The One Skincare Product Every Woman Should Be Using, No Matter Your Age

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November 6, 2015

You may think different decades of life require their own personalized skincare routine, but consider this one area that can be simplified. There’s only one skincare product that we all truly need, whether we’re 23 or 53. Forget deep cleansers and luxurious serums; if you want to retain your youthful glow and keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay, Retin-A is the “gold standard” of skincare products, says Dr. Jill Waibel, founder of Miami Dermatology & Laser Institute. So many of us are searching for products that multitask and are truly effective against the signs of aging–Retin-A delivers the most powerful punch of all.

“It can exfoliate away discolorations and prevent future dark spots thanks to its photoprotective antioxidant agents,” Waibel says. “The younger you begin using the product, the better, as it can help protect the skin against unwanted signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. It also increases collagen production so it can perfect the skin once those dreaded signs of aging appear. It decreases inflammation and can clear skin to give a vibrant, healthy, youthful glow, no matter your age.”

Maybe you’re thinking: not more Retin-A talk again. I already know all about it. The problem is: a boatload of over-the-counter products on the market position themselves as Retin-A creams (and charge a pretty penny for them), but there’s a major difference between those found on drugstore or high-end beauty store shelves and Retin-A prescribed by your dermatologist.

“It is important to understand that Retin-A can only be prescribed by a dermatologist,” Waibel says. “Retin-A that can be purchased at a drugstore is not true Retin-A, it is a retinol, which is a more watered down version. Retin-A does have different strengths, so your board-certified dermatologist can help determine which is best for you. I treat it like a promotion, you need to test and see what strength your skin can handle, and move up from there.”

When applying Retin-A, Waibel says to always do so at night because sleep helps your cells turn over, which increases the efficacy of Retin-A. Additionally, your skin can react adversely to direct sunlight after you’ve applied Retin-A–as a precaution, always use sunscreen during the day.

If you’re in between dermatologists or prefer an over-the-counter solution, Waibel says she recommends ROC, which contains retinol and is “a bit less effective than Retin-A as it is a watered down version, but is still a good product to use though it may take longer to see results.”

For more beauty tips, check out what are freckles? and your new favorite Philosophy face cream.

[Photo: Ramshackle Glam]

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