Why Retin-A and Lasers Don’t Mix

Brian Lett
By Brian Lett
10 Min Read

Why RetinA and Lasers Dont Mix

Retinoids have long been proven to reduce wrinkles, lighten pigmentation and boost collagen. But they come with some strict regulations.

Retinoids may cause flaking and dryness of the skin; to mitigate this side effect, begin with a low dose and gradually increase it over time.

Prior to booking laser treatments, it is advisable to wait until your skin has adjusted to retinoids before booking one.

1. Retinol Exfoliates the Skin

Retinol, commonly referred to as vitamin A, plays an integral part in your skin’s health. It encourages cell turnover for smoothing skin texture, fade dark spots and unclog pores while stimulating collagen production for firmer skin – plus its powerful anti-ageing effects can even reduce fine lines and wrinkles, blemishes and sun damage1.1

Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives used as skincare products to improve skin’s appearance. Available both over-the-counter and as prescription medication, retinoids all share similar effects on the skin, including increased cell turnover, decreased hyperpigmentation and diminished fine lines and wrinkles.

Retinoids offer many incredible skin-care benefits, yet can cause side effects like dryness and redness if used incorrectly. As such, it’s crucial that you plan how you’ll incorporate retinoids into your daily skin care routine and know what you should expect when beginning a new product.

People may worry that using retinol products will cause their skin to flake or peel when first beginning treatment or switching up strength versions, but this doesn’t always happen. If persistent flaking or peeling persists, this could indicate your body needs more time adjusting to the gentle yet effective effects of retinoid treatments.

Many people wonder whether or not they can exfoliate while using retinol products. The answer is yes; however, be cautious not to layer retinol onto acidic exfoliators (AHAs and BHAs) that cause irritation to avoid irritation and inflammation; rather use an exfoliant designed for gentle use – that way everything should work just fine!

While using retinol, it is wise to avoid exfoliating around the eyes as this can be irritating for skin. If this becomes an issue for you, simply increase how often or switch to a milder formula of application per week.

2. Retinol Increases Sensitivity

Retinol is an incredible skin-care ingredient with incredible abilities to fight fine lines and wrinkles, boost collagen, fade dark spots and combat acne – but be wary as its use may also lead to unexpected side effects.

Once your skin adjusts to retinol, results can take weeks or months to appear as the new layer of healthy skin replaces dull and damaged layers.

Therefore, it’s essential that you start slow and use only a small amount of retinol nightly on your skin – too much can irritate and dry out the area around the eye, leaving red, itchy spots that look patchy as well as flaky areas on its path to becoming flaky skin.

Overdoing it may cause skin to become taut and plastic-looking, so it’s wise to stick to a daily or nightly regime of using retinol as directed by your dermatologist.

There are various retinoids available both over-the-counter (OTC) and with valid prescription. OTC versions, like Retinyl Palmitate and Adapalene are fat-soluble forms of vitamin A which must first be converted to the stronger form retinoic acid to have any noticeable impact on skin health.

Once it reaches the skin, retinol enters keratinocyte cells and binds with their nuclear receptors, altering gene expression and mRNA synthesis and prompting several responses such as melanin production and an increase in growth rate and epidermal thickness.

Unfortunately, using Retinol increases light sensitivity. This is because dead skin that’s been shed makes you more delicate and prone to sun exposure, increasing the chances of sunburns if not using sunscreen on an outing, or making existing sunburn more intense.

OTC retinoids have generally been developed so as to be less likely to cause these reactions; however, more powerful prescription retinoids like Retin-A and Tretinoin still pose this problem.

3. Retinol Increases Sun Sensitivity

Retinol is an incredible anti-aging treatment, speeding cell turnover to improve skin tone and texture, treating blemishes, increasing glow, softening fine lines and wrinkles, as well as softening fine lines and wrinkles. But due to myths regarding its effect on UV sensitivity it may be advised against use in sunlight – however this is simply false!

Truth be told, it is absolutely safe to continue using your favorite retinol product throughout the summer months. Just start slowly by increasing in strength until nightly applications become an option. Furthermore, it is also imperative that a broad spectrum sunscreen be worn daily and reapplied as necessary.

If you are new to retinol, it is advisable to limit sun exposure until your skin has fully adjusted to it. A strong formula could leave your skin extremely dry and flaky; so for optimum results it would be wiser to opt for mild formulations until your body has adjusted to it.

Make sure that the sunscreen contains at least 30 SPF to provide optimal protection and apply it all over your body (not just on your face) to ensure maximum effectiveness – backs of hands, ears and neck need protection too!

Many individuals may notice an increase in sun sensitivity after starting on retinoids, which is completely normal. Retinoids work by speeding up cell turnover rate, revealing younger, more delicate skin. Since it hasn’t had time to build a protective barrier against UV rays yet, its vulnerability increases significantly.

Retinoids have also been proven effective at treating psoriasis, a chronic skin condition characterized by excessive cell growth. Retinoids speed up cell turnover to remove dead cells quickly and avoid thick, white or red patches of skin from appearing. Furthermore, retinoids have also been demonstrated to decrease wrinkle appearance through increased collagen production and skin elasticity improvement, and even prevent melasma which is characterized by dark, patchy marks on the face.

4. Retinol Increases Sensitivity to Lasers

Retinol is one of a group of powerful vitamin A derivatives known as retinoids. Retinoids encourage skin cells to shed quickly and replace them with new, healthier ones more quickly, but may make you more sensitive to light and heat than usual – this makes stopping using any products containing retinol before having laser or similar treatments, including microneedling (which has similar results to laser) important to ensure safety and minimize any potential discomfort or sensitivity issues.

Retinoids come both as prescription-strength and over-the-counter forms, with those seeking wrinkle reduction generally opting for prescription strength options as these tend to be more effective at reducing fine lines and wrinkles, as well as helping fade sun damaged spots faster than over-the-counter products. Unfortunately, though, these prescription products may cause dryness or flaking of skin – it is very important that daily sunscreen use be maintained while on these treatments!

Retinoids used in conjunction with laser hair removal can increase skin permeability, making the surface more delicate and susceptible to heat and light damage. Retinols make skin even more delicate than before, making it even more vulnerable.

To prevent this from occurring, it is crucial that you wait at least two weeks after discontinuing use of retinol before scheduling a laser hair removal session with us at Body Details. Our team will work closely with you to come up with an ideal plan that takes into account any restrictions placed upon you by retinol usage and guarantees safe and effective laser hair removal treatments.

Utilizing Retinol can be an excellent way to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and enhance the texture of your skin, but it is crucial that all rules for its usage be observed, particularly if laser treatments such as IPL are planned – this will avoid serious and potentially life-threatening complications.

If you are considering laser hair removal, get in touch with Body Details immediately to set up a consultation appointment with us. Our expert team can discuss your skincare routine and determine the optimal way for using Retinol while still giving you glowing and smooth skin!

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