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Rick Rhoads, Pharm.D. Pharmacist & Creator of BioRenew Skincare

Topical retinoids truly are superstar anti-aging products, but ONLY when used correctly. They are considered the best skin care treatments because they have so many benefits. Clinical studies point to numerous skin effects:

  • boosting collagen
  • reducing wrinkles
  • lightening age spot
  • clearing acne

Retinoids have stood the test of time so use them correctly

Ingredients like Retin-A and Retinol are tried and true, unlike so many other fads in skin care. Dr. Albert Kligman made it extremely popular in the 70’s and it has remained so for decades. The Rx version (tretinoin) was discovered to have a complex way of communicating with cells to promote younger skin and get rid of older skin. (Scientifically, this is called influencing the development, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis of skin cells.)

The point is that there is real science behind retinoid products, so it matters whether you use them the right way.

If you want results with topical retinoids, these tips can’t be ignored.

1. Apply a pea size amount.

More doesn’t mean better and will likely result in just worse side effects.

2. Know which form of retinoid you are using.

Not all types of retinoids are effective.The prescription only products are tretinoin and adapalene. They work extremely well but must be prescribed by your doctor. If you are using a non-prescription cream, the most effective form is retinol. Beware of many ineffective topical non-rx retinoids such as retinyl palmitate and beta-carotene.

3. Applying at night is best.

Retinoids can be broken down easily in sunlight, which make it a good product to be used in your night regimen. There is also some evidence that it might increase sun sensitivity. Be sure to wear sunscreen.

4. Mild redness doesn’t mean you have to stop.

Most doctors will recommend that you try to get through the redness phase, because the benefits are right around the corner. Mild redness will usually resolve on it’s own. Many people miss out on the anti-aging benefits of retinol and Retin-A because they stop using it too soon.

Retinoid skin creams are too effective for anyone who is serious about skin care to pass up. Choose a good formula and use it the right way to see amazing changes in the appearance of your skin.


Rates of melanoma in middle-aged women have risen dramatically. This is unfortunate because sun exposure is the most preventable cause.

The news comes from the results of a new Mayo clinic study that looked at cancer rates between 1970 and 2009. Although the incidence of skin cancer rose within all groups, women had the largest increase.

“The most striking finding was among women in that age group,” states principal investigator Jerry Brewer, MD. “Women between 40 and 50 showed the highest rates of increase we’ve seen in any group so far.”

There was good news from the study as well. Survival from melanoma has steadily improved over the years, which may be attributed to more skin cancer screenings and better detection.

A few prevention tips can dramatically help:

  1. Avoid sun tanning, especially tanning beds.
  2. Use a good anti-aging sunscreen everyday, even in cloudy conditions or indirect sunlight.
  3. See a dermatologist on a regular basis, especially when you detect an area of concern on your skin. (If you live in San Diego, I recommend Dermatologist Dr. Mary Dobry)

Mayo Clinic. “Dramatic rise in skin cancer among middle-aged adults, study shows.” Science Daily, 4 February 2014..


Women with Dry SkinExfoliating creams may help your dry skin.

Women with declining estrogens can have worsening dry skin, especially in the winter months. During menopause, the body doesn’t efficiently produce glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s) and natural oils. These substances naturally keep your skin moist and provide a barrier against water loss. This process also rapidly increases the signs of aging skin, wrinkles and loss of elasticity.

Dry and flaky skin can benefit from a physical or chemical exfoliant and a moisturizer. The exfoliation process should be light enough to only remove the dead skin build-up but not any layers of the epidermis. Proper exfoliation will leave a smooth and glowing look without irritation. A popular and well tolerated chemical exfoliant is glycolic acid. When it is lower concentrated and buffered properly to a higher pH, it acts more gently on the skin.

Tip: Exfoliating moisturizers for the face also work well on dry and flaky hands. Try the Advanced Face Smoother (glycolic acid 3%, pH 4.0) for great results.