The backbone of every anti aging regimen should include tretinoin or all-trans-retinoic acid, (brand names Retin-A, Refissa). Tretinoin is a prescription medication that it is scientifically proven by numerous studies to stimulate cell renewal, increase collagen formation and decrease pigment production. This results in increased skin thickness and elasticity for a smoother, healthier and even toned complexion.
When tretinoin is first started, it might cause skin dryness and redness, but this reaction eventually subsides with continued treatment. It is a good idea to initially use the medication only 2-3 times per week for the first 4-6 weeks, followed by gradual increase to nightly application as tolerated.
Retinol is a precursor of retinoic acid, available over the counter. Because retinol has to be transformed by the body into retinoic acid in order to become active, it is less irritant, but also much less potent than tretinoin.