The most indispensable component of a daily skin care regimen (aside from sunscreen) is a retinoid. Retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives that offer benefits that can’t be ignored.
When dermatologists at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1970s discovered the benefits of retinoids for treating acne and studied their effects on adult women with acne, they serendipitously discovered the cosmetic benefits. After 6 months, the women evaluated had fewer brown spots, fewer fine lines and more brilliant skin. When they studied the skin under the microscope, they found that sun damage had actually been reversed.
Later investigations revealed that retinoids also stimulate the formation of collagen. For this reason, I use a topical retinoid (Renova, a brand of tretinoin) on my face every other night to help reverse the damage from years of sun exposure during sports and other outdoor activities while I was growing up in Miami.
If prescription-strength tretinoin is too harsh for your skin, consider a gentler over-the-counter product with retinol. I love Dr. Brandt® Glow Overnight Resurfacing Serum, and I apply it on nights when I don’t use my Renova.
Ask me or one of my colleagues who’s a dermatologist in Miami for instructions on how to apply topical retinoids to prevent irritation and optimize their effect.