Friday, June 3, 2011

Using Retin-A? The Culprit in Premature Aging? Look Closer.

  Retin-A (Tretinoin) Retinoic Acid

Truly Anti-Aging?

Since the late 80's we have been obsessed with the miracle cream known as 
Retin-A/Retinoic Acid/Renova in curing acne and erasing wrinkles. Is it really a miracle cream? Are people really looking younger after repeated use and years of application? There is a clear distinction from what we have been taught/sold vs what we know today. For years I have warned my clients against the use of Retin-A. I have witnessed skin irritations, super sensitivity to sun exposure, waxing, increased hyper-pigmentation, and an overall translucent look to the skin. Accutane (ingested form of Retin-A) has been exposed for it's toxic effect to internal organs. Wouldn't it make sense that topical Retin-A would have an adverse effect on our largest organ (the skin)?
Let me offer you another theory.
DNA Molecule
You body uses retinoic acid in the skin to manufacture collagen. It converts retinol to retinaldehyde, and then into retinoic acid. Retinoinc acid stimulates the fibroblasts(which maintain the structural integrity of the connective tissue). Fibroblasts make collagen, glycosaminoglycans(proteins), and elastin fibers. This all takes place in the dermis. One would think topical application of Retin-A would work wonders to stimulate this process.
Overstimulating the fibroblast receptors weakens their function. Your body makes retinoic acid on site. Your body doesn't store it, so excess amounts sitting on the skin causes irritation.
You will get immediate effects from applying Retin-A, since you are plumping the wrinkle caused by swelling. You can always add inflammation to look good today, but that's not anti-aging. When you put something on your skin that damages your barrier, this will increase free radicals, damage your DNA, making you more susceptible to skin cancers. Years of repeated use will cause the tissue to thin, become more vascular, and increased pigmentation with the use of inflammatory agent.

The large molecule of Retin-A has a hard time penetrating the dermis in which companies use doses of around 5%, allowing it to sit topically, resulting in over exfoliation which compromises the skin's defense.
To effectively reverse aging you have to stimulate collagen without adding inflammation.
Retinaldehyde is the forerunner to Retin-A and has proven effects of stimulating collagen/elastin with minimal irritation. It rebuilds the collagen matrix.  For optimal penetration of Retinaldehyde a liposome technology must be present. I am certainly in agreement with the advantages of using topical serums that have any ingredients which do not excessively exfoliate the skin, or cause inflammation or irritations. I am in favor of medical/pharmaceutical grade skin care products that carry active ingredients which enhance the skin's immune system.
That is true Anti-Aging.

Maxine Drake / CME
Med-Esthetics Consulting

1 comment:

  1. This is so true. So many people don't know about retinaldehyde and why it is a much better option than tretinoin. I've been using products containing retinaldehyde for about 6 months now and have had beautiful results.


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