A Dermatologist And Aesthetician Break Down The 10 Best Retinols For Sensitive Skin Dry Acne
Your guide to the “holy grail” beauty ingredient.
In all my years interviewing aestheticians and dermatologists, when pressed on the best way to prevent aging skin, the answer is almost always the same: Botox and dermal filler can do wonders when administered properly, but theyre a personal choice. What is a nonnegotiable for experts, however, is retinol. A favorite among beauty editors, the much-hyped ingredient is often touted as an anti-aging miracle worker. Slather on retinol before bed to let it work its fine-line curbing, acne soothing, and skin firming magic, then wake up to a glowing complexion. Most dermatologists Ive spoken to suggest starting in your mid-to-late 20s, and yet, Ive seen so many friends quickly abandon their retinol regime entirely when confronted with the dreaded retinol burn, a flaky affliction thats all too real for those with sensitive skin. So, why we tapped the experts to discover the best retinols for sensitive skin.
As magical as retinol can be, striking the right balance with the powerful ingredient is crucial for achieving those glowy, optimal results. For a little skincare assistance, we tapped dermatologist, Dr. Nancy Samolitisco-founder and medical director of FACILE dermatology + boutiqueand esthetician, Matthew Millerwhose namesake salon is found in West Hollywoodto answer all our burning questions, from buffering for sensitive skin to the best retinol for every concern.
Skin Care And Lifestyle Modifications For Sensitive Dry Eczema
Opt for products labeled for sensitive-skin including creams, soaps, hand cleansers, detergents etc.
Wear soft breathable clothing such as cotton, some synthetics and cashmere .
Be careful with jewelry metal 18K gold and platinum are less likely to cause metal allergy .
Use hydrating gentle skin care from head to toe meaning only gentle soaps and cleansers, avoid hot water temperature for skin cleansing and always moisturize skin within the magic 3 minutes after patting skin dry with a towel.
Use a gentle hand cleanser and apply a hand cream several times a day after washing.
Use an AHA lotion, when eczema is not active, to keep arm and leg skin smooth and free from KP and to enhance skin barrier integrity.
She Relies On Prescription
“Since I am acne prone and have a bit of rosacea , I try to use active ingredients to target this both in the AM and PM. In the morning I usually use a prescription Azelaic Acid gel or Epiduoforte . Adapalene is actually retinoid that does not deactivate when exposed to sunlight unlike other retinol, Retin-A, etc. I also love that Epiduo has glycerin, which is technically a primer. Anytime I can reduce the number of steps in my skincare routine is a win!”
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Chronic Hand Dermatitis And Retinoids
Retinoids exert their effect by binding to specific nuclear receptors and thereby regulate cell growth and cellular proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. This effect is a class effect, but each retinoid has a higher affinity for specific receptors. Retinoid receptors are divided into two groups: RAR-,, and RXR-,,.
In the skin the predominant retinoid receptor is the RAR-/RXR- heterodimer.
Topical treatment with bexarotene gel for 22 weeks has been investigated in an open label randomized study including 55 patients with CHD. According to the physician assessment bexarotene gel was comparative in effect to bexarotene gel combined with topical mometasone furoate ointment 0.1% and superior to BG in combination with topical hydrocortisone ointment 1% . An improvement of over 50% was seen in 79% of the BG arm, 77% in the BG + MF arm and 50% of the BG + HC arm. These results were supported by the secondary end-points: The Eczema Area and Severity Index and The Hand EASI .
In a single-blinded randomized study treatment of hyperkeratotic hand eczema with 30 mg of acitretin daily or placebo, acitretin was found to be statistically significantly more effective than placebo. There was an overall 51% reduction in clinical symptoms after 4 weeks in the acitretin group compared with a 9% reduction in the placebo group.
Articles On Eczema On Hands & Face
When you have eczema, you may already know that some cosmetics irritate your skin — but that doesnât mean you have to give up on makeup.
Some products may trigger a flare, but others have ingredients that are gentle on the sensitive skin on your face and neck. The trick is to know the difference.
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What Exactly Is Vitamin E
Did you know that the term vitamin E actually refers to a group of eight nutrients that all have similar structures yet slightly different functions? There are four tocopherols and four tocotrienols all eight compounds may be correctly referred to as vitamin E. Out of these eight compounds, alpha-tocopherol is the most abundant and biologically active form in the human body.
When searching for a vitamin E cream, you may notice that the list of ingredients does not actually say vitamin E. Rather, it may show one of these common forms of vitamin E: d-alpha-tocopherol, d-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, dl-alpha tocopherol, and dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate. The d prefix in front of the alpha indicates that the ingredient was derived from natural sources, such as vegetable oils, nuts, or seeds. The dl prefix indicates that the ingredient was created from a synthetic base. Research has determined that natural forms of tocopherol are more effective than the synthetic versions, but both exhibit antioxidant activity.
How To Apply Retinol Properly
If you are not at risk of the adverse side effects may have, or if they simply do not bother you, here is a short guide for applying retinol. Achieve the maximum benefits with these steps:
- Start by washing your face and applying eye cream. Most eye creams are able to protect the very thin and delicate skin around our eyes, as well as your eyelids.
