Why Retin-A should be in your medicine cabinet

Why Retin-A should be in your medicine cabinet
Why Retin-A should be in your medicine cabinet

I’m a vain woman. I tell myself it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But, quite honestly, with all the hours I’ve spent in front of a mirror, I could have saved the whales, reversed climate changes and revived American manufacturing.

I can pursue a new eye shadow color with the zeal of someone panning for gold. Armed with tissues and cleanser, I establish a military stronghold in front of a mirror and begin maneuvers: try on, wipe off, and test out in different lighting.

That being said, when my doctor first prescribed me Retin-A to revitalize my skin, I jumped on board. Years later, I am still a religious user.

A dermatologic literature search will support that there is still nothing else to rival this powerhouse. There is no single ingredient that tops it in providing smoother, firmer skin; a more even tone; fewer breakouts; and tighter pores. So, since it’s been around for more than twenty years and considered the gold standard when compared with other restorative facial ingredients, you’d think most women would be users.

However, Retin-A lacks drama. There are no transformative stories about it in People magazine. It is pale up against sexy lunchtime treatments that perform instant miracles. (But even with Botox and filler, you still need Retin-A to slough off dead and damaged skin cells, clear oil and debris from pores and decrease oil production.)

There is a steep learning curve with Retin-A, and each face reacts differently. If you use it incorrectly you may peel, flake, itch and look red-faced. And it is easy to screw up. If there are any traces of water on your face when you apply Retin-A, you will peel. There may be areas of your face (for me around the mouth), that are more likely to become irritated, so use it sparingly.

Retin-A is not a quick fix. Start using now and your skin will look better six months from now. Two years from now, you’ll be way ahead of the competition. For best results, use it under the supervision of a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist.

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