Retinol

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Hi everyone!

I'm new to this website and actually just made an account to ask this question, which has been bugging me for a few days, so please try to bear with me if I don't know how this works quite yet. :) /emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" />

I am sixteen years old, and I have a few terribly annoying fine lines under my eyes when I smile. Not many people notice them, but it was something that bothered me, so I decided to try a Retinol cream from the drugstore. I didn't want something ridiculously expensive, since I'm only sixteen, so I opted for the RoC Multi-Correxion Eye Cream. I didn't buy the sensitive one, because I have never been a person with sensitive skin. I used a small amount of the product that night, and then an extremely small amount in the morning. I continued doing this for a couple of days. I noticed no itching, burning, or irritation when the cream dissolved into my skin. I tested the product on my wrist twice with no reaction. All I noticed was a small red spot on the top of my cheek. However, on the third day (I didn't apply any cream that morning), the area under my eyes began itching. I attempted to itch very lightly to relieve the burning, but I just ended up with a red, splotchy rash. I left it alone until that night, when the skin began burning again. I put some ice under my eyes, and one of them puffed up! I waited a couple days, tested it out again, and the next morning (today) I have non-itchy, somewhat mild, hive looking rashes around my eyes. The strange thing is, the rashes aren't precisely on the spot where I applied the product, just around my eyes and on the tops of my cheeks. Now, let me just note that I do not usually experience strange reactions to any type of product, drugstore or high-end. I buy very cheap, inexpensive moisturizers and cleansers because that's all I can afford and all I need at the moment. However, I'm completely baffled by this reaction. I know Retinol has a strange way of improving the skin (it can cause dry, red, itchy, irritated rashes, from what I've heard), and your skin must acclimate itself to the product slowly over time before it really begins to work with the Retinol. I wanted to ask, has anyone had this type of experience with Retinol, or the RoC products? I haven't had any serious symptoms (trouble breathing, full-body hives, bleeding, extreme dryness, etc.), simply these strange, itchy, red, hive-looking rashes around my eyes, and they seem to become less severe. Is this normal? Does it sound like an allergy? Should I continue using the product, or should I stop?

I'm really sorry about the length of this post! Any help would really be greatly appreciated, I am stumped and don't want to continue doing anything to my skin that would harm it! Thank you.

 
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Hi- I wouldn't use anything w/ retin A under eye area. The skin under eye/eye lid is too thin/fragile for this type of product. You probably should try something more soothing like a cream/serum or oil designed for the entire eye area. Vitamin E sticks moisturize well and are easy use and have minimal ingredients-most drug stores carry them. Good luck! S

 
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I've been using Retin a for over 20 years so I'll try to help.

If Roc's active ingredient is Tretinoin, they can sell a product with up to .02 Tretinoin.

Even though you bought something over the counter, you have to take introduce your skin to Tretinoin very slowly.

Apply at least 1/2 hour after you wash your face

Apply in the evening as Tretinoin and apply sunscreen in the am

- your skin will be more sensitive to the sun and burn easier

Apply every other day or even twice a week - until your skin becomes use to Tretinoin

............................................

It sound like you burnt your skin. Apply Vaseline very gently and stay away from the ROC for a few weeks. Make sure you apply sunscreen to the area every day.

The reactions will go away in a few more days.

If you want to try using ROC again, follow the routine I mentioned. But give your face a good few weeks to completely heal.

If you are noticing fine lines when you small, this is not unusual. This doesn't sound like wrinkling but just the way your skin folds around the eyes.

Tretinoin can can used to help with some acne. And it can be used for cosmetic purposes as well (wrinkling as an example).

Also, it can be prescribed at a lower cost than what some cosmetics companies will charge.

A family doctor can prescribe Retin A.

