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Peter Thomas Roth makes some great skin care products, including the Power K eye cream. I love that because vitamin K is proven to reduce dark circles when combined with a cream containing vitamin A. Unfortunately, I’m just not a huge fan of the new Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion AM Moisturizer SPF 30 ($67.00, Amazon.com).
The truth of the matter is, I can’t get used to the idea that retinol should be used during the day. It is well-established in the dermatological community that retinoids increase your sensitivity to the sun, with everyone from Dr. Perricone to the good folks at LIVESTRONG and MedScape agreeing retinol increases photosensitivity. This is because retinoids slough off the top layer of skin, increasing its reflective surface area. If this doesn’t make sense to you at first, think of how tanning oil works – more reflection! (Science Update, 2010).
Although a study in Clinics in Dermatology found over-the-counter retinol is 20 times weaker than prescription retinoids (e.g., tretinoin), retinol is still enough of a concern where I will not use it during the day. And while Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion AM Moisturizer SPF 30 does contain its own sunscreen, I’m a little leery of using it.
Keep In Mind the Dermatological Community Says Retinyl Palmitate+Sunscreen is Safe
Still, despite my own personal aversion to using retinol during the day, I should affirm that there’s really no scientific reason not to do so when pared with sunscreen.
Some people still believe that one form of retinoids – retinyl palmitate – is unsafe for use in sunscreens. This is due to reports in 2010 that the retinyl palmitate in sunscreens could potentially cause skin tumors. However, this has since been proved false. The report was based upon a single study in which a high concentration of retinyl palmitate was used as the only ingredient, applied to mouse skin, and irradiated with light.
The experimental design was flawed, as Dr. Steven Q. Wang, M.D. Ph.D., director of dermatologic surgery at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center later explained, “Despite the concerns raised by these non-human studies, retinyl palmitate operates within the skin as only one component of a complex antioxidant network. In these non-human studies, retinyl palmitate was the only compound studied, making the biological relevance of these findings to humans unclear.”
Retinyl palmitate is also about ten times weaker than retinol, which is in turn 20 times weaker than prescription tretinoin (Clinics in Dermatology, 2001). So I want to affirm: while I’m averse to using daytime creams with retinoids of any kind, the dermatological community says they’re safe, so long as they are pared with sunscreen.
I personally am not a fan of Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion AM Moisturizer SPF 30 because I feel retinoids are best reserved for night. That said, the dermatological community has affirmed retinoids are safe for the daytime when pared with sunscreen, as this cream is. It is also a fairly concentrated source of retinol (my best guess is around 0.5%), and you will generate results from it over time. So, for once in my life, this bit of a negative review is based upon personal preference.
What about you? Will you apply retinoids during the day?
Ingredients in Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion AM Moisturizer SPF 30: Water, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myrsitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Squalane, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Methyl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Bentonite, Cetearyl Glycoside, Titanium Dioxide, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Polyacrylate, Xanthan Gum, BHT, Picea Excelsa Wood Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Borate, Sodium Hydroxide, Panthenol, Arginine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycine, Copper Tripeptide, Sorbitol, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Propyl Gallate, Disodium EDTA, Ascorbic Acid.