Topical Vitamin A is the World’s Best Wrinkle Cream
Well before Explorer Ponce de Leon set out for his quest to discover the Fountain of Youth, people have been searching for a way to stave off the effects of aging. If only Ponce de Leon could have lived in the early 1970’s, he would have seen FDA approval of Tretinoin, a prescription strength topical Vitamin A in 1971 and perhaps would have been content that the fountain of youth may very well come in a tube.
by Lisa A. Finch, Licensed Aesthetician
As we age, our metabolism slows down. The metabolism of the skin also slows with age. The skin of babies and children has a healthy rapid regeneration time in as little as 2 weeks. Kids have no need for exfoliation — their skin cell turnover is perfect. For a person over the age of 40, the skin regeneration can take as long as 6 weeks.
When skin metabolism slows down, collagen starts to become depleted, the epidermis (the skin’s outermost layer) becomes thinner, wrinkled and loses elasticity. Post-menopausal women can experience drier skin due to the decreased oil production and increase in trans-epidermal water loss. This loss in barrier function creates an environment easily permeable by dangerous toxins.
Just as diet and exercise jump starts the body’s metabolism, Tretinoin, jump starts the skin’s metabolism. I often tell patients it’s like a diet pill for the skin. Tretinoin stimulates both circulation and cell proliferation, which means that it causes an increase in cell growth, which speeds up skin regeneration. Topical Vitamin A can increase the dermal collagen content and have a significant impact on elasticity.
Due to its speeding of cell turnover, it can eliminate stubborn adult acne and those annoying premenstrual breakouts. Since its FDA approval in 1971, topical Vitamin A was first indicated for use by acne patients.
FDA approved Refissa (Tretinoin 0.05% Emollient) became available in 2009 and is indicated for use by the Anti Aging Patient. Refissa is proven to be effective in reducing fine lines, wrinkles, irregular tactile roughness and issues of pigmentation while being less drying to the skin of the anti aging Patient due to it’s moisturizing base.
In a 6 month Clinical Trial involving 382 Patients, 71% of women saw an improvement in facial wrinkling and 83% saw improvement in issues of pigmentation using Refissa.
Benefits of using a topical Vitamin A/Tretinoin/Refissa include
- Improvement in frequency and severity of acne lesions
- Stimulation of circulation resulting in a rosy, robust appearance
- Increased cell turnover (shedding of dead surface cells so that new cells can travel up and take their place)
- Decrease in fine lines and wrinkles
- Smoothing of surface texture
- Decrease in pore size
- Regulation of sebum production
It is normal to experience some transient degree of redness, flaking and irritation initially. These side effects are experienced by approximately 50% of users. These are possible side effects and not experienced by everyone.
Topical Vitamin A/Tretinoin/Refissa produce many beneficial visible and non-visible results. To achieve the most noticeable and dramatic results, Vitamin A/Tretinoin/Refissa should be used as part of a comprehensive skin care protocol that also includes, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Antioxidants/Vitamin C, a pigment corrector, and a physician strength sunscreen that has a zinc oxide content of 7% or higher.
Topical Retinoids/Tretinoin/Vitamin A Patients should avoid
- Direct sun exposure of any kind, especially tanning beds
- Alcohol based toners
- Products containing fragrances
- Mechanical exfoliation (scrubs, over-the-counter rotary brushes, exfoliating wash cloths)
- Waxing without first discontinuing use of topical Retinoids/Tretinoin/Vitamin A for at least 3-5 days
- Facial waxing with soft wax. Only hard wax should be used on the Retinoids/Tretinoin/Vitamin A patients
Salon exfoliation procedures such a Microdermabrasion, the exfoliation step of a facial or chemical peels should never be used by patients who are taking the prescription drug Isotretinoin aka Accutane.
Maximum improvement is achieved at approximately 18-24 weeks; however, patients who are compliant will notice a substantial difference in as little as 2 weeks.
Ponce de Leon never completed his quest, but I am of the opinion that the Fountain of Youth, if it did exist, would run to overflowing with Vitamin A.
For me the fountain of youth is contained in two tubes. One contains Topical Vitamin A/Tretinoin/Refissa; the other contains a sunscreen that has a zinc oxide content of 9%.
The two products, when used together are our absolute best defense in our quest for anti aging and eternal youth.
I encourage you to contact me at Sterling Plastic Surgery and schedule a free skincare consult, 603-624-6770. I will be happy to talk to you about your skin type and condition and make product recommendations. I can help you decide which skin care program would be best for you.
If you are already an Obagi NuDerm Patient but are having reactionary issues or if you are not experiencing the results typical of an Obagi NuDerm Patient, I will be happy to meet with you at no charge. I have helped hundreds of Obagi Patients to successfully reach their skin care goals. It gives me my greatest satisfaction when you achieve victory.