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Lexa Chin
VIP
from Singapore asked a question

Can Retinol A cream effectively reduce fine lines and wrinkles as an anti-aging cream, or are there drawbacks?

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Skin, Hair & Nails Aesthetic Medicine

Hi I've read the amazing effects of Retinol A cream in reducing fine lines, and for general anti-aging purposes. May I know how effective it really is, or whether there are any drawbacks? I intend to use it to replace my costly serums. Thank you! 

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (1)

Dear Lexa,

Vitamin A derivatives are available in the form of retinyl, retinaldehyde, retinol, tretinoin, isotretinoin. Retinols are present in many over-the-counter cosmetic products readily available to mass consumers.

Prescription-grade retinoids such as tretinoin or isotretinoin are only available at doctors' clinics. These vitamin A derivatives promote cell and collagen renewal, which in turn helps to minimise fine lines, and help to improve pigmentation issues as well. It is great that you are considering starting on retinol. 

Medical-grade retinoids such as tretinoin are more effective than over-the-counter retinols. Effects take a few months to show, so patience is key.

I would advise getting a proper assessment by a dermatologist, rather than buying a product off the shelf as there are certain things to take note of when starting on a retinoid. 

1. Retinoids may cause skin redness and irritation in individuals with sensitive skin and if applied in excessive amounts, thus proper counselling needs to be done on the application techniques.

2. You may experience skin dryness after application, and this side effect may limit your use, which is a shame as dryness can definitely be addressed with a ceramide-containing moisturiser.

3. Avoiding excessive sun exposure and application of broad-spectrum sun screens are important, as the skin may become red after application of retinoids.

It would be difficult to advise on replacing your serums with retinoids, as they serve different purposes.

Do visit an experienced dermatologist for a proper assessment.

Warm regards,

Dr Ker Khor Jia

Consult Doctor
0 108 views 0 Doctors agree 5 Dec 2018
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