 
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Thanks so much for your reply, it's really helpful to hear from someone who has experience with Retinol products/Retin-A. I know Retinol is much weaker than Retin-A, which is why I just automatically assumed that my skin could handle it, but I've realized that you have to let your skin get used to it. For the first few days, I followed all the steps you mentioned except for the sunscreen. I think I just applied it too often initially and shocked my skin. I'll try to use the RoC cream again, but I will give my skin some time, like you suggested. I would really, really love to try Retin-A, but I'm just not sure how to go about getting a prescription. I found a product called Afirm, which has different levels of intensity, so I think I'll try that, and then if I like it maybe I'll try Retin-A. Do you think it's okay to apply the RoC product around the eye area, since it's meant for that? I mean, the only place I really have trouble with lines is around my eyes, so that's mainly what I want to use it for. Thank you! :) /emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" />

 
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I apply Retin A under my eyes - but not up to the lashes. Don't apply near the inner corner but under the eye and up to outer corner between brows is ok.

Another thing that tretinoin is good for is exfoliating your skin. You are quite young so dead skin cells won't build up on your skin the way they do I mine (I'm 48). But you might want to consider applying ROC on cheek and forehead area twice a week.

Over the counter Retinol products can be .01 to .02 tretinoin. Be ware that you should always start at the lowest strength and work your way up as your skin tolerates. With a prescription, you can get .01 up to .10 tretinoin. I have settled at .05 as the .10 is just to strong for my skin.

You can get a prescription of Retin A from your family doctor. But I can almost guarantee that it would not be prescribed for cosmetic purposes. That is reserved for wrinkles, skin discolourations, etc. Because your are 16, your doctor might prescribe it for acne and blemishes. From what I recall, Retin A was meant for acne but through studies it was seen that the Retin A really helped discolourations go away, help rejuvenate collagen and actually erase fine wrinkles.

If your doctor wrote your a prescription for Retin A or another topical cream containing Tretinoin for acne, you can still apply it under your eye if you chose.

I was just looking at the Afirm site. A 30 g tube is 45 dollars. Just to compare, a 45 g tube of Retin A goes for $100. Make sure you are getting your moneys worth. Also, Afirm reduces the appearance of wrinkles but it does not say it reduces wrinkles.

If you wan to try an over the counter product like ROC, ask the sales clerk what exactly are the active ingredients. Make sure you stick with a Tretinoin-based product of .01 to .02. This will be the same as prescription Retin A and you should get the same results.

 
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At 16 you cannot possibly have wrinkles, you either have a dryness/ dermatitis issue which needs appropriate therapy or genetic skin folds that you will have to learn to love - either way retinoids are likely the wrong choice of treatment for your issue. You are too young for all the side effects and boundaries that retinol or Retin-A entails: presumably you are using a high factor (30-50) zinc oxide sunscreen daily and reapplying frequenty whenever you are outdoors, in water or near snow? With reinoids if you do not protect your skin adequately there is a risk of UV hyper-sensitivity causing hyperpigmentation, such as melasma (Google it). You should NEVER apply any prescription medication anywhere other than where a dermatologist tells you, that is poor medical advice from Dragonfly.

 
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Sorry Firefox - I'm not a doctor so its not medical advice. But I do stand by what I say.

By the way, I did mention that the lines were most likely from the skin folds.

And that a doctor would rarely prescribe a Tretinoin based product for cosmetic reasons to someone that is 16.

If someone is going to use a products containing Tretinoin, then there is a right way to use the product and a wrong way.

Although I addressed the poster, anyone considering using the product would benefit from the advice.

 
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Hi Firefox,

I know that the wrinkles under my eyes aren't severe, "real" wrinkles, however, these are fine lines that I didn't have until recently. Also, I was mostly looking into retinoids for preventative measures, because I don't want any new lines to pop up or worsen. I'm not looking to religiously and aggressively use Retin-A or any retinol products, however I don't think it could hurt to use it once or twice a week, as there are multiple benefits for the skin. After burning myself I now know to be very careful when using the product, and I understand that I should stick to a very mild formula (such as the RoC products, which are sold at the drugstore so they are not as intense as Retin-A). I did not realize that these products caused increased sun sensitivity until I looked into it, and until Dragonfly answered my question. Each time I use the retinol I'll make sure to use a sunscreen (I have an SPF 30 at the moment). I do have some issues with mild acne breakouts and uneven skin tone, so I think the retinol might help there, but I am definitely looking into everything and being extra careful to avoid damaging my skin or making wrong decisions. I know that you don't agree with someone my age using retinoids to treat wrinkles, but do you think they could be helpful for other skin conditions (e.g. teenage acne breakouts)?

 

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