Posted on April 06 2021
Who wouldn't love to have young and healthy skin? Until the fountain of youth is discovered, everybody will age, some faster, some slower, some better than the others, at least by the appearance. There are two types of aging; one is the inevitable "natural" chronological aging process; the other is the acquired, "external" environmental aging process, AKA premature photo-aging by UV exposure.
There is not much that can be done about the natural aging process. Just look at mom and dad; perhaps a good skin gene is already destined in your DNA.
If not, luckily, a lot can be done to prevent, slow-down, repair, or even reverse photo-aging damages. The first and most crucial step is sun protection, from avoiding excessive sun exposure to daily SPF 30+ sunscreen and wearing protective clothing. Disciplined skin protection should be as routine as brushing your teeth every day.
The second most crucial step, and also the most extensively researched anti-aging open-secret, is the Retinoids.
Retinoids belong to the Vitamin A family; it is a non-specific umbrella term that includes tretinoin, retinoids, retinol, and retinoic acid. All retinoids need to be converted to retinoic acid before the skin can use them. All have clinically proven anti-aging properties, i.e., reducing wrinkles, fine lines by increasing skin cell turnover, increasing collagen production, thickening both the epidermis and dermis. Additionally, all improve skin texture by reducing pigmentation, shrinking pores, reducing acne and blackheads, increasing skin blood flow, leading to clearer, smoother, radiant, healthy skin complexion. "Retinol glow" is a common loving compliment used to describe retinoid users' glowing skin.
Tretinoin, commonly known as Retin-A, is available by prescription only: it is in the form of retinoic acid; thus, it can be used by the skin directly. Because of its prescription strength, it can produce fantastic anti-aging results. At the same time, it can cause the most severe adverse skin reactions, i.e., itching, burning, flushing, flaking, peeling, making it intolerable, high termination rate, and often abandoned.
Unlike tretinoin (Retin-A), retinol is available without a prescription. Retinol needs to be converted to retinoic acid before the skin can use it, so its action is slower and gentler and has fewer side effects than tretinoin. Clinical studies show up to 10% of retinol is converted to retinoic acid. Because of its gentler action, retinol has become a popular starter's choice for anti-aging products.
It is never too late, or too early, to start a clinically proven anti-aging skin routine. A slow, steady acclimation with retinol is a good stepping stone to healthy glowing skin.