Why Don't People Like Retinoids?
I often think that my patients would LOVE ME SO MUCH MORE if I could get them to use retinoids. I sound like a broken record - telling anyone willing to listen that a retinoid will make their skin BETTER. In so many ways!
The problem is people just don't like using these forms of vitamin A. The side effects (redness, irritation, and peeling during the first 4 weeks of use) are too unpleasant. They usually disappear with continued use, but lots of people get frustrated and quit.
(There are ways to avoid the side effects of retinoids. Learn more in our post, Want Younger Looking Skin? 3 Ways Retinoids Make Skin Beautiful. And we have step by step instructions for using retinoids in our Free Resource Library.)
Dermatologists and skin care professionals recommend retinoids (Retin- A, tretinoin, retinol, etc.) because they're so good for skin.
“They stimulate the production of new skin cells,” says dermatologist, Dr. Gross. “They also help to fade dark spots resulting from photo-aging, hyperpigmentation, hormonal changes, and blemish scars. Prescription-strength retinoids renew the skin and treat acne, reduces appearance of fine lines, and helps with skin discoloration.”
The down-side? Retinoids require patience. It takes about 3 months of daily application to start to see results.
Then came AlphaRet - A New Type of Retinoid
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are another great product for skin. But like retinoids, AHAs cause skin irritation. “They can be irritating, so you can’t use them together,” says Ellen Marmur, a New York City dermatologist. “Retinoids reduce sun spots and wrinkles. Lactic acid improves skin tone and texture.” But just think of the possibilities if you could combine the two!
Enter the Research and Development Labs at SkinBetter Science. They created a new "dream" molecule - AlphaRet, also called Ethyl Lactyl Retinoate - which combines a high dose of retinol with an AHA (lactic acid). The 2 ingredients have been around for a long time and are in lots of skin care products. But until now, they hadn't been combined in a single product because of potential skin irritation or a possible chemical reaction.
SkinBetter Science discovered when the 2 are combined in a single molecule, the magic happens. Together, the retinol and AHAs work synergistically to repair damaged skin.
New York City dermatologist, Dr. Bruce Katz, who led the clinical testing, says, "The AHA absorbs moisture and hydrates skin, reducing the irritating effects of the retinoids, so we can use a way higher dose than in even prescription-strength formulas. Plus, AHAs improve skin's permeability, so more retinoids can get in."
The active ingredients in the cream are slowly and gently released once they come into contact with the water in your skin. “Lactic acid, a humectant and mild chemical peel, enhances the wrinkle reduction that comes from retinol,” says cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer.
In a study by Dr. Katz published in 2015 in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Alpharet smoothed lines and minimized discoloration with little to no irritation.
Which skin conditions get the best result from AlphaRet?
- Sun Damaged Skin - AHAs are great at improving roughness, discoloration, dark spots, and actinic keratosis (a skin growth from years of accumulated sun damage). They improve skin's elastic fibers and increase collagen. (Elastin allows skin to bounce back after stretching. Collagen gives it strength and structure.) Tretinoin fades discoloration and increases collagen production. In clinical studies, Dr Katz and his colleagues saw a 73% improvement in the appearance and texture of skin in severely sun-damaged patients.
- Melasma - Lactic acid and retinoids both slow pigment / dark spot formation. They boost the turnover rate of the top layer of skin to fade dark spots. To learn more about melasma, read our posts, Everything You Need to Know About Melasma and 10 Methods of Melasma Treatment that Work.
- Sensitive Skin - AlphaRet visibly rejuvenates skin by combining lactic acid and a retinoid in one molecule. While both can be irritating when used individually, AlphaRet releases them slowly over time for great results with little to no irritation. In short, you get the full effects of prescription tretinoin and lactic acid without the irritation.
- Acne - Acne is treated with skin products that have unpleasant side effects (stinging, burning, redness, and flaking of skin). Because of these side effects, people often don't use the products as directed - and their acne is not well controlled. In clinical studies, AlphaRet improved acne after 4 weeks and improvement continued through 8 weeks. So this new retinoid can significantly improve acne with fewer side effects than traditional retinoids. Learn more about acne in our post, 17 of the Best Ways to Treat Adult Acne.
- Aging Skin - Women in the clinical trial showed a significant reduction in lines and wrinkles after 8 weeks of use - with little to no irritation. To see pictures of women's skin from the study by Dr. Katz, click this link.
AlphaRet gets results with less irritation.
Retinoids and AHAs alone only get results with consistent use. Lots of people quit using them - or refuse to even try them - because they don't want to deal with dry, red, stinging, or flaking skin. AlphaRet Overnight Cream may just be the answer. It contains a blend of peptides, antioxidants and hydrating ingredients that made it an Allure Best of Beauty Breakthrough Award winner for 2016!
You can get AlphaRet Overnight Cream from a SkinBetter Science physician. Go to their website to find a professional.
Thanks for reading!
Amy Takken is a registered nurse with 20+ years of experience helping people improve their health. Her in-depth skincare articles have been featured on Nazarian Plastic Surgery and The Palm Beach Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery. Amy loves research and constantly watches for new products and treatments to help you improve your skin’s health – because healthy skin is beautiful! To reach Amy, visit our contact page.
Masterpiece Skin Restoration is your online resource for all things medical aesthetics, skincare, beauty, and wellness. We keep you up to date on leading edge technology and the services available to help you restore your natural beauty.
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If you liked this post, you'll LOVE these:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4633208/ The Tolerability and Efficacy of a Three-product Anti-aging Treatment Regimen in Subjects with Moderate-to-severe Photodamage
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26516077 Novel retinoid ester in combination with salicylic acid for the treatment of acne.
The Information provided on our website is not medical advice and should not be viewed as such. By law, only a medical doctor can diagnose or give medical advice. As a registered nurse, my goal is to educate, so I provide information on skin care, skin care products, and skin care treatments. If you have any condition that concerns you, please see a medical doctor. While most skin conditions are benign, some - like melanoma - can be deadly. If there is any doubt, please, please consult your physician. Thank you!