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Beauty tip: using Retin-A without dryness

Posted Jun 19 2009 3:43pm

Retin-A is beauty’s closest thing to a miracle product: it clears up breakouts, softens and smooths skin, and is one of the only things on the market (short of Botox, fillers or plastic surgery) that will truly, visibly remove lines and wrinkles and make you look younger.

So what’s the problem?

For many women, it’s overly drying and causes dramatic skin irritation.  (Retin-A is a prescription retinoid…a cousin of the retinol you can buy in products from brands like Green Cream, RoC and Philosophy –both are Vitamin A derivatives.  A retinol or retinoid is a must-add to your skin regimen and both work wonders, but retinoids will provide better results when used properly.)  If you’ve been given a prescription for Retin-A but find yourself flaking and peeling like a shedding snake, dial the application amount and frequency down a notch (or five).  Start by using your Retin-A cream or gel every three days, to give your skin time to adjust.  Alternate non Retin-A nights with a gentle, non-irritating moisturizer such as Weleda Iris Night Cream.  After a week, increase the frequency to every two days, and then a week later, apply it every other day.  Don’t glop it on as if you’re applying with a trowel, either!  A pea-sized amount will do, and you’ll see results (without dramatic shedding, praise Jesus!) within a month.


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