Face value

using retinoids

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
Face cream photographed at the North State Journal offices in Raleigh

Everyone is after ageless skin. People want to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, reduce the appearance of acne, and bring forth brighter, smoother skin. Skin creams containing retinoic acid, a metabolite of Vitamin A (retinol) that facilitates the functions of Vitamin A required for growth and development, have been a go-to since the first retinoid was approved for acne in the early 1970s.”Retinols increase cellular turnover which assists in keeping skin firm and tight,” said Anna Churchill, Synergy Spa and Aesthetics founder and aesthetician.A dermatologist may prescribe a prescription strength tretinoin, a Vitamin A topical cream, such as Atralin, Retin-A, or Retin-A Micro.”Retinoic acid is a chemical ingredient you are putting in your skin and it may cause irritation for some,” said Churchill.If prescription is too harsh for your skin, retinols may be your best bet. A Vitamin A derivative, these do not carry the strength of prescriptions and are skincare products found at med spas and skin care facilities.”You want to find retinols in the right formula dosage and those aren’t the ones found in drugstores,” said Churchill.The right formula dosage should contain 10 times more retinol than the prescription strength. Why? When the retinol cream touches your skin, it will convert and release the acid through your system.”By the fact that retinols convert, they are not darting in your system. It’s a small release being delivered so a high dose of retinol will convert to a lower dose of the prescription,” said Churchill.Example: A prescription dose is .05. Convert times 10. The new dosage is .5.Other retinoids found in drugstores will not have a high enough dosage of retinoic acid to covert. Therefore, you aren’t helping your skin.In essence, retinoic acid is unclogging pores, boosting collagen to reduce fine lines and speeding cell turnover to even out discoloration and smooth the skin.