This month’s pick for product of the month is the tried & true SkinMedica Retinol Complex. Retinols, a vitamin A derivative that started out as an acne medication, have been around for decades now. When people started using it they quickly noticed their skin not only looked clearer, but smoother with fewer lines and their brown spots were less noticeable. Thus, retinols quickly became a go to for anti-aging.
Retinols work to make the skin cells over more quickly. Think of it like changing the sheets on your bed. Your “sheets” are smoother and less wrinkled, just like your skin will be with regular retinol use. I have some patients who say they can’t use retinols. They’ve tried them in the past and found them to be drying and/or irritating. I always tell them almost everyone can and should use a retinol, the key is how and when to use it.
Retinols are photo-sensitive which means they are broken down by sunlight and should only be used at night. Start with a low dose, like the SkinMedica retinol complex 0.25%. Go slowly. SkinMedica’s retinols are dispensed in a metered pump. You only need one pump, two nights a week to start. Apply it after moisturizer. Don’t apply it too close to the eyes or lips. All of these things can help contribute to your successful start with retinol.
After a period of time, your skin becomes conditioned to the product and you can start to add more applications per week and even bump up the concentration. SkinMedica offers a 0.25%, 0.5% and 1% concentration in their retinols. Their retinols are also formulated to reduce irritation. They are made with a phytoshield delivery system. Think of the SkinMedica retinol complex like M&Ms: the candy coating is a phytoshield made up of antioxidants that helps to drive the retinol deeper into the skin, where the “candy coating” releases it, bypassing the top layer of skin, reducing irritation and allowing the product be more effective. The skin then turns the retinol into retinoic acid and lets it get to work.
I love SkinMedica retinols because they work on several things at once and they are relatively inexpensive in the anti-aging product arena. I use the SkinMedica Retinol Complex and I love it. I really notice a brightening in my skin and it is so much softer and smoother to the touch. My one caveat is to always pair a retinol with a sunscreen because they can make you more photo-sensitive. Call our office and let us match you with a retinol strength that will be best for you.