Retinoids are a class of compounds that have become known as a skincare powerhouse for their ability to tackle a range of troublesome skincare woes. Dermatologists have been prescribing one of the most popular retinoids, Retin A, for decades to treat everything from painful and persistent acne to reducing the signs of aging. Ask practically any skin care expert what their go-to skincare ingredient is, and retinoids will often top the list because they can benefit practically everyone’s skin.
However, there is a secret to achieving these amazing results, and it all revolves around using the correct strength of Retin A for your skin type. This is where many become a little confused about when and how to use retinoids for their skin. The wrong strength can potentially damage your skin, or not produce any noticeable results at all. How do you know which Retin A strength to use?
First, let’s start with a little science. There are several types of retinoids, all of which are derivatives of vitamin A. Retinoids are wonderful because they promote cellular regeneration, are powerful antioxidants, and encourage your skin to shed all those dry, dead skin cells that hold back your natural glow.
For the most part, retinoids (including Retin A) are also only available through a prescription. This makes a visit to the dermatologist, or even a primary care doctor who is knowledgeable in skincare issues, mandatory to receive a prescription for Retin A. This might seem like a bit of a hassle, but it’s good to know it’s not your only option.
What Strength of Retin-A Is Right for Your Skin?
Retin A, which is a brand name for the retinoid called Tretinoin, is available in strengths ranging from a low .01% to stronger .1% concentrations. There has been some research that indicates that a higher concentration of Retin A doesn’t necessarily improve the degree of results you see with treatment, however it can affect how quickly you see results. For this reason, a dermatologist might be more inclined to prescribe a more potent Retin A treatment for someone who is suffering with painful, inflamed acne than they would a person who is looking to minimize the appearance of a few fine lines.
It’s also important to consider how your skin will handle treatment. Retin A doesn’t come without some side effects, which can include dryness, peeling, and irritation – especially if you have sensitive skin. Starting off with a higher strength Retin A product can exaggerate these side effects and result in a not so great experience.
This is why many skin care experts take the position of starting off with the lowest effective dose, and gradually increasing it over time if necessary.
Using Retin A Properly
Regardless of the strength of Retin A that is prescribed, it is important that you follow the instructions for use very carefully. Retin A is available as a prescription for a reason, and part of that reason is so that you can be fully informed of how to safely use the product and minimize any of the more serious side effects.
For example, Retin A magnifies your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. It’s absolutely crucial that you either avoid exposure to the sun or become extra diligent with your use of sunscreen. The last thing you want is to increase the risk of damaging your skin with the very treatment you’re using to heal it. Plus, sun damage is serious business and not something you want to mess around with.
Using Retin A properly, and with the correct frequency, is also key to achieving results with your prescription. It’s always tempting to go a little overboard, hoping that by applying it more often that you’ll see faster, better results. Resist this temptation by knowing you’ve been provided with the optimal usage instructions for the strength you’ve been prescribed.
Choosing a Gentler Alternative
There is a way to benefit from the skin enhancing benefits of Retin A, without a prescription or some of the unpleasant side effects. There are lower strength retinol products available without a prescription that have been shown to be equally effective in healing the skin and preventing premature aging.
Your best options are non-prescription strength retinoid creams that are formulated to be suitable for a range of skin types, which means they’re going to be both gentle and effective. Admire My Skin Clinically Effective Retinoid Cream has potency of 2.5% retinol, along with other effective active ingredients like hyaluronic acid and plant stem cells. It is a perfect anti-aging solution for all skin types.
The important thing to remember when considering using Retin A or a non-prescription retinoid cream is that you have options. Your skin is as beautiful and unique as you are, so take the time to research what’s out there, and then choose the skincare solutions that will bring back and help you maintain that vibrant, youthful glow.