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Products Products Products! What is the best product for anti-aging?

How do you pick a product with the millions of choices out there? "What is the best anti-aging product?" all of the time. I get this question daily. Anti-aging of course isn't "a thing" but what it implies is that you have undesirable aging symptoms of your skin and want to stop it. I'd love to normalize aging so it's not a dirty word, but alas, Merriam-Webster won't return my emails. Back to the point, I cannot answer the question the same way for everyone, but one of the best products to choose from are topical Vitamin A's or Retinoids. The reason I consider them one of the "gold standards" is that they reduce fine lines and pigmentation, improve skin color, dry patches, and in addition help with other texture issues. They do this by rapidly turning over skin cells. This thus increases new cell production. They stimulate fibroblasts, specialized cells that have a big role in skin health, which in turn produce collagen and new blood vessel formation. Some Vitamin A's can cause dryness and irritation in some people, so it's best to use conservatively and under the supervision of a Physician and/or Esthetician.

If you're asking "what Vitamin A should I use?", you're not alone. It's overwhelming walking thru the isles and isles of skin care products. There are two ways to start Vitamin A use. The 1st is with a Board Certified Dermatologist who will prescribe a Retinoid, probably Tretinoin. Retinoids are compounds that are derived from Vitamin A. Tretinoin is a Retinoid that the skin immediately recognizes as Retinoic Acid, the Vitamin A that our bodies make. Tretinoin doesn't require a chemical conversion by the skin, so many Doctors believe this is the best way to approach using Vitamin A. Tazarotene and Adapalene are 2 other Retinoids considered to be prescription strength and are also good choices. Something to consider if you choose the prescription route is that these are stronger and often more irritating to the skin. There are strategies for starting these products that are quite helpful in mitigating the redness, irritation, and flaking that typically ensues when you use Retinoids. Start slow. Use is recommended to be 2-3 times per week, skipping a day or two to give a break to your skin. The other is to make sure you use a pea-sized amount. Not a silver-dollar sized! Most people love to overuse their products because they feel more of a good thing is better. This is not the case with Retinoids. Take your pea-sized amount and start at the outside of your face and work in. Yes, you heard me correctly. Outside in. The majority of reports of redness, flaking, and irritation are in the areas around the nose and mouth. If you are drier-skinned, follow this with a lightweight moisturizer. No slugging after Retinoids! Slugging (the practice of layering an occlusive or heavy moisturizer over your skincare) is too aggressive for use after Retinoids. Locking that Retinoid in is more likely to cause more irritation and therefore irritate your barrier function. We'll talk about all things barrier function in another blog. The other way you could start your Vitamin A journey would be with a Licensed Esthetician who will do a thorough skin analysis, talk to you about your skincare habits, goals, budget, lifestyle, etc., and choose the correct OTC Vitamin A for you. There are several OTC, over-the-counter Vitamin A's. You'll see Retinol, which is a Vitamin A that requires 2 chemical conversions to become Retinoic Acid to be used by the skin. You can also see Retinal, Retinaldehyde, which requires 1 chemical conversion to become Retinoic Acid in order to be used by the skin. Retinol can sometimes be irritating to the skin, so if you're a sensitive-skinned beauty, you may want to choose Retinal, a more gentle yet effective Vitamin A.

Whatever you choose, it's important to remember, "Rome wasn't built in a day." I know, I know. The "I want it now" is real! But trust me, it's worth the wait. The power to rejuvenate, repair, and slow down the clock is something you don't get with topical skin care very often. You'll reap the benefits if you stick to it. The use of sunscreen is non-negotiable. If you're dedicated to the healthiest and most beautiful skin, sunscreen is the #1 tool for that.

I know I've laid a lot of info. on you, so if you have any questions about what would work for you or how to use them, don't hesitate to contact me.

Beauty is a lifestyle. Live life with happiness, kindness, mindfulness, and wonder. Breathe in the good and exhale what doesn't serve you.

And please remember, be kind to yourself! You are a beautiful, miraculous being and you deserve all good things!