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Topical retinoids are the cornerstone of skin care. Retinoids are a class of chemical compounds derived from vitamin A. Clinically, retinoids reduce the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles, reduce pore size, and are helpful in evening pigmentary changes (brown spots).
The over-the-counter form of retinoid is called retinol. Retinols are available without prescription in pharmacies and at cosmetics counters.
To obtain the much-stronger version, retinoic acid, you will need a doctor’s prescription. The biological strength and activity of retinoic acid (Tretinoin, Differin, Retin-A Micro, Atralin) is 100 times that of retinol.
Here are some tips on introducing a retinoid product with minimal side effects.
If you are experiencing mild irritation or dryness, you may try the following strategies to minimize irritation:
Dr. Reszko’s tip: Regular use of retinoids at least 2 to 3 times a week can lead to noticeable improvement over a period of 2 to 6 months. On average, it takes at least 6 months to see a noticeable difference in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The best benefit is seen if retinoid therapy is used for at least a year.