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Do Retinoids Really Reduce Wrinkles?

For many people, it happens when they are cleansing their face before going to bed. For others, it happens after a cursory glance in the rearview mirror. But no matter where or how it happens, discovering your first wrinkles is an unpleasant rite of passage for both men and women. Aging is the great equalizer and happens to everyone no matter their race, skin type, lifestyle or gender. It is a basic fact of life. But there is a way to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles through the regular use of retinoids.

Retinoids: A Primer

First, the lowdown on retinoids. Often called retinol or retinyl palmitate on ingredient packaging, retinoids are simply derivatives of vitamin A. They took off as anti-aging skin care products in the 1970s, but the healing power of retinoids was well-known as early as 3,000 years before the era of disco. Researchers believe that ancient Egyptians used vitamin A from the liver to treat night blindness.

Retinoids are commonly included in anti-aging products because they are said to stimulate cell turnover and increase collagen production, both of which contribute to the appearance of smooth, firmer skin.

Research Says

Good news, wrinkle fighters. Scientific research confirms that retinoids really do work.

One 2010 study (funded by Procter & Gamble) examined the effects of retinoid products, using almost 200 women aged 40 to 65 as subjects. Some women were randomly assigned to follow a skin care regimen that included an anti-aging product containing 0.3% retinyl propionate, while the others applied cream containing 0.02% tretinoin, a strong retinoid. After eight weeks, both retinoid treatments had significantly reduced the appearance of wrinkles in study participants.  

You don’t have to take one survey’s word for it. The Mayo Clinic says there’s “strong scientific evidence” supporting the use of retinoids to treat skin damage caused by the sun, and may even reduce the appearance of acne. And a 2006 article, authored by researchers from several universities, concluded that “retinoids are the most promising agents that are available for the treatment of aging.”

Retinoids are a powerful anti-aging agent, but overuse can also irritate the skin, causing redness and dryness. Try starting 2-3 times a week and gradually increase frequency for best results. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, discuss with your physician before adding Retinoids to your regimen.  

To start seeing smoother, younger-looking skin today, contact the Asarch Dermatology and Aesthetics to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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