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Retinol Rocks.

As anti-aging cosmeceuticals go, retinol reigns supreme. Even we super-sensitive types can use this miracle ingredient, with a bit of patience (and a tolerance for a fortnight of flaking.) While acid may not be for everyone, joining the (Vitamin) A team is virtually a universal skin “win”.

Cosmedix's latest anti-aging super-serum is Serum-16. This product flies off our shelves.

Cosmedix’s latest anti-aging super-serum is Serum-16. This product flies off our shelves.

Some fun retinol facts:

  • Retinoic acid works by affecting gene expression and causing enhanced collagen production–they actually work as a skin cancer preventative
  • Retinoic acid has been shown to prevent the rise of collagenase–the enzyme that breaks down collagen–after UV exposure. 
  • You can use retinols around the eyes
  • You’ll continue to get additional wrinkle-smoothing and spot-reducing benefits up to 12 months, after which the improvements taper off (unless you increase the concentration of retinoids you’re using.)
  • Be patient! It takes 6-12 weeks before you’ll see noticeable changes in the skin.
  • If your skin gets flaky and even a bit flushed…keep using it. It takes 2-3 weeks for skin to “accept” retinol
  • While it’s recommended that you use retinols at night because they break down in the sun, they don’t make your skin more sun-sensitive
  • Topical drugs containing retinoic acid include Retin-A, Altinac, Renova, Atralin, Avita, Refissa and Tretin-X. But your skin is happier doing the “conversion” of retinol to retinoic acid itself.

We especially love the retinol-rich products of Cosmedix, the advanced cosmeceutical range we chose for our spa. Over-the-counter mass marketed retinol products contain no more than 1% of this active ingredient. Cosmedix is known for a its proprietary treatment of ingredients, chiral correction, that causes even highly potent active ingredients to be readily accepted by the skin, with much less sensitivity.

Our latest fave, Serum Sixteen, contains 16% LG-Retinex—a proprietary GAG-enhanced encapsulation of retinol andretinaldehyde. It’s the closest thing to prescription-strength age defiance without a prescription. In a six-week clinical study, this formula visibly reduced the appearance of sun damage, age spots and deep lines, including crow’s feet.

If you’re thinking about amping up your anti-aging program, and are considering adding (or boosting) retinols, one of our estheticians will be happy to consult with you. Just say when. 408.741.5525, or


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