Let’s face it, no matter how hard many of us try to get over the irritating hump of beginning or getting back into the swing of incorporating a topical retinoid, excessive irritation, redness, or peeling skin isn’t something we want to deal with!
Understanding why this happens can sometimes help our minds get past the dry skin hurdle. Retinoids, like daily sunscreen use, are the basic foundation for good skin care.
What are Retinoids?
Retinoids are a class of medications that are derived from vitamin A and are widely used in medicine to treat skin conditions such as acne, keratosis pilaris, psoriasis, and hyperpigmentation.
Retinoids speed cell turnover, so it is expected for you to experience increased flaking and exfoliation during the first 2-4 weeks. You do not want to use any exfoliating tools or brushes, facial scrubs, toners, or alcohol-based products, as these will cause increased irritation.
Retinoids aid in collagen stimulation, thereby helping to thicken the skin. The myth that you shouldn’t use them under your eyes because the skin is too thin is just that-a myth! It is completely safe to use a retinoid up to your lower lashes.
Retinoids should be used all year long. Yes, even in the summer! Studies have shown that its use helps prevent a protein (collagenase) rise from UV exposure, which breaks down your collagen.
Retinoids can also be applied to the tops of your hands at night, understanding that it takes a bit longer for your hands to adjust to using.
Retinoids are a genuine workhorse! Initially used to treat acne, they also have the added benefit of stabilizing and evening your skin’s pigment, diminishing brown spots, reducing pore size, stimulating collagen, reversing sun damage, and giving you that youthful glow!