Worried about wrinkles? Reach for retinoids. Retinoids are the only ingredient that has consistently been proven to reduce signs of aging. It smoothes fine lines and helps fade dark spots. It can also help pores look smaller.
Unfortunately, retinoids need to be used with care, since they can irritate skin. Here is a simple guide to using retinoids—just one of the many useful life tips you will find here in o5.com.
How to choose retinoids
Over the counter retinoids are the best choice for people who have sensitive skin. However, the formulations are much lower than the ones you can find in prescription creams, so you have to wait longer to see results. As a general rule, it takes over the counter retinoids at least 3 months to reveal visible results (no matter what the ads say).
Read the labels of the retinoid products. Choose one that has a minimum of 0.1% retinol. Packaging is also important. Retinol is very light and heat sensitive, so anything in a glass or clear jar will ‘spoil’ faster. The best packaging is an aluminum tube.
Over the counter vs. prescription retinoids
Over the counter retinoids are great for people who just want to try it out, or have very sensitive skin. However, prescription retinoids (which contain about 15% more of the powerful ingredient) give the best results. Your skin will be much more evenly toned, plus appear softer and smoother. They also work faster: you can expect to see dramatic results within 8 weeks.
Tips for applying retinoids
Never start your retinoid regimen just before a major event, since you may experience a skin reaction like redness or inflammation. Besides, even if retinoid is very powerful, no product can deliver instant results. Though you’ll see changes within 8 weeks, you’ll see the best results in about 6 to 8 months.
Retinoids also tend to dry the skin, so start applying it when the weather is more humid and the air has a higher moisture content. If you are new to retinoids, start slowly: applying every 3 days in your first 2 weeks before gradually moving to a daily regimen.
To avoid skin irritation, don’t use retinoids in conjunction with alcohol based toners and astringents. Go easy on the facial scrubs and exfoliators, too. Also stop waxing facial hair until your skin has gotten used to the retinoid and is no longer inflamed.
It’s also best to apply retinoid at night. It can react to the sun and won’t be as effective. Apply a pea sized amount 20 minutes after washing your face (your face needs to be completely dry). After applying retinoids, wait another 20 minutes before using any other beauty product like moisturizer.
If you are using retinoids, be sure to protect your skin with sunscreen whenever you go out. Retinoids slough off dead skin cells, but it can also break down some of your skin’s natural UV protection.
Using retinoids is just part of preventing wrinkles. Ditch any bad habits that can cause wrinkles and prevent sun damage with a good sunscreen. Certain makeup techniques can also make you look younger.
Photo from nydailynews.com