This column features weekly tips and advice from a revolving cast of industry leaders, on hand to discuss your beauty dilemmas, from blemishes to Botox. To submit a question, e-mail celia
A friend of mine with impeccable skin recently told me that she uses Retin-A—not for acne control but for its antiaging benefits. Is this safe—and does it work?
Retin-A (Tretinoin) is a drug commonly used for acne. However, it has been also used for the treatment of wrinkles and photo-aging. This is actually the only drug for which there has been solid evidence that it works on the molecular level. Several clinical studies showed that Retin-A can help reduce wrinkles, exfoliate the skin, and redistribute melanin, resulting in lighter skin. However, it can irritate the skin and cause redness and skin flaking, particularly in women with sensitive skin. Thus, for those with sensitive skin, other forms of topical vitamin A like retinol or retinyl palmitate are recommended. Retinol is a less potent form of vitamin A and it is found in many cosmetic products—the over-the-counter cousins of Retin-A.
Dr. Marko Lens is a consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon and an internationally renowned expert in the field of skin cancer and skin aging. A fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Dr. Lens works out of his own private practice in London, where his extensive research into the process of skin aging led him to create Zelens, a range of advanced cosmeceuticals that utilize potent plant-derived ingredients spiked with biotechnological actives.