Why Retin-A is the Best Kept Secret for Aging Skin

Stop whatever you are doing! If you don’t have Retin-A or a Retinol in your skin care routine, get it immediately! Let’s begin this post with all the amazing benefits of Retin-A!

  • Improves skin texture and fade darks spots and freckles 

  • It helps significantly reduce wrinkles  

  • Shrinks dilated pores (which is an issue for me!) and minimizes the development of blackheads and whiteheads

  • Prevents the degradation of collagen caused by the sun

  • Treats acne

As I was looking for articles I landed on a New York Times write up on Retin-A which is an absolute must read for all you skin care aficionado. I will link the article below. Let me just highlight the key points which I know will make you a convert if you aren’t already.

Where do you get it and what is it?

It’s derived from Vitamin A and you will need a prescription for sure and honestly it’s pretty cheap if you get the generic form. It’s the cheapest and most effective skin care product out there. I use tretinoin,  form of Retin-A, and I only paid around $30 without any insurance. The Retinol form is much milder version found in over the counter skin care products. And quite expensive too. While Retin-A is the preferred form, it can be too harsh for some and; therefore, some opt for products containing Retinol.

“There is so much historical evidence that this ingredient works better than anything else,” said Dr. Joel L. Cohen, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado and a consultant for OrthoNeutrogena, the maker of Retin-A Micro. And the effects are more than superficial. “It actually works to remodel skin on a cellular level,” Dr. Cohen said.

 How does it work?

Due to its ability to shrink pores you minimize the chances of your pores getting clogged up by junk. It also increases the turn over rate of your skin, in addition to preventing the growth of collagenase (breaks down collagen). Not only can Retina-A be used for cosmetic purposes but it also has been shown to change abnormal skin cells, that can turn cancerous, back into normal cells. Basically an all around amazing compound.

How to use it

At first when it came on the market it was used as an effective acne treatment but the side effects were too good to pass up for everyone else. I must warn you, it’s not for the weak. When you begin to use Retin-A, your skin will not be too happy with you at first. It may get super dry and flaky and you may start seeing a surge of pimples to your dismay. But don’t give up, you just have to ride it through for a few weeks, possibly 6 to 8 weeks before you see all the benefits. When you start do NOT just take a hug gob of the product and smear it all over your face. Just take a pea size and only use it once every 3 days. If you are super sensitive try it once a week first. You have to play with it. Then slowly progress to every day if your skin can handle it. Of course ask for the lowest dose of Retin-A which I’m sure your doctor was going to do anyway. If you have dry skin follow up with a good moisturizer after letting the Retin-A absorb into your skin for 20 minutes. Last but definitely not least wear sunscreen during the day! Your skin will be extremely sensitive to the sun as you adjust it to the Retin-A. Now, after all those tips and your skin still can’t take Retin-A, then go with products that have Retinol.

Thanks for reading and good luck with your skin care routine! 🙂




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