Retin-A is a great product- it increases collagen turnover, improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and helps reverse sun damage. So why don’t more people use it?
The downside of Retin-A is that it’s very irritating to skin. Patients frequently complain of redness, irritation and flaking. These complaints are often enough to cause people to stop using Retin-A, despite its beneficial effects.
There is a right way to use Retin-A, however, one that helps minimize the peeling and redness. Here are some tips:
- Use the right concentration. Retin-A is made under several brand names, and all come in a variety of concentrations. If you are new to Retin-A products, start with the weakest concentration- usually 0.5%
- Use the right amount. A pea-sized amount is enough for your entire face. Apply the Retin-A at night, after washing your face. It only takes a minute to absorb, and you can layer moisturizer on top.
- Don’t use it every day. Start off using Retin-A only two times a week. After a couple of weeks, work up to every-other-day. If this is the most you ever use Retin-A, it’s still enough. If you ultimately work up to using it every day, kudos for you.
- Be patient. Your skin does get used to Retin-A, but it can take 6-8 weeks. This is why you have to gradually increase how frequently you use the Retin-A. During this adjustment period, use a heavier moisturizer than normal and apply it several times a day. Rubbing moisturizer into your palms and then patting it gently over your face can help keep your foundation in place.