When it comes to skincare, there seems to be an endless selection of serums, creams, and potions that all promise near miracles by erasing fines lines and wrinkles. The skincare industry is huge, and unfortunately, there are way too many products out there that just don’t live up to their ambitious claims.
Today, it seems more than ever, we’re concerned about the health of our skin and how it ages. Retinoids have entered the scene as one of the most effective anti-aging treatment options there is. Tretinoin, which is often prescribed under the brand name of Retin-A, is the prescription-only retinol that has become the anti-aging gold standard among skincare experts. Of course, what you want to know is if tretinoin really lives up to its claims of getting rid of wrinkles.
Retinoids, Retinols, and Tretinoin
It’s best to begin this discussion by understanding what tretinoin is, and how it is different from other retinoids and retinol. Tretinoin is one member of a family of compounds known as retinoids. Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin D, and we’ve come to love them for their amazing ability to transform our skin.
There are several different retinoids, with Tretinoin being one of the strongest. Retinols are also members of the retinoid family; however, they are much gentler. When applied to the skin, tretinoin and retinol both act in similar ways, however tretinoin produces a higher degree of results in a shorter amount of time. For comparison, using tretinoin instead of a non-prescription retinol is like microwaving your dinner as opposed to letting it cook slowly in the oven. The end results are similar, however the one that takes longer may actually turn out better.
Tretinoin is available only through a prescription because the potential for side effects, especially if misused, is significantly higher than what you’ll find with non-prescription retinol products. The most common side effects of tretinoin include itching, peeling, dryness, and mild irritation – all of which generally subside within a couple weeks of initial treatment.
The Truth About Tretinoin and Wrinkles
Now, let’s get down to the details of what you really want to know. Does tretinoin get rid of wrinkles the way everyone seems to be claiming it does? As with anything, results will vary but in general, yes, tretinoin is effective at skin rejuvenation – at least to a certain degree. Tretinoin isn’t going to magically eliminate deep set wrinkles to the point that they become invisible. What tretinoin will do is ease the appearance of fine lines and light wrinkles while protecting your skin against the advances of aging.
Tretinoin can produce some pretty amazing anti-aging results, but it’s also important to note that the FDA has never officially approved tretinoin for this application. Currently, the only application that tretinoin is approved for is the treatment of acne. This makes it extra important that if you use tretinoin, you do so only under the guidance of a medical professional. There are varying strengths of tretinoin available and trying out your friend’s Retin-A to see how it works on your skin could lead to less than desirable results.
Tretinoin works by accelerating the rate of cellular renewal. As we age, the life cycle of our cells begins to slow down. Tretinoin speeds up the process, and you benefit from the vibrant, clear and smooth appearance of all those fresh, new skin cells. Tretinoin also works by mildly irritating the skin. As a result, your skin goes into overdrive repair mode. This causes an increase in the synthesis of collagen and elastin.
These two compounds make up your skin’s crucially important support structure. Unfortunately, the production of collagen and elastin also begins to decline as we age – with the downward slope becoming noticeable as early as your 30th birthday. This is the reason why our skin becomes thinner, less resilient, and begins to sag a little as we age. Without enough collagen and elastin, your skin can’t fight off those fine lines and wrinkles. Tretinoin won’t increase the synthesis of collagen and elastin back to where it was in your teens or early twenties, but it can produce a noticeable difference in the smoothness and suppleness of your skin.
Is Tretinoin the Answer to Your Dreams?
While tretinoin can do some pretty incredible things, it doesn’t come without side effects. Some people find tretinoin to irritating, and don’t want to endure the peeling and itching as their skin adjusts to treatment. It’s important to speak with a medical professional, such as a trusted dermatologist to determine whether tretinoin is the best treatment option for your needs.
What if you want to skip the discussion with a dermatologist? Fortunately, there are non-prescription retinol products that can produce results similar to those of Retin-A, without a prescription and without the side effects. The secret is to make quality, integrity, and purity a priority.
Look for a retinoid cream that is supported by complimentary ingredients like hydrating hyaluronic acid and plant stem cells. You don’t need to resort to harsh treatments to transform and rejuvenate your skin. You just need to do a little research and trust your skin to nothing less than the best skincare.
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