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Tretinoin actually begins preventing wrinkles in your 20’s and 30’s.

As your personal, board-certified dermatologists here at Clear Skin Concierge, we’re going to share a trade secret. Dermatologists and plastic surgeons may hawk pearl