- Then, wait for your skin to be completely dry before applying retinol. This is a crucial step as if your skin is even slightly damp the retinol will absorb more deeply into your skin and cause some irritation. You can apply moisturizers to damp skin, but never retinol.
- Afterwards, scoop out a pea-sized amount of retinol and apply with your fingertips in outward and upward motions.
- Finally, finish with your favorite moisturizer.
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How Often Should You Use Retinol
As your skin adjusts, you can work up to using retinol daily, as long as youre not seeing side effects. Of course, this depends on what kind of formulation of retinoid youre using. The best plan of action is to adhere to what your esthetician or medical professional suggests. Also, be sure to only apply retinol products at night, and remember to wear plenty of sunscreen during the day.
Tend To Your No 1 Priority: Controlling The Itch Of Eczema
Keeping itching under control is the most important job of any eczema treatment. The first symptom of an eczema outbreak may be an itch, which a patient scratches, explains Jessica Wu, MD, a Los Angelesbased dermatologist in private practice and author of Feed Your Face: Smoother Skin and a Beautiful Body in 28 Delicious Days. The scratching stimulates nerve endings in the skin and causes inflammation in the area, which turns into a visible rash and triggers further itching. Controlling the itch is key to controlling eczema outbreaks.
Ultimately, overcoming this itching can help prevent skin damage. According to the American Academy of Dermatology , skin infections are common in people who have eczema. Its a challenge to prevent eczema rashes from becoming infected, says Dr. Wu. Bacteria can enter the skin through scratches and other open areas. Ive seen increasing numbers of patients with eczema that becomes infected with staph and other bacteria.
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Eczema On The Face Versus The Body
Even though all three experts agree that the general signs and symptoms of eczema will be the same regardless of where it appears on your bodyface includedthere are some key differences that are important to be aware of.
As Wheeler explains, eczema on the face can be more difficult to manage since the skin is more sensitive and we tend to apply more products that might trigger a flare-up. This, for example, would require a different treatment strategy than a type of eczema on the hands called pompholyx or dyshidrotic eczema which, Bae says, presents itself as deep-seated blisters.
“You can also get nummular eczema, which looks like a coin-shaped rash on the body. Plus, since many patients with eczema scratch and rub the areas affected, it’s not uncommon for the skin to appear thickened and/or sometimes darker in some areas of the body and face than others,” says Bae.
Treatments To Help People With Severe Eczema
Eczema symptoms and effective therapies vary. Treatment for severe eczema may include at-home treatments plus prescription medications to ease the awful, stinging itch and discomfort.
Researchers are conducting clinical trials on new medications in the hopes of finding long-term solutions for managing eczema. There have been many advancements, with ideally more to come.
Other than regular cleaning and moisturizing, here are suggested treatments for severe eczema.
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She Applies Eye Cream Morning And Night
“It’s always a good idea to use an eye cream both AM and PMalthough I also sometimes skip this step when Im in a hurry! Undereye cream is a place where I suggest splurging if you can as wellthe skin is so thin so you want to make sure the product is safe but also effective! I opt for something that is hydrating and helps with the integrity of the skin as ‘dark circles’ may just be the blue tint from the vessels underneath the thin skin.”
I Use A Body Skin Care Routine To Fight Keratosis Pilaris And Crusty Seborrheic Keratosis Age Spots
I keep my body skin soft and hydrated with my Ultra-Fast Triple Action Body Smoothing Kit, which I use twice a week. All other days I use either my Natural Lotion or Butter – depending on what’s on my bathroom counter when I step out of the shower.
Exfoliation and the strong AHA glycolic acid lotion controls my keratosis pilaris and has prevented me from growing crusty age spots that run in my family . Both my parents were covered with them by the time they were my age .
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Retinol Cream And Serum Tips Dermatologists Want You To Know
If you get a group of dermatologists or a group of beauty editors into a room, there are two things everyone can agree on. 1: Sunscreen is the single most important antiaging product out there. 2: Retinol is number two. Everyone and their mother should be on retinoid, board-certified dermatologist Adam Friedman tells SELF.
Retinoids, a form of vitamin A, are considered the superheros of antiaging because they do so much more than just fight wrinkles. Retinoids cause skin cells to turn over at a faster rate, decrease oil production, and help skin exfoliate, explains dermatologist Rita Linkner, M.D. Translation: Retinol could help eliminate dark spots, shrink pimples, and smooth out fine lines while keeping new wrinkles from appearing. But before you run to the doctor to get a prescription retinoid cream or to the local beauty store asking for retinol serum, there are a few best practices you should know. Here’s how to use retinol in a way that gets the most benefit out of every drop.
This isnt like your acne spot treatment that you just dab on the areas its needed. Retinol cream and serum work best all over the face. So, yes, put it on a dark spot you want to disappear or wrinkle you want to smooth, but also put it everywhere else because it can prevent future signs of aging.
