What can Retinoids do for me? 

Vitamin A derivatives (commonly referred to as retinoids) can do wonders for your skin. Naturally abundant in carrots, eggs and sweet potatoes, synthetic retinoids are a gold standard ingredient in skin care because they alter the behavior of aging cells to act more youthful. They improve the appearance of the skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles, increasing exfoliation, improving skin tone and texture, and reducing hyperpigmentation. They accomplish all this by first causing the outer layer of keratinocytes to shed off, leaving the skin smoother and more evenly pigmented. Next, Vitamin A derivatives effect the epidermal cells which start replicating faster, causing the skin to look and feel softer and healthier. This amazing vitamin also shrinks dilated pores and improves cell turnover within the pores so that they are less likely to clog and become blackheads or whiteheads.

How often can I use Vitamin-A products on my face and how soon will I see results?

Most people will notice improvement in their skin after 2-3 weeks of using a product with Vitamin A, but sometimes it can be as long as 6 weeks, depending on the skin type and concentration. Retinoids can be strong and often cause peeling and redness as well as irritation. It is best to apply the product sparingly all over the face, skipping days or adhering to a schedule of application every three days. After your skin gets acclimated to the product, you can increase the frequency of use.

Are Retinoid, Retinol and Retin-A all names for the same thing, and which ZO® Skin Health Products contain them?

Retinoid is the general category of synthetic Vitamin A derivatives. The over-the-counter version is called Retinol and is milder than the prescription version known as Retin-A or Tretinoin. Retinol is a powerful ingredient in Dr. Obagi’s ZO® Skin Health ‘Prevent and Correct’ line. A partial list of products that contain it are Wrinkle and Texture RepairRetinol Skin BrightenerRenewal Crème and Daily Power Defense. If you decide to add Retinol to your skincare regime, we will look at your specific skin type and needs to select the best corrective ZO® Skin Health product for you.

Are there any down-sides to using Vitamin-A derivatives in my face care regime? 

While using a Vitamin-A product, it may be best to avoid certain irritating skin care products such as those containing lactic acid, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid. On the other hand, using fragrance-free moisturizers and hydrating creams is encouraged and can sooth the Vitamin-A treated skin. Allow the Retinol product to absorb into the skin for 10-15 minutes before applying a moisturizer. Additionally, it is imperative that you use sunscreen daily while using Retinol as your skin will become very sensitive to the sun.A Fountain of Youth? Probably not, but Retinoids are the gold standard skincare ingredient that help the aging skin cells act young again.