As far as prescription skin care products go, I get more questions about Retin-A – a form of vitamin A – than any other item. Retin-A is a proliferator. This means it speeds up cell renewal and the production of collagen and elastin, the skin’s building blocks. As far as anti-aging goes, a vitally important process that  keeps the wrinkles at bay and heals the skin more rapidly from any break-outs and sensitivity. There are many forms of vitamin A – Tazorac, Differin, Avage, Renova for example, and then blends that include topical anti-biotics, hydroquinone and cortisone. And it is really important that you know how to use whichever one you have been prescribed.

All these products make the skin photosensitive so they must only be used at night. During the day use plenty of moisturizer and an SPF of at least 30. Never use any product that combines a sunscreen and a vitamin A derivative. When used in the evening, I prefer clients to alternate Retin-A with other treatment cremes and moisturizers. Most skins should not use the product every night and I generally start first time users at 2-3 times a week. Scrubs, all AHA’s and BHA’s should be stopped until the skin has adjusted and then used sparingly on the days when Retin-A is not being applied at night-time.

If you get regular facial waxing stop using Retin-A a week before your waxing appointment to be on the safe side. I often combine my Retin-A with my moisturizer before I apply it to my skin but either way, always use a creme on top.

There are now many over the counter products that contain Vitamin A and the same rules apply. At SkinSense, we can advise you about the use of all vitamins and anti-oxidants in your every day skin care regime so don’t hesitate to get in touch. And if vitamin A doesn’t suit you, we have plenty of other options that are just as effective at fighting gravity and keeping your skin youthful.