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So I've been reading up on Retin A (Tretinoin) to get a better understanding of why everyone uses it. It's been very enlightening.

Most of the info is stating that to combat the drying effect you want to use a moisturizer of some sort. Is this where the Vitamin C Serum comes in?

Either way, I'd like to read up more on that and would love to read from your sources if you don't mind posting some links for me.

In a logical sense, it seems you're using the RA at night to let it work while you sleep, then Vitamin C Serum to keep you clean and moisturized during your day?

Thanks!
 

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I understand that women suffer much more from the skin dryness than men. I have used it for quite a long time. It certainly helps and doesn't dry my skin at all - though I only use it at night.
 

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Here's a couple of good links Nate.

Reducing skin wrinkles with tretinoin (Retin A, Renova)

Vitamin C + E + ferulic acid: enhancing stability and effectiveness of topical ascorbic acid

This is a great skin forum. I've learned a bunch over there. Read all the past threads. Great info. on the best sunscreens, retin-a, vitamin C serum , etc.
http://www.imminst.org/forum/Skin-and-Hair-f274.html


A retinoid will increase collagen synthesis and prevent skin aging by inhibiting MMPs like collagenase and elastase, enzymes that degrade support proteins in your skin. It will also brighten skin tone, clean out pores, prevent and treat acne and enhance hyaluronic acid synthesis that adds volume and hydration to firm skin. It will help your skin repair the damage from daylight that the sunscreen + topical antioxidant cocktail let through. (more on the cocktail in a moment). If that is not the description of a miracle cream then what is?


If you're not using one, though, and still need a little convincing, consider these excellent reasons to check out what you're missing:

1. Sure, just about every new facial cream these days claims to improve wrinkles - but retinoids are the only type of topical cream proven to do just that. Retinoids stimulate your skin to generate collagen and hyaluronic acid, two of the main components of your dermis, which give skin firmness and fullness.

But you don't have to take my word for it: In a study published in 2007, led by doctors at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, 0.4% retinol (a concentration you can even find in many over-the-counter products) was applied to 36 subjects with a mean age of 87 up to 3 times per week. After 24 weeks, the improvement to retinol-treated skin was dramatic, and clearly visible to the naked eye.

2. While retinoids are stimulating skin to produce more collage and hyaluronic acid, they're also slowing the age-related loss of those crucial skin components. That means they're simultaneously preventing lines and wrinkles that haven't yet formed.

3. Of course, there's more to great skin than the absence of lines and wrinkles, and retinoids can also improve a variety of other skin concerns. Let's start with increased radiance: Retinoids are powerful exfoliators, meaning that they help slough off the dead skins cells on skin's surface. In so doing, they smooth skin's texture and reveal younger, healthier cells - leaving you positively glowing.

4. By speeding your skin's natural cell turnover, retinoids can also help fade patches of hyperpigmentation. Sun damage, conditions like melasma, and even minor cuts and bug bites can leave behind dark patches on the skin. Once the cause of that hyperpigmentation is eliminated, it can still take a while for dark patches to disappear naturally. Retinoids, however, will speed up the process by which skin replaces itself, hastening the return of a healthy, even skin tone.

5. Retinoids are also highly effective in decreasing oil production - in fact, they first came to the attention of the dermatological community for the treatment of acne. (Lo and behold, dermatologists found over the years that the skin of patients they'd been treating for acne had fewer wrinkles and dark spots than untreated skin. That's when retinoids' anti-aging benefits began receiving greater attention.) Because they also exfoliate the dead skin cells that clog pores and contribute to acne, retinoids offer a two-pronged attack against breakouts.

6. Finally, retinoids are the best way to get the most bang for your skin-care buck. Yes, a prescription for a retinoid or a good over-the-counter retinol product is an investment - but these wonder products are also the best way to prepare your skin for every other product you use (or buy it online with no RX). By sloughing off that top layer of dead skin cells, retinoids prepare skin to better absorb every other skin care ingredient you use.

