Healthy Skin Diet: The Truth About Antioxidants
Learn everything you need to know about these powerful ingredients -- once and for all
Retinol is the most common over-the-counter topical form of the vitamin, but unless you use a high concentration of it, you won't see significant improvement in fine lines and wrinkles. However, if you use too much retinoid, it can cause "toxicity to the skin and dying off of the skin cells," doing exactly the opposite of what it's intended to do.
That's why you may want to avoid it altogether and opt instead for topical tretinoin (find this in prescription creams like Retin-A or Retin-A Micro). Unlike retinol, which takes time to convert, tretinoin (another retinoid) provides more immediate results and "can be very effective in diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles," says Simpson. Start off slow with this ingredient though as too much of it too soon can irritate skin causing it to get red and peel.
Where it's found: If you've never used a retinoid, try an over-the-counter product that contains retinol or retinyl palmitate first (try SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0, $59), then if you haven't seen the results you're after, talk to your doctor about trying a prescription for a tretinoin cream.
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