While AHA! is a good anti-aging weapon, there is a tougher means to fight wrinkles.
Under the classification of vitamin A, there is retinol. Retinol is considered (by the all-knowing Drs. Oz and Roizen) to be, along with AHA, the only proven ingredient to zap wrinkles.
Skin has to be gradually introduced to retinol and other stronger anti-aging agents; my skin is not sensitive and I have been throwing all sorts of stuff at it for years. It is an individual situation as to what your skin will be okay with.
April's Vogue had a whole write-up.
Imagine for a moment that a revolutionary skin-care ingredient was discovered. It visibly smoothed out wrinkles and obliterated breakouts; it improved skin texture and tightened pores into tiny little nothings. It could lessen the look of brown spots and sometimes even helped reduce precancerous lesions. It quite literally turned back the skin's clock glowier, more luminous past. Imagine, too, that skeptics and researchers the world over and tested this ingredient exhaustively, scrutinizing it for decades to see if it really could be as potent as it appeared - and it was . . . Such an ingredient does exist . . . It's retinol.
Roc is a brand that is very highly recommended."Vitamin A is the go-to-skin-care ingredient," says Jennifer Linder, M.D. . . . "The best anti-ager is sunscreen; the next is Vitamin A. Nothing else approaches it."
Derma E Vitamin A Retinyl Palmitate Wrinkle Treatment Moisturizing Gel is my favorite for summer nights. During the warmer seasons my skin doesn't need major moisturizing, so this water-based gel is ideal. It does leave a bit of a sticky residue, but I don't mind that.
Watts Beauty Retinol Face Cream has a whopping 1.5%. There are a lot of oils in this so I don't use it myself since I fear breakouts, but Ma likes it.
*Warning*: Retinol should only be applied at night, never during the day. UV rays degrade the retinol, which takes the skin along for a destructive ride. Remember: only at night!
For those wanting a serious kick of retinol, dermatologists can prescribe prescription-strength retinoids, which can treat practically any skin condition: aging, acne, my dreaded milia. Retinoids seem to be the answer to everything.
A dermatologist gave me Differin, a retinoid, for my milia. It is an acne treatment, and he uses it himself in conjunction with other products to keep wrinkles at bay. This version can be worn in daylight.
He advised that I should apply a moisturizer first, and he recommended Cetaphil. It's so booooring, but it does a good job if one is looking for a moisturizer for sensitive or reactive skin (no-comedogenic). It provides great deep moisture.
My milia are obligingly moving along after years of frustration, while the grooves around my mouth are gone. I've become slavishly devoted to this wonderful, wonderful product. But I don't know how to go back from a life on retinoids.