One final note: As you can see, I'm a big fan of retinoids - but not for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding; they should not use these ingredients." Only use this product at night before bed. NEVER in the morning. The sunlight will cause you to be more sun sensitive. You MUST use a sunscreen when using retin-a. You should be period!!!
You'll often see it written to avoid the eye area while using this product. That makes no sense to me. That is an area that could most use this wonderful product. Use it all over your face, neck, and hands. Not just on your lines and wrinkles. Careful on your neck as the skin is thinner there. Go less often or use a weaker percentage.
Apply up to every night if you can tolerate it. Some use moisturizer after applying (wait aprox. 1 hr.) some dont.


Thirdly, a vitamin C serum is another proven winner that is backed by science not hype. There are quite a few to choose from OTC. Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and Cellex-C are popular. These products can often run as high as $120 or so and that can be real turn off to many. Making your own (DIY) is a popluar way to go for many who want to save a bunch of money and insure they are getting a fresh product. Ascorbic Acid is a very unstable product and will go bad (turn yellow) if not stored properly or used quickly enough.

Vitamin C is naturally found in skin and gets depleted in daylight. If you don´t use topical C you will have less than optimal amounts in your skin. Oral supplementation can only increase skins C to a certain limit. Topical C can increase the amount 20-fold. Vitamin C has been chosen by evolution as the main protector of the watery portions of your body. It´s the only antioxidant that directly can stimulate fibroblasts to synthesize new collagen and it brightens skin by moderating epidermal melanin. Pairing it with vitamin E equals greater protection (SPF 4). Adding ferulic acid can double that to an SPF 8.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Smashing post periwinkle.
Awesome info here. This really helps bring the entire picture into focus for me.

It also gives me a couple new questions, but I've still got more reading to do over at the imminst site. Really diverse set of info there too.

Now with this info, I'm more interested with the sunscreen composition and their ability to avoid adversely affecting the retinoids.

Thanks for the huge boost! This gives me a lot more to read up on, but does still align with the logical progression of application between the two. One step at a time.
 

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Great post there Peri, you were a busy boy today-
 

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In a logical sense, it seems you're using the RA at night to let it work while you sleep, then Vitamin C Serum to keep you clean and moisturized during your day?
The vitamin C dries as well.

I recommend still using a good face moisturizer afterward. Whatever's appropriate for your skin type.
 

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You can use a moisturizer, but applying a moisturizer right away decreases the penetration of the actives. The longer you wait to apply moisturizer the longer the active of the retinoid will be able to penetrate. That's why most derms say to use a good moisturizer the next morning. This is one reason they came out with Renova after a few years of experimenting with Retin-A. Some ppl simply couldn't take it and needed the emollient added in Renova. Retin-A + Moisturizer = Renova. Tazorac + Moisturizer = Avage. Since Renova & Avage isn't usually covered by health insurance you can just make your own.

Let your skin tell you what to do. You might decide adding a moisturizer right after is best for you, or you may want to wait 30 mins to an hour or decide not to use one at all.
 

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You can use a moisturizer, but applying a moisturizer right away decreases the penetration of the actives. The longer you wait to apply moisturizer the longer the active of the retinoid will be able to penetrate. That's why most derms say to use a good moisturizer the next morning.
Gotcha. That makes good sense.

Is it actually the moisturizer interfering with the actives' penetration, or the effect of the moisturizer?
 

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Gotcha. That makes good sense.

Is it actually the moisturizer interfering with the actives' penetration, or the effect of the moisturizer?
Maybe both. For awhile I was not using any moisturizer after retin-a. The interfering thing made sense to me. Then I read that if you wait around an hour, it wont have a negative effect. I believe this is just one of those no exact science things.
 

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Maybe both. For awhile I was not using any moisturizer after retin-a. The interfering thing made sense to me. Then I read that if you wait around an hour, it wont have a negative effect. I believe this is just one of those no exact science things.
I don't always apply moisturizer after my RA, but if I do, I will wait it out before doing so. I always seem to get the same results, with or without moisturizer.

Peri when you moisturize does it change the results you get with your RA?
 

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I don't always apply moisturizer after my RA, but if I do, I will wait it out before doing so. I always seem to get the same results, with or without moisturizer.

Peri when you moisturize does it change the results you get with your RA?
I cant really tell any difference if I do or dont.
 
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