Did you know there is a drug in the form of a cream that actually makes your skin thicker, smoother, plumper and radiant? Tretinoin/Retin A, is a cream that is proven to do that. It is also known as trans retinoic acid, retinA, avita, renova, and requires a doctor’s prescription.
It stimulates the skin by causing irritation. It’s like a mini-chemical peel every day.
It must be used in conjunction with a good moisturizer and sunscreen to reduce further irritation. Also, if you use a lower strength and apply it every other day or three times a week, your skin will adjust to it and you’ll be able to increase the strength over time. It may take up to six months to see the full effects.
It should not be used when pregnant because retinoids cause birth defects in animals. However, there is no direct evidence that topical retinoids cause birth defects in humans.
How much does it cost? Generic form 0.025 percent (20 g): $42.65, 0.05 percent (20 g): $50.22, 0.1 percent (20 g): $58. The price is more for the various name brands.
Similar to tretinoin/RetinA is Tazaroten 0.05 percent
or 0.1 percent cream. It is also known as Avage External and Tazorac External, may be used as an alternative to tretinoin. It also requires a prescription. Treatment is initialted with 0.05 percent cream or gel applied twice per week at night. The concentration or frequency of application is gradually increased over several days as tolerated up to 0.1 percent cream applied once daily.
How well does it work? According to one small study, Tazaroten 0.05 percent is equivalent to 0.1 percent of retin a.
How much does it cost? 0.05 percent (30 g): $279.16 and 0.1 percent (30 g): $296.56
Retinol and retinyl palmitate are a milder form of tretinoin/retinA and Tazaroten. They can be purchased over the counter without a prescription and costs start at $15.00 for an ounce and go up from there.
How well does it work? Nonprescription 1 percent retinol was as effective as .02 percent tretinoin in improving photoagining a small randomazided study. Similar to tretinoin/Retin a and tazaroten they increase collagen production to minimize lines and wrinkles, and speed cell turnover to even out discoloration caused by UV damage. Because it’s a milder agent, it’s a good starting cream until you build up a tolerance and switch to a higher strength of tretinoin/retin a or tazaroten.
Also available without a prescription are several anti-aging creams sold in the cosmetic department. They can contain antioxidants, vitamins, or plant extracts that can be used alone or with prescription strength anti-wrinkle creams. However, there are very few studies telling us which ones work the best. Small studies conducted by the company that is trying to sell you their product are the most unrealizable sources of information. When researching these products look for studies that use a lot of people. It’s even more reliable if is double blind and random controlled. That means the people conducting the study and the participants do not know which product is the placebo and which is the active product. Another sign of a reliable study is one whose results are reproducible by other researchers. Those are the kind of studies done on retin-a and other reputable products.
Beware of buying expensive cosmecueticals. Sometimes the less expensive ones work just as well.
Below is a list of the most common active ingredients found in nonprescription face creams.
Niacinamide, b3 which rdduced transepidermal water loss, lightens the sking and increases collagen production.
Vit C, protects for uva induced oxidateive damge, increases collagen formation, lightens the skin
Coenzyme q10: protects from uva induced damage and collagen damage.
Vit E. reduces uv induced redness
Alpha lipoic acied. Has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an exfoliant.
Alpha and beta hydroxy acids. Increases exfoliation, improves hydrastion
Green tea extracts. Reduces redness and has antioxidant properties.
Soy isoflavanes –genistein and daidzein. Antioxidant, phytoestrogen, lightens the skin.
Grape seeds –antioxidant and anti-inflammatory to promote wound healing.
Coffee berry –antioxidant properties
Ginkogo bilobal –stimatates collagen formation
Ginsent –antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Hyaluronic Acid such as sodium hyaluronate or hyaluronan improves hydration
Exfoliants work by loosen the bonds between the dead cells in skin’s uppermost layer so they can be shed, improving texture and adding radiance. They also speed cell turnover. Products that improve hydration draw water to the skin to moisturize and temporarily plump. Antioxidants work by fighting free radicals (skin-destructive molecules produced by UV rays, pollution, allergens, and other irritants) to help prevent lines and wrinkles. Any product that increases collagen formation is making the lower layers of skin thicker and plumper. Anti- inflamitory products reduce redness, swelling, and tenderness.
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