At OC Facial Care Center, we offer a variety of Retinol products. Obagi’s retinol When the goal is preventing aging as well as correcting existing damage virtually all dermatologists agree daily retinoid use is the answer. The term "retinoids" refers to vitamin A and the various molecules derived from vitamin A, which itself is also known as retinol.
Vitamin A is essential for normal skin cell development and differentiation:
• Inhibits collagen breakdown
• Increases collagen synthesis
• Increases elasticity
• Improves water barrier function
• Regulates sebum production, excellent for treating acne as well as aging.
• It is the only ingredient we know of that actually reverses the signs of photo aging.
Tips for Successful Use
While every skin has its own idiosyncrasies, almost every skin can benefit from retinoids. Here are some tips to make your retinoid journey successful, even if you’ve had trouble in the past.
1 Use the right form. The retinoids that are effective; retinol, retinaldehyde and retinoic acid, come in either OTC or prescription form. If you have sensitive skin you might want to start with an OTC retinol serum, which is slower-acting and less irritating than prescription retinoic acid. Since retinol must convert to retinoic acid the trade-off, slower to emerge visible improvements offset by less irritation, can benefit those who have experienced prior problems with prescription retinoids. Retinaldehyde is another OTC retinoid that is very effective.
2 In the prescription category Refissa and Renova are the least irritating, then Differin, then Retin A, and finally Tazorac is the most irritating. You can start with the least irritating retinoid and move up to the more irritating product if it is appropriate to your condition. For example, while Tazorac is the most irritating it also gives the most improvement in terms of pore size and acne scars.
3 Set up a routine. You can start off every other or every third night and work up to every night, but be consistent.
4 Prepare your skin before starting. A study, Facilitating facial retinization through barrier improvement, showed the following: “The results show that improving stratum corneum barrier function before beginning topical tretinoin therapy and continuing use of a barrier-enhancing cosmetic moisturizer during therapy facilitates the early phase of facial retinization and augments the treatment response.” The barrier cream the researchers used contained a mixture of vitamins. They advised continuing with the barrier cream while using the retinoid.
5 Retinoids during the day? Contrary to popular belief, retinoids do not contribute to photosensitivity, though retinoic acid can thin the outer layers of the skin by about a third, making skin more susceptible to sunburn. But there are a couple of reasons to confine usage to night time. 1) Economics—retinoids degrade in the light, so you’re not getting your money’s worth if you use them during the day. 2) Heat from the sun can contribute to erythema, or redness, and if you are already experiencing redness on account of facial retinization heat might exacerbate your discomfort. The answer—use retinoids at night only, use sunscreen daily, and try to avoid excessive heat, either from sun or sauna.
6 Be patient. It’s not an overnight process for anyone, and depending on the type of retinoid you use, the condition you are treating and the condition of your skin, you should be prepared to wait at least six to eight weeks before you start to see significant changes.
To sum it all up: order of application is not important, what matters is that you find the type of retinoid that best suits you, make it a part of your skin care routine, and be consistent in its use. You’ll be very happy you made the effort. OTC products available at