Retinoids - The Most Researched And Proven Anti-Aging Skincare Products

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August 5, 2013

Skin aging is caused by intrinsic genetic factors combined with the influence of extrinsic environmental factors. The most detrimental external factor is ultraviolet (sun) exposure which causes damage to the cells’ genetic material and chronic inflammation in the skin.

Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives which constitute the active ingredient in well-known topical prescription brands such as Retin A, Refissa, Renova, or Tazorac. They were first discovered to have anti-aging effects in the mid-1980s in a study that demonstrated that twice-daily application of tretinoin (Retin A) cream to sun-damaged skin created a substantial layer of new collagen in the skin. This was accompanied by a corresponding, statistically significant decrease of superficial wrinkles. Research has also demonstrated increased production of elastin, and decrease of hyperpigmentation of the skin. After rigorous studies, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Renova and Refissa creams for the treatment of photo-aging (sun-related skin aging) and fine wrinkles.

So why isn’t everyone using these products instead of spending a fortune on a myriad of unproven over the counter, department store anti-aging “miracles”? One reason is aggressive and misleading marketing by major cosmetic companies based on unpublished “results” of a handful of users in the absence of large, controlled, randomized studies. Another reason is that the most effective retinoids require a prescription. Additionally, proper physician guidance is needed in order to reduce or eliminate significant skin irritation that occurs in the first weeks of their use. Without carefully selected supporting skincare products aimed at restoring the skin barrier, many patients get discouraged and simply give up retinoid use. The need for appropriate sun protection also must be explained to the patient.

Continued, long-term maintenance use of retinoids is necessary in order to retain significant anti-aging benefits. After treating thousands of patients with prescription retinoids, Dr. Sommerville believes that with individualization of the treatment protocol and quality supportive skincare, any patient will be able to tolerate a prescription retinoid without ongoing skin irritation.

With many women spending thousands of dollars per year on department store “potions” and cosmetic surgery, why not use the one and only anti-sun damage and anti-wrinkle skincare category of products that even FDA deemed as effective? Please call our Chevy Chase office at 301.656.7546 to schedule a consultation to address your unique skincare concerns.

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