Let’s talk about one of my favorite retinoids, AlphaRet by SkinBetter Science. But first, why should we use retinoids? After sunscreen, retinoids are the most studied ingredient for anti-aging, addressing things like fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, acne and enlarged pores. Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A and work on the surface of the skin to increase skin cell turnover, which unclog pores, helps with acne, and evens out discoloration, and other signs of aging. They also work deeper in the dermis to stimulate collagen production and remodeling, which helps with wrinkles and scars. It has also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Retinols are the most common type of over-the counter retinoids. Retinoic acid, usually in the form of tretinoin (aka Retin-A), is the prescription strength retinoid. Retinols need to get converted to retinoic acid to be active and do the wonderful things they do on our skin. Since retinoic acid/tretinoin is already in the active state, it can potentially work more quickly. I tend to prefer prescription retinoids, like tretinoin, for those with acne or with skin types that are more oily and not sensitive because tretinoin and other prescription retinoids are notorious for their increased risk of irritation and peeling, especially if your skin is not used to it. I think people with sensitive skin or dry skin can eventually tolerate prescription retinoids, but they are better off starting with an over the counter retinol.
Enter SkinBetter AlphaRet, which is one of my favorites because it is well tolerated by all skin types and it has shown to be as effective as tretinoin 0.025% prescription cream. AlphaRet is a proprietary retinoid that is paired with lactic acid (to make it a “double conjugated retinoid) so that the retinoid quickly enters into the skin without causing irritation. It also contains an ultra hydrating blend of squalane, niacinamide, ceramides, fatty acids and shea butter, which provide deep moisture to the skin. It also has skin-soothing ingredients like allantoin, glycyrrhetinic acid, bisabolol, and portulaca extract. When I talk about this with my patients, I call this “a retinoid with a bunch of other anti-aging and moisturizing goodies.” There is nothing else like it on the market!
The main downside of this product is that you can only get it through a physician and it can be pretty pricey. Good news is that you can get it online with ME as your physician by registering through a physician-dispensing platform called RegimenPro here.
This platform was founded by my partner to make it easier for dermatologists to dispense skincare directly to their patients.
If price is an issue, you can check out my other favorite retinoils here.
MY FAVORITE RETINOILS
And please don’t forget your sunscreen!