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Yes, the rumors are true: Due to the success of our FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5, we do plan to release an entire line of skin care products by December 2013. That starts with the release of our FutureDerm Brilliance CE Caffeic later this month, and will continue with several scientific product launches every 3-4 months. So stay tuned!
Yet, in the meantime, what’s a girl (or guy) to do? The great news is, with so many fantastic moisturizers on the market already, there are definitely choices that work sensationally well with FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5. Our product contains 0.5% microencapsulated retinol, which is designed to work within the skin for eight full hours. Research demonstrates retinol at this concentration may fight age spots, treat lines and wrinkles, prevent collagen loss, and firm skin. Even better: FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 is formulated to be a lightweight gel. So those with oily skin can skip a moisturizer, but those with normal-to-dry skin types can benefit from one of these afterwards:
Best Preventative (Wrinkles, Fine Lines, Sagging): RevaleSkin Intensive Recovery Treatment
Little-known fact about antioxidants: Different antioxidants work on different pathways within the skin.
This is good news for those of us who vary their skin care during the day. For instance, I use FutureDerm Brilliance CE Caffeic with 16% vitamin C and 2% vitamin E in the morning under a sunscreen. (Yes, I have one. I’m sorry – it’s because I made it. Don’t hate me.) This is because vitamins C and E in combination have been shown to enhance UV protection up to 400% when worn under a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen (American Journal of Dermatology, 2005). But then I mix up the antioxidants that I use at night.
Yet, of those antioxidants, CoffeeBerry has been shown to have the highest antioxidant potential in a 2007 study, as measured by its ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score. CoffeeBerry also has less irritant potential than idebenone, the latter of which has a rather tarnished track record associated with contact dermatitis (Contact Dermatitis, 2008;Contact Dermatitis, 2007; Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2008). I personally got contact dermatitis after using Prevage a few years ago, so I’m not a fan. Instead, I’m CoffeeBerry all the way!
Of the RevaleSkin CoffeeBerry treatments, the best one I’ve encountered is the RevaleSkin Intensive Recovery Treatment ($130.00 retail, $78.00 Amazon). It contains 1.5% CoffeeBerry, the highest of any RevaleSkin treatment. Its lightweight texture and fast absorbing nature also makes it perfect layered over our FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5.
Best Drugstore: Olay Pro-X Hydra Firming Cream
For under $35 retail (and $17 on Amazon), Olay Pro-X Hydra Firming Cream is amongst the best we’ve tried following FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5. Not only is the price divine, but the texture is ideal for nearly all skin types. There’s also what we estimate to be 4% niacinamide, which has been proven to treat dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, and inflammation. Check it out:
- Niacinamide has been proven in independent studies to help stimulate ceramides and other lipids within the skin (British Journal of Dermatology, 2000). As a result, using products with approximately 4% niacinamide (the highest you can find over-the-counter) keeps skin feeling hydrated long after using a retinoid.
- Niacinamide reduces inflammation. In one study, acne was treated with either 4% niacinamide or 1% clindamycin. 4% niacinamide was found not only to have similar efficacy to clindamycin, but to additionally alleviate inflammation within the skin (International Journal of Dermatology, 1995). Because use of a retinoid can temporarily irritate the skin, this soothing anti-inflammatory ability of niacinamide is well-coveted!
- Niacinamide reduces hyperpigmentation and sallowing of the skin. Like prescription hydroquinone, niacinamide has been shown to combat hyperpigmentation by inhibiting production of melanin (skin pigment) (British Journal of Dermatology, 2000). For the ultra-scientific at heart, there is one key difference: Hydroquinone inhibits the production of melanin by inhibiting tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme of melanin production. On the other hand, niacinamide has been shown to allow tyrosinase to function normally, but it inhibits the transfer of melanin to melanosomes that carry it within the skin (British Journal of Dermatology, 2000). Nonetheless, you can expect slight decreases in the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation with regular niacinamide use.
The other reason I love Olay Pro-X Hydra Firming Cream is the palmitoyl pentapeptide-3. I’ve encountered more research on palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 than any other peptide available in topically-applied form. Palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 been demonstrated to stimulate new collagen synthesis and to result in an increased production of extracellular matrix proteins (both types I and II collagen and fibronectin). In a 2005 study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 was found to significantly improve the appearance of fine lines + wrinkles, as well as overall moisturization levels. Given that this was 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, split-face, left–right randomized clinical study, it seems quite sound. Research has also shown that palmitoyl pentapeptide increases skin firmness over time (Cosmeceutical Peptides, 2007). Yet, despite this evidence, some dermatologists, like Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D., author of The Skin Type Solution and CEO of The Baumann Research Institute, maintain that peptides are too large to be absorbed into the skin, and hence are non-efficacious. Given the evidence that is available, we maintain at FutureDerm that peptides may have some benefit, perhaps through intracellular signaling or another pathway. As such, considering Olay Pro-X Hydra Firming Cream with niacinamide and peptides is about the same price as Olay Regenerist with niacinamide and without peptides, we say, go for it anyway.
