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One great thing about having a blog and launching a skin care product is that our readers have a slew of great questions. Through comments, e-mail, our Facebook page, and Twitter, we’ve received the following questions again and again. So here are our answers!:
1.) How long does a bottle last?
A bottle of FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 lasts for 4-8 weeks. Why the spread? Those who have non-sensitive skin or have used retinol in the past are able to use it nightly, so a bottle should last 4-6 weeks. However, those who have sensitive skin or who are new to retinol should start with one use every 2-3 days the first 2 weeks, and gradually work up to nighttime use. So the bottle should last 6-8 weeks.
2.) How much do I use?
Shake well, and then apply a pea-sized amount (1 plunge) to your face. Another pea-size amount (another plunge) should be sufficient for your neck and decolletage.
3.) Is this product like Retin-A Micro Gel?
Yes! Well, except FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 is non-prescription retinol, whereas Retin-A Micro Gel is prescription tretinoin. The differences? One, retinol is about 20x weaker, because it has to be converted to tretinoin in the skin in order to be active. Two, retinol penetrates deeper in the skin than tretinoin (Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 1997). We designed our product to be like the “Retin-A Micro Gel” of the over-the-counter retinols.
4.) What is it good for?
- Fine lines and wrinkles (Archives of Dermatology, 2002, amongst many others);
- Anti-aging prevention/staving off fine lines and wrinkles for longer (Methods in Enzymology, 1992, amongst many others);
- Increasing skin firmness (Archives of Dermatology, 2002);
- Increasing skin smoothness. The number-one effect people report when using FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 at night is they wake up with smoother skin. I love that!
5.) Can I use this product with acidic products?
Nope. Like any other retinol, FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 needs enzymes called retinyl ester hydrolases to convert it to tretinoin within the skin. But this process is optimized at a neutral pH (4.5-7). This is why you’ll hear expert derms say they don’t advise using retinol with vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) or salicyclic acid or glycolic acid – acidic pH is too low for optimal activity. Will you still get effects? Sure, but you’re not maximizing the effects of the retinol. And that’s not fair to anyone – most of all you!
5.) Can I use this product with other products?
Definitely. One advantage to FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 being a lightweight gel is that you can apply other skin care products over it. Two of my favorites for use over top? Niacinamide, like Olay Pro-X or Olay Regenerist, or peptides, as in MLA Skin Care. Both I find to be soothing and a nice complement to retinol.
6.) Is there an adjustment period?
We try to minimize irritation: We included witch hazel, aloe, and microencapsulated the retinol so it is time-released over the course of 8 hours, instead of giving you that boom! pow! pow! mega-dose all at once. That said, it still is 0.5% retinol. And for those who have sensitive skin or who have never used retinol before, there will be some mild redness, dryness, and irritation. We recommend using the product once every 2-3 days to start, and gradually working up to nightly use as your skin tolerates it. Trust us: it’s worth it!
7.) What does it feel like on the skin?
FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 goes on like a lightweight, opaque gel. It glides across the skin smoothly, and absorbs into your skin within a second. It has a truly amazing “break time” from gel form to liquid, which is one of our favorite elements about it: You don’t have to wait for 30 minutes to apply your next moisturizer like with some other treatments. You can just move from ours to the next seamlessly.
8.) How long does it take to see effects?
I was so excited when this particular formulation was complete: I woke up the next morning, and my skin felt smoother. I knew it was The One.
That said, if you are using FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 nightly, it is realistic to notice a significant difference in fine lines and wrinkles within 3-4 weeks. I know there are studies that show 0.5% retinol makes a measurable difference in fine lines and wrinkles in 1-2 weeks, and I’m sure ours does too, but when we’re talking noticeable and measurable, I want to be honest here. It is a tremendous product, but it’s going to take a few weeks to visibly notice a difference in fine lines and wrinkles. Noticing skin sagging improvement takes even longer, about 6-8 weeks. But it is well worth it – trust me!
9.) Is there anyone who can’t use it?
If you are nursing or pregnant, we don’t recommend it. Though retinol has never directly been associated with birth defects, it is a form of vitamin A, and other forms of vitamin A (think Accutane) are toxic to the fetus. So not if you are nursing or pregnant.
If you are getting hair removal waxing, do not use the product within one week of your treatment. Retinol can make the skin more sensitive to these treatments.
Finally, if you have rosacea or eczema, talk to your dermatologist. While many patients with rosacea find they can tolerate retinoids if they start at a very low level and gradually work up, some cannot tolerate them at all from day one.
10.) Do You Use It Yourself? Does This Mean You No Longer Evaluate Anyone Else’s Products Fairly?
FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 is my nightly staple – my skin has never been smoother, and I’ve never been happier!
But, truth be told, I refuse to let having my own line of products interfere with our reviews of other brands. While there are inevitably times when this will be difficult – it’s hard to tout Skinceuticals CE Ferulic as often, for instance, when I have my own CE Ferulic in development – the FutureDerm blog is, and has always been, about introducing the consumer to the science. If and when a product is better in some fashion, I will admit it. Because it’s better to lose a sale in the short-term but maintain trust with our readers in the long-term. So it’s going to be a test in my pride, but I believe in the products we’re developing and that they’re all innovative, highly effective, and scientifically-proven in independent literature. FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5 is just the start!