Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
- Topical retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A
- On the skin they help to improve wrinkles, sun damage, pigmentation and acne
- There are various forms of topical retinoids, each having specific properties
- Topical retinoids can be irritating on the skin, and should be introduced slowly
Retinaldehyde is another form of retinoid, and these are also highly effective on the skin, but are the least irritating of all the topical retinoids. They can therefore also be used to help conditions such as rosacea, where the skin is particularly sensitive. Osmosis skin care have products that contain retinaldehyde.
Instructions when using topical retinoids
Apply to dry skin
Do not apply to the skin in the eye socket (ie. Do not apply to areas inside where you can feel the bone surrounding your eyeball)
Apply only a pea-sized amount
Apply at night only
Apply every third night to begin with
After two weeks, apply every second night
After another 2 weeks, apply every night.
If you experience any redness or irritation, it is necessary to reduce the frequency of your topical retinoid usage. Once the irritation has reduced, return to gradually increasing the frequency of retinoid use until it is tolerated. If necessary, also reduce the usage of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) products in order to increase your retinoid frequency. It is possible to burn your skin with excessive usage so you must carefully monitor your skin at all times when using topical retinoids. As your skin gets accustomed to the retinoids, you may progress to the next strength. Flakiness is normal and you should persist with usage if this occurs.