Retinol 101 Discover What Retinol Can Do For You
Perhaps you have heard of retinol before and all the wondrous ways it can help your skin, but you are not really sure of how it works. Or, maybe you’ve had a dermatologist write a prescription for you only to have your skin get red and irritated. While retinol can truly be described as the fountain of youth in a bottle, many people misunderstand what retinol is and how to use it for the best results.
Retinol 101: Discover What Retinol Can Do For You
What is Retinol?
First of all, it's true doctors have long known that retinol is one of the most effective treatments to potentially reverse the effects of some damage. If you go to the dermatologist, he or she might give you a prescription for retinol in the form of Tretinoin. Tretinoin is an active, potent form of topical vitamin A. Retinol is also an active form of vitamin A but does not require a doctor's prescription because the concentration is less than 1%.
The key to achieving healthy and beautiful skin is to deliver as much of a retinoid as often as possible. For some individuals, prescription-strength retinol can be too irritating to the skin and this often limits consistent and long-term use. A non-prescription retinoid tends to be less irritating for most skin types and can be just as effective if used in high enough concentrations on a regular basis.
Most commercial, over-the-counter products on the market today have retinol concentrations that are too low to make any noticeable difference on the skin. Advanced Skin Technology is proud to offer Green Cream®, which is the highest concentration of retinol you can get without a prescription.
Once you start using retinol, you should see a gradual improvement in the appearance of your skin with smaller pore size and overall brighter, lighter skin tone. These changes will vary from person to person because skin types vary and frequency of use will also make a difference.
Who Developed the Use of Retinol?
While doctors have known about the wonders of retinol since the late 1960s, there was a lot of trial and error when using it on the skin. In the early 1980s, leading dermatologist Dr. Nia Terezakis dove into finding the optimal use of retinol for patients, and her research resulted in Advanced Skin Technology’s Green Cream. This formula was then prescribed through doctors’ offices and people from all over the world would come to see Dr. T for the sole purpose of getting the much-praised green compound.
The secret was not only the potent form of retinol--the highest concentration you can get without a prescription-- but also the proprietary delivery system, Green Polymer Cooling Gel, which provides minimal irritation to the skin.
By using this state-of-the-art delivery system, Green Cream works on a cellular level:
- Stimulates exfoliation by accelerating skin cell turnover.
- Repairs cellular structure damage gradually and the epidermal cells.
- Helps shrink oil glands, which in turn reduces pore size.
- Builds infrastructure by stimulating new collagen and a new sticker plumper epidermis.
Why Does Green Cream have Three Levels of Retinol Concentrate?
Retinol is so powerful that it can affect different skin in different ways. Those new to retinol or who have sensitive skin will have to start slowly, using a lower level of retinol in order to avoid that dreaded red irritation, and then build up to the higher concentrations. Our product is so strong that we encourage everyone to start with Level 3 and then build up. But remember, retinol is not an overnight fix. Results are best seen over time.
Advanced Skin Technology developed the Progressive Leveling Protocol to allow patient skin to better adapt to a retinoid regimen. Success can be achieved by starting with lower concentrations of the active ingredient and graduating to higher strength over time.
Level 3: For Beginners and People with Sensitive Skin
Level 3 Green Cream is ideal for those new to retinol or who have sensitive or fair skin. It is an excellent alternative to daily moisturizer, providing hydration with the benefits of retinol.
If you have never used a retinoid or your skin is sensitive to topical treatments, you should test the small area on your face and then wait 24 hours for any kind of reaction. If no reaction, you should apply a small amount to your face once a week or two to three weeks. Next, apply Green Cream three times a week for 1 week. Ultimately, your goal should be to work up to applying Green Cream every night. Be patient as your skin adapts to a retinol treatment. Even with infrequent applications, you should see some results.
Level 6: Most People Can Start Here
Level 6 delivers excellent sun-damaged reversing results. 83% of those using this level exhibit little or no irritation. Most people can start with this level, although it is strongly recommended you begin with Level 3 to be sure your skin’s tolerance is good.
Level 9: Only for the Experienced Retinol Users
Level 9 is one of the strongest retinoids available without a prescription. This level is only recommended for experienced retinol users. Be sure to email us, or call us at 866-642-7546, if you have any questions about which level you should begin with, even if you are an advanced user.
Okay, I’ve Chosen the Right Level - How Do I Use It?
After gentle cleansing with a mild soap or cleanser, apply a small amount of Green Cream to the entire face, avoiding the eye and neck areas at first. Start using Green Cream every other night for 1 to 2 weeks and gradually increase to once or twice daily as tolerated. Occasionally a burning or stinging sensation may be felt during the first few weeks of use. Redness or a mild rash can also develop. Discontinue use a product for a few days and apply a moisturizer or buy hydrocortisone cream or lotion as needed. The latter should be discontinued when symptoms are improved. Please allow 6 to 12 weeks to see visible results.
Since retinol is so powerful, there are a few precautions to keep in mind. Of course, if you have any questions or see an adverse reaction, consult your doctor or give us a call directly at 866-642-7546.
- If you have sensitive skin, test a small patch of skin and then wait 48 hours before using this product again.
- Avoid overexposure to the sun; wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily.
- Discontinue using a week before waxing the skin for hair removal.
- Avoid contact with eyes. If the product gets in the eyes, rinse thoroughly with water.
- Avoid astringent or toner as they may be too drawing.
- Consult your physician if you are using a prescription-strength medication or peeling treatment.
- For external use only, do not ingest.
- Suspend the use if skin becomes irritated. If your irritation persists, consult your physician.
- Keep Out of Reach of Children.
- While FDA has approved to use while pregnant or lactating, you might double-check with your doctor first.
For more information on retinol and Green Cream, see our information page here.
Remember, the key to achieving healthy and beautiful skin is to deliver as much of a retinoid as often as possible. We’re proud to offer the most potent form of retinol available without a prescription and to have helped thousands of people feel comfortable in their skin. We are here to help, so join the Retinol Revolution and see what we can do for you.