As you know, for gentle yet effective exfoliation to improve the color, texture and tone of your skin, and to make it healthier and even treat acne, I prefer glycolics. However, time and time again, I get questions about retinoids.
Retinoid products are also effective exfoliating treatments for acne and are also helpful for facial rejuvenation. Retinoids include not just Retin-A, whose generic name is Tretinoin, but also other derivatives of tretinoin like Ta zarotene, and Adapalene. The reason that I’ve moved to glycolics is the side effects from retinoids and is really well underscored by a few questions and comments I’ve recently gotten from viewers on the topic. I’d like to share them with you.
Here are a few.
“Hey Dr. Schultz. My name is Eva and I’m from Africa. I have just started using Retin-A cream and my face got worse within the third day. I got rashes on my forehead. Trying as much as possible to keep away from sunlight although it’s really hot on this side of the Sahara! So, should I stop using it? Need some serious help!”
“Hi Dr. Schultz. I’m on Tretinoin 0.025% topical cream for acne and and acne scarring. I’ve been using it for one week. It’s making my face darker than the rest of my body. Also flaky and stingy. How long will these effects last? Will my skin return to its normal color?
“I used tretinoin under my eyes and on my face. My eyes have more wrinkles, and my cheeks are dark. How can I fix this? Please help!”
Obviously, all of these viewers need to stop using their tretinoin and get help from whomever prescribed it for them. Again, I have no personal bias against retinoids but unfortunately patients often have difficulty with them. They can lead to discoloration, irritation, flaking and even soreness.
And one other issue of importance with retinoids: They can have potential harmful effects to a forming fetus, so you can’t use any retinoids if you’re pregnant. All retinoids should only be used only under the direction of a physician.
Of course, if you’re using retinoids under proper medical supervision and you like the results they’re providing then you should certainly continuing using them but to avoid the issues I just mentioned, I prefer glycolics.