What Are The Interactions Or Retinoids With Other Drugs
Drug interactions with oral retinoids are uncommon and generally mild.
- Tetracycline may increase the risk of benign intracranial hypertension.
- Vitamin A supplementation could lead to hypervitaminosis.
- Methotrexate could cause hepatotoxicity so liver function tests should be monitored.
- Gemfibrozil, phenytoin, rifampicin, carbamazepine and ciprofloxacin increase bexarotene levels and its toxicity.
- Bexarotene reduces the effect of ciclosporin.
- Alcohol increases the conversion of acitretin to etretinate leading to hepatoxicity.
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Can Retinol Help With Skin Problems
Retinol, while not as strong as retinoids which are over the counter, can still be used to treat acne, reduce fine lines, boost collagen production, reduce dark spots,, help skin renewal, and improve skin texture. When applied topically you can see the results and how it helps promote healthy skin, so add this to your skincare regimen.
Mom Why Me Watching As Eczema Impacts Your Son
Payton was diagnosed with eczema at 4 months old, but he started to show signs as soon as he was born. At first, Roche and her husband were able to manage it with lifestyle approaches, such as switching to unscented soap, lotion, and laundry detergent modifying Roches diet while breastfeeding and, later, modifying Paytons diet to avoid potential food triggers and allergens.
They tried various topical medications, but nothing helped control Paytons open eczema lesions.
For school-age Payton, that meant taking extra precautions. Roche wrapped his skin in gauze to contain the oozing and bleeding and prevent infection. She taped cotton gardening gloves to his hands to stop him from scratching. Roche recalls regularly picking up Payton from school early because his eczema was so bad.
As Roche describes it, this affected Paytons ability to have a normal childhood. Sleepovers, going swimming, playing in the dirt just normal things that kids do, he couldnt do, she says, because that meant he likely would get an infection, and it just wasnt worth it.
She also started seeing signs of emotional stress in him, such as anxiety and depression. For a really long time, he would be like, Why does God do this to me? Why did God give me eczema? I cant take this anymore.
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Bonus: Comes In Any Application You Wish
Retinol comes in an array of forms, from serums and gels, to moisturizers and lotions. Gels and serums tend to be more concentrated, delivering that retinol hit to skin faster and more powerfully but this also means theyre more likely to irritate.
Meanwhile, lotions and moisturizers are more of a slow-burner, but act as a bit of a buffer to ease potential side effects and are the better route to take if youre a newbie.
Its quite common for skin to feel dryer when you first start using retinol, so Id recommend a formula thats blended with hyaluronic acid or a richer night moisturizer, Wood shares. Ceramides and hyaluronic acid help reduce any skin sensitivity or initial side effects from retinol use, and reinforce the skins moisture barrier.
Ultimately, it comes down to the extent of your skin concerns, how sensitive your skin is, and how quickly you want to see results.
An A+ Ingredient Backed By Decades Of Research
While it may be fairly new to your radar, vitamin A for skin has been around for a while. Originally prescribed to treat acne in the 80s, its vast anti-aging benefits were quickly discovered, reveals Melissa Wood, medical director at Skin Emporium.
When it comes to the individual variations of vitamin A , results and research conclusions may vary. However the overall class of vitamin A is graded much more favorably for skin health than other, perhaps more hyped, products.
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Know Where Eczema Is Most Challenging In Adults
One common frustration about adult eczema is that its usually front and center, on the face and neck. The skin on the face is thinner than elsewhere on the body, so its more sensitive, Wu explains. Facial eczema can be triggered by cosmetics or skin-care products, according to the National Eczema Society. In adults, its frequently found on the eyelids, where it can cause red, flaky, swollen upper and even lower eyelids, according to the AAD. It can also develop around the mouth. Its obviously more visible to others when it occurs on the face, so its important to treat it sooner rather than later, says Wu.
The face is not the only area that can be affected. Eczema patches on the body can become thick and discolored, especially after weeks to months of scratching, and they can develop scabs. The discoloration can persist even months after the itching goes away, says Wu. Thickened skin from years of scratching may even itch all the time, the AAD notes.
Can People With Eczema Use Retinol
According to Michele Green, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York, those with eczema have particularly sensitive skin and are prone to âflare-upsâ in which their skin becomes inflamed with rashes, blisters, and recurring skin infections. All of these things can make skin feel rough and look red, and, as Dr. Green points out, some ingredients can absolutely trigger a flare-upâretinol included.
âRetinoids are a derivative of vitamin A and have been known to treat acne by preventing dead cells from clogging pores,â Dr. Green explains. âThis reduces the chance for bacterial accumulation and therefore, clears acne and reduces future breakouts. Retinoids also boost cell turnover, fight free radicals, and increase collagen growth, which prevents aging and improves our skinâs overall appearance.â
That said, Dr. Green admits that retinoids are known to irritate the skin when first introduced, and may cause adverse side effects such as dryness, sensitivity to sunlight, redness, and blistering . Because of this, Dr. Green says itâs important to be mindful of not only the retinoid you introduce into your routine but the strength of your starting skin barrier, too.
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