Every Woman Should Own A Retinol Product

17 Jan

More on Retinoic Acid (my fav!). Make sure you read this as well… some of the info in this post has been updated!


Retin-A (aka Tretinoin aka All-Trans Retinoic Acid aka ATRA)

Yes… it has a lot of names… and also comes with a lot of uses!

Retin-A is the trademark product name for the acid form of vitamin A (retinoic acid) and the active ingredient Tretinoin.  Retin-A is a name brand that is well recognized; however, there are many other medications that contain this compound, and these might be cheaper or more appropriate for your specific skin care needs (i.e. containing other ingredients your skin needs).

Retin-A is a commonly used topical acne treatment in teenagers, but also has been used in the treatment of photo-aging (hyperpigmentation), wrinkle treatment, and to reduce the appearance of stretch marks!

Every woman over 30 should be using a Retinol treatment!

And I might even argue every woman period.

The purpose of this product is to speed up the exfoliation process (in a chemical-peel type fashion – and ‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!) and increase the production of collagen (the fiber that gives skin structure).

How It Works:

As a chemical exfoliant, Retin-A thins the outer-most layer of skin (the dead skin that clogs your pores causing blackheads and acne) while at the same time stimulating collagen within the dermal layer (which is why you cannot buy this product over the counter.  It works in the dermal layer.  Where you want ALLLLLLL your products to be working- remember Step 2: Spend wisely.)

Which leads me into the subject of cost..

Depending on the product and the other ingredients it contains, you’re looking at between $50 and $120 for a product that will last you about 6 months.  Do not buy this stuff over the internet.  You are probably going to wind up with an expired product, which won’t work and will just be a waste of money.  Go see your aesthetician and have her tell you want product is best.

I use Retinol from Image.  It’s in the $50-$75 range and a bottle lasts about 2 months.

Words of Wisdom

When I start people on Retin-A, I usually tell them to start off slow.  Once a week.  Then twice.  Slowly working it into your skin care regiment.  Why?  Because this product can be super drying (and as the official cold has begun here in Boston, lets not make already dry skin conditions worse–and if you have dry skin make sure your pharmaceutical grade products contain these Hydrating Ingredients in Skin Care Products.)  If you are acne prone, make sure you are using a good cleanser in the mornings.  You want all those dead skin cells OFF your face (not in the pores).

You need to be careful about being in the sun with this product.  No one likes a red, dry, itchy, scaly, burning face.  So for the same reason you don’t want to start off using this product nightly, you don’t want to be exposed to the sun for lengthy periods of time.  So remember, use this product AT NIGHT.

I’ve never had this happen to me, but I’ve had several friends tell me they’ve put the product too close to their eyes and had reactions (swelling, burning, flaking, itchy).  These friends are, of course, aestheticians who warn people not to put it too close to their eyes.  I guess they just wanted to test it for themselves!  😉  It’s been confirmed.  Don’t do it!  The skin around your eye is very thin and sensitive.  You don’t want to peel here, but you do want collagen stimulus, so make sure you use a good eye cream.  I will slap you if you think Oil of Olay counts.

***If you’re looking for more info on Key Ingredients in Your Anti-Aging Products click on the link.

6 Responses to “Every Woman Should Own A Retinol Product”

  1. bostonbeautyblog January 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Skipper made this comment on my facebook: Image skincares retinol-a creme is an awesome blend, I personally think it is better than Obagi’s tretonin. Also Images intense retinol serum RX is awesome to mix with the Max serum for ultimate result. I love these two products. They don’t dry you out as much as retin-a prescription either.

  2. Devan Ritchie January 18, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    Yes, any questions reach me @DevanRitchie on facebook. Or directly through Barbie. I love retinol products but you need to be doing several things to make sure you are using this product PROPERLY. Retinol can dry your skin and can cause irritation. Make sure you hydrate! MORE TO COME!

    • bostonbeautyblog January 23, 2012 at 3:25 am #

      Just read in Simple Skin Beauty (Marmur, Ellen, M.D., 76) “The only topical skin care products that can truly prevent wrinkling are sunblock and retinoic acid. The regular use of prescription strength Retin-A has been proven to decrease the development of fine lines and increase the formation of collagen.”

  3. bostonbeautyblog January 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Someone asked “can retin-a make you break out more?” In short, all pharmaceutical grade products are active. They are going to speed up biological processes going on within your skin. If your skin is in several stages of acne flare-up, it may appear to make the skin worse, when it is actually speeding the break-out process up to purge the skin of acne. All pharmaceutical products take about a month to see a final result (the avg. skin cell renewal rate – i.e. the time it takes for the live cells at the bottom of the dermis to become the dead cells in the epidermis – is one month). I know it can be hard to believe, but your skin will be practically perfect if you can make it through! I hope this helps!

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    • bostonbeautyblog November 18, 2014 at 8:25 am #

      Julie, I don’t know how to do that stuff! I just learned how to do the video blogging! So if you or someone you know wants to hook me up… I’d love flashy pop!

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