I admit it, I’m a bit like a kid in a candy store when it comes to wandering down the beauty aisle. I’m completely obsessed with skincare and always enjoy being surrounded by the veritable fortress of skincare and beauty products for sale. Of course, it doesn’t take long for the luster to wear off as I begin checking labels and reading claims. So many harsh ingredients, and so many false promises.
Most of us would love to stumble upon that one miracle cream that could instantly remedy all our skin care woes. It isn’t just that we want to see an immediate difference, we also want sustainable results. At some point, we get tired of wasting time and money on ineffective products, and head to the dermatologist instead. It’s here that you might become introduced to a skincare ingredient that actually follows through on its claims -Retin A.
Retin A has been shown time and again to produce dramatic results for everything from clearing acne and reducing skin discolorations, to visibly reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. There has also been a bit of controversy about Retin A over the years, leaving many wondering if the results are permanent, or if a lifetime of Retin A treatments is necessary to sustain them. Let’s take a look.
What Is Retin A?
First, let’s talk for a minute about Retin A, why you need a prescription for it, and how you may be confusing it with other retinol compounds. Retin A is a brand name for a retinoid called tretinoin. Tretinoin also goes by other names but Retin A is by far the most common, not to mention easiest to pronounce.
Tretinoin, or Retin A, is a derivative of vitamin A, as are all retinoids. Retin A isn’t the only retinoid in use. In fact, there are a handful of other retinoids that are used in various applications for skincare – each varying in potency and deliverable results.
Once we start talking about Retin A, retinoids, and then throw retinols into the mix, it all starts to cloud together. These skincare ingredients sound so similar that they’re often used interchangeably by people not understanding that there’s a real difference between them.
Generally speaking, the term retinoids is used as an umbrella term for all these vitamin A derived compounds. Retinols are a class of retinoids, but they tend to be less potent. This is why you need a prescription for a Retin A cream but not for the retinol serums that line the shelves of the beauty aisle.
Are Retin A Results Permanent?
When you’re comparing different retinoid products, going to a dermatologist for a prescription can seem like a bit of a hassle compared to just ordering a retinol treatment online. Is there really a difference in the end, and are results achieved by Retin A permanent?
This is an important question for several reasons. There has been a bit of controversy over how long one should use Retin A. Some professionals see no issue with prescribing Retin A long term, while others are concerned that the long-term safety hasn’t been clearly established. We do know that Retin A isn’t considered safe for use while pregnant or breastfeeding, which means there may be times in a woman’s life when she will need to cease treatment with Retin A.
So, will all the wonderful results linger after stopping Retin A treatment? The answer depends greatly on what type of skin condition you’re using Retin A to treat, along with the underlying causes.
For example, if you’re using a prescription strength Retin A treatment to remedy hyperpigmentation or reduce the appearance of scars, then yes, the effects of Retin A are often permanent if there is no underlying cause for the hyperpigmentation to reappear. A scar that has lightened shouldn’t become darker again after ceasing use of Retin A.
As for the treatment of acne, Retin A has shown to be incredibly effective. For most people, acne is a temporary skin condition, which means that using Retin-A for a duration of time will solve the skin issue until it no longer presents as a problem on its own. If treatment is stopped but the underlying causes are still there, the acne can reappear, although it might not be as severe.
Can Retin A Permanently Turn Back the Hands of Time?
Retin A is widely used to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. Unlike other antiaging products that work to simply make lines and wrinkles less visible, Retin A does this while also working to support the skin and enhance functions that keep the skin youthful looking.
Retin A promotes cellular regeneration, and it seems to boost the production of collagen – one of the skin’s key supportive structures that keeps skin smooth and supple. As we age, collagen synthesis naturally declines, thus the loss of firmness, elasticity and smooth texture of our skin. In this manner, Retin A can actually reverse some signs of aging and slow down the clock on the current aging process.
That said, collagen synthesis is a finnicky thing, and without continual treatment with Retin A, the production will slow back down to the baseline level. The same applies to cellular regeneration. Retin A allows you to gain some ground in fighting the hands of time, but there is no way to completely stop the process. Rather than the results being permanent, Retin A resets the starting point, with continual use affecting how quickly the process occurs.
A Gentler Alternative to Sustainable Results
Retin A might not be suitable to use long term for you personally, or you might experience side effects that outweigh the benefits. Whatever is behind your decision to stop using Retin A, or to never begin using it all, know that there are other solutions that are effective, gentle, and suitable for long term use.
Look for nonprescription strength retinoid creams that have a record of being clinically proven to be just as effective as Retin A in clinical trials. The formula of 2.5% retinol, combined with hyaluronic acid and plant stem cells found in Admire My Skin’s Clinically Effective Retinoid Cream is ideal for producing sustainable results for a range of skin types and conditions. Plus, stepping away from prescription strength Retin A products means less side effects, and more glowingly beautiful skin.
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