retinoid products are:

  • Retinol is one of the most effective over-the-counter retinoids available. It, like other retinoids, works by accelerating the skin cell turnover rate and reducing collagen breakdown. Thus, retinol can be a very effective anti-aging ingredient to combat lines, wrinkles, and a dull complexion. Additionally, many people find that using retinol rather than a prescription retinoid helps to minimize irritation and flaking.
  • Retinyl palmitate is another OTC retinoid that results in even less flaking and irritation than retinol, but the drawback is that this ingredient is typically not as effective as your other options. It does not penetrate well into the skin and has been associated with an increased risk of developing skin cancer in mice studies.
  • Beta-carotene is the pigment that gives orange and yellow plants their color, including carrots. When you eat foods that contain beta-carotene, your body converts it into vitamin A, making beta-carotene also a type of retinoid (University of Maryland). One study found that topically-applied beta-carotene may help to improve the appearance of melasma, a skin discoloration problem that frequently occurs in pregnant women (Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology).  However, topically applied beat carotene does not penetrate as well as retinol and tretinoin.
  • Retin-A (tretinoin) is one of the most popular prescription topical retinoids. It can be used to treat lines and wrinkles, mild to moderate acne, and hyperpigmentation. Although Retin-A can be highly effective at stimulating collagen production, it can also cause significant peeling and/or irritation. For this reason, it’s important that you gradually introduce it to your skincare routine (see general instructions below).
  • Accutane (isotretinoin) is an oral form of retinoid that is used to treat acne.  It is very effective but it’s use is associated with birth defects if the user is pregnant when taking the medication.  It can also raise serum triglycerides and cholesterol levels necessitating the need for blood work before taking this medication and monthly.
  • Differin (adapalene)– This is a second generation man made retinoid that was designed to be less irritating and more stale in light than tretinoin.  It is now available topically over the counter but was previously a prescription medication.
  • Tazorac (tazarotene)– This is a  third generation retinoid man made retinoid that was designed to be more effective and more light stable than other retinoids.  It is the strongest of the topical retinoid preparations.

How to Use Retinoids

Retinoids are known to cause peeling, redness, and irritation so the best approach is to slowly begin using these products to help limit side effects. When introducing any type of retinoid to your skincare regimen, follow these steps:

  1. Apply one small pea-sized amount of a retinoid product to clean, dry face. (another pea size can be used for the neck or arm or each additional area to be treated.)
  2. Apply the retinoid at night as your last step over your moisturizer.
  3. Wait about four days before reapplying to see how your skin will react. It takes 3-4 days for the side effects form the first application to become apparent.
  4. After waiting four days, begin applying the retinoid at night every third night.
  5. If, after two weeks, you don’t experience any side effects, bump up your application to every other night for another two weeks.
  6. If you’re still tolerating this routine well, start applying the retinoid every night.

If you have sensitive or dry skin, you may need to stay at step four indefinitely, and that’s okay. It is better to progress more slowly than to struggle with side effects and end up discontinuing the product as a result.

The Bottom Line

Retinoids, including retinol, can have a dramatic effect on your skin’s appearance. However, not all retinoid-based products are created equal, so the right choice for you will depend on your skin type. Sensitive types, for example, may need to start with a less potent concentration and work their way up to more effective products.  Oily types will prefer a gel while dry types will prefer a cream formulation.  Some skin types may require a combination product of a retinoid combined with other ingredients such as hydroquinone or ascorbic acid.

The first step to choosing a retinoid is diagnosing your baumann Skin type using the scientifically validated questionnaire. Find an STS-approved doctor in your area to diagnose your Baumann Skin Type and recommend the right type of retinoid for your needs. Your doctor should also be able to provide you with detailed instructions for using a topical retinoid with minimal side effects.