Retin-A: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Retin-A: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Most women who keep on top of their looks know that a good skin product can make a large difference in their appearance. There are few skin products that can make more of a difference in a woman's (or man's) skin than Retin-A. This product has been on the market for decades. It is still used by many men and women for a reason: it works. There are few products on the market that treat acne and prevent wrinkles as well as Retin-A does. It is called tretinoin in its generic form, which is what I purchase for the best deal. I began using this cream in my early 20s to get rid of a mild acne problem and now that I am 30, I am beginning to cherish its wrinkle-preventing properties as well. Here are some of the pros and cons of using this (almost) miracle cream:

Pro: Retin-A is great for getting rid of acne, because it thins out the skin and helps to unclog pores. It is also an exfoliant, which means that it will get rid of those dead skin cells that can clog pores.

Con: Beginning Retin-A users may experience extreme redness and drying of their face if they use a formula that is too strong for them. This cream comes in several strengths: 0.25%, 0.5%, and 0.1%. No matter how bad your acne is, start out with the lowest strength for a few months, until you build up a tolerance to it. If you start with 0.1%, you are unlikely to stick with using it because of the dry, red skin you will experience.

Pro: Retin-A promotes collagen production in the skin, so that users have a more youthful appearance and develop fewer facial wrinkles than non-users.

Con: When using Retin-A, sun exposure must be avoided. This means that those who are accustomed to tanning need to change their habits while using this cream. They can burn extremely easy, even if the cream is not currently on their face. For best results, use Retin-A only at night, and apply a light sunscreen to your face during the daytime.