Last year, I chatted with NYC dermatologist Dr. Doris J. Day to discover her tips on preventing acne treatments from staining your bedding. Nobody likes unintentionally tie-dyed sheets and towels, after all. Proactiv, I love you, but please. Much to my surprise, Dr. Day was a guest speaker at the Botox Cosmetic: Express Success Campaignthat I attended recently.
1. You have no idea what a retinoid is. The term describes vitamin A derivatives that unclog pores, boost collagen to reduce fine lines, and speed cell turnover to even out discoloration and smooth the skin—sometimes in as little as four weeks. The first retinoid—tretinoin—was FDA approved (under the brand name Retin-A) almost 40 years ago as a prescription acne treatment. Dermatologists soon noticed that patients on Retin-A experienced not just clearer but softer, brighter, less-lined skin. Today there are three prescription-strength retinoids: tretinoin (brands include Atralin, Avita, Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Renova), tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac), and adapalene (Differin). Many dermatologists find tazarotene stronger (and potentially more irritating) than tretinoin; adapalene is the gentlest but may be less effective.