Retinol Q&A with Dr. Ranella Hirsch

When it comes to fine lines and aging, dermatologists agree that Retinol is one of the most effective ingredients on the market. Here, Dr. Ranella Hirsch, noted Boston dermatologist, fills us in on Retinols.
Question: How long does it generally take to see results from a Retinol product?
Dr. Hirsch: Every person is different but typically we advise that patients give a minimum of 8-12 weeks before deciding if something is not working. Vitamin A derivatives, of which Retinol is an example, are designed to be long-term solutions. The longer you use it, the better, so the imperative is to stick with the regimen and give it a chance to work.

Question: As a dermatologist, what is the number one reason patients don’t stick with their Retinol regimen?
Dr. Hirsch: Irritation. Unlike many other creams used for the skin, e.g. moisturizers which are best “slathered on,” the skin is extremely capable of absorbing Vitamin A products and thus needs only a very little bit applied. A tendency to utilize too much is often what results in irritation. A little bit used over time yields the best outcomes.

Question: What are the benefits of using a Retinol product that also contains hyaluronic acid?
Dr. Hirsch: Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, or a product that attracts water to the skin. Its effects allow for rapid improvement (albeit shorter lasting) in the appearance of fine lines, especially around the eyes where skin is very thin. It is a great ingredient to seek out when you want to improve the appearance around the eye rapidly.

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