For the record, this is what I use after FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5!
Best for Age Spots/Hyperpigmentation: Murad Rapid Age Spot Treatment Serum
There is a great irony when it comes to treating age spots and hyperpigmentation: Retinoids and acids like alpha hydroxy acids, kojic and azelaic acids have been shown in independent research studies to treat age spots and hyperpigmentation over time, but they don’t work optimally together. This is because retinoids must be converted within the skin in order to be active – first to retinaldehyde, then to all-trans retinoic acid. The enzymes responsible for this conversion, retinol dehydrogenases (RDHs) have optimized activity at a high pH (Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1991).
With that said, it’s nearly impossible to find a treatment that is non-acidic and treats age spots. I suppose a 4% prescription hydroquinone fits the bill, but if it’s over-the-counter treatments you seek, then it’s Murad Rapid Age Spot Treatment Serum ($60.00 retail, $39.99 Amazon) that you seek. The treatment contains 2% hydroquinone (the highest legally available over-the-counter), plus glycolic acid. Because it is acidic, I’ve found best results with the following guidelines:
- Wait 20-30 minutes after applying FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 to apply Murad Rapid Age Spot Treatment Serum. This allows the retinol to start the conversion process within the skin, before changing skin’s pH with an acidic agent like glycolic acid.
- Apply Murad Rapid Age Spot Treatment Serum directly to age spots. Murad Rapid Age Spot Treatment Serum is an on-the-spot treatment only. Using it all over the face may cause irritation, particularly when used together with retinol.
- If you have particularly dry skin, you will still require a moisturizer afterwards. (Sorry!). I recommend Olay Pro-X Hydra Firming Cream most often.
Best for Acne: Topix Replenix Cream
Acne can be ridiculously hard to treat because many of the agents used to treat it are drying. For instance, for acne, we always recommend a salicyclic acid or sulfur-based cleanser, benzoyl peroxide on-the-spot treatments, retinoids, and oil-free products all around.
After using FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5, one product we’ve found works great with acne is Topix Replenix Cream. Some may balk at the fact that it is a “cream,” but it has no oil-based ingredients. What’s more, it contains concentrated green tea as standardized EGCG. EGCG, the primary active component of green tea, has 5-α-reductase properties, which means EGCG acts as an anti-androgenic agent. Researchers think this might help the hormonal causes of acne when topically applied (Lipids in Health and Disease,Correspondence). Another study showed that the acidic polysaccharide found in green tea worked as an anti-adhesive against skin pathogenic bacteria (Ji-Hye, et. al.). Together with its soothing properties, this makes green tea a must-have for acne. Perhaps not as “must-have” as salicyclic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur. But a must-have nonetheless.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Atopalm Moisturizing Skin Complex
Whenever one of my friends comes to me with dry or irritated skin, I reach for this handy tube. Atopalm Moisturizing Skin Complex is chalk-full of some of my favorite ingredients, including green tea, niacinamide, and grape seed extract. Yet what I really love about Atopalm Moisturizing Skin Complex is the ultra-clever formulation: Thinner dimethicone holds moisture in towards the skin, while thicker glycerin provides a thick capsule of hydration. But the real magic is with the right amount of butylene glycol, which thins the formulation, and keeps it fast-absorbing on the skin.
I’m a huge fan of Atopalm Moisturizing Skin Complex, particularly when my skin is dry or irritated. It’s the perfect moisturizer for sensitive skin after using our FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5!
Until I have a whole line of moisturizers to introduce for use after FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5, I love:
- RevaleSkin Intensive Recovery Treatment for anti-aging prevention
- Olay Pro-X Hydra Firming Cream for anti-aging treatment
- Murad Rapid Age Spot Treatment Serum (on-the-spot only 30 minutes after the retinol) for age spot/hyperpigmentation treatment
- Topix Replenix Cream for acne
- Atopalm Moisturizing Skin Complex for sensitive skin
What are your favorite combinations? Let me know in Comments!