The Importance of Retinoic Acid with Differin, Tretinoin or Tazaratene and Good Skincare

Did you know that low strength Differin is now OTC?

Increasing skin turnover is important as we age.  Our keratinocytes on the surface layer tend to not turn over as rapidly as when we were children.  We often recommend a retinoic acid to be utilized at night to help improve this.

The three primary retinoic acids are Tazarac (tazarotene), Retin-A (tretinoin) and Differin (adapalene).  These are all prescriptive medications, however, low strength Differin (0.1%) is now OTC.  I tell patients to start with OTC Differin (around $28 at Target) and utilize a small amount at night.

After 90 days, then patients can begin tretinoin, which is slightly more potent then Differin.

It is equally important to sun protect in the am with a sunscreen with SPF of at least 30.  Can you believe that we need a shot glass full of sunscreen to adequately cover the face and neck with sunscreen?!  I doubt any of us truly utilize that much, so make sure to reapply your sunscreen.

Also, we highly recommend the use of antioxidants on the skin such as Skinceuticals Vitamin C serum with E and ferulic acid.  It is formulated at a pH that actually penetrates the stratum corneum and in my opinion, is truly the most efficacious of the Vitamin C serums on the market.

So as we approach spring, make sure that you are ready with appropriate skincare.

Author
Raminder Saluja, MD

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