Yahoo! Lifestyle recently wrote an article naming Differin Gel (adapalene 0.1%) the “best drugstore anti-aging product.” But should dermatologists recommend an over-the-counter acne product to help patients with their fine lines and wrinkles?
For an expert opinion, I consulted dermatologist Fran Cook-Bolden, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Health System in New York.
Is Differin Gel an anti-aging secret?
The secret in Differin Gel (as compared with other retinoid formulations) is the cosmetically elegant formulation which can result in significantly increased compliance, less risk of irritation and overall use with ease!
Are there special considerations for skin of color patients when using Differin Gel for anti-aging?
Because the formulation of Differin Gel is well tolerated, it has a much lower irritation potential than many other retinoids of similar potency. This is important because irritation can lead to unwanted pigmentation as a result of the stimulation of inflammatory cells and pigment cells (melanocytes). The risk of this occurring is greater in skin of color.
Regarding unwanted pigmentation, some additional benefits of retinoids including Differin Gel are fading of unwanted pigment and age spots. Retinoids can also soften rough patches of skin.
How should dermatologists counsel their patients who ask about using Differin Gel for anti-aging?
Differin is classified as a retinoid and is FDA approved for the treatment of acne. In addition to treating acne, retinoids increase collagen production, which reduce fine lines and wrinkles. They also help with anti-aging by stimulating the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves skin circulation and vibrancy. It can take up to 12 months before the improvement in wrinkles is visibly noticed (average 6-12 months and sometimes as early as 3 months). Improvement in skin vitality are often apparent much sooner! Consistency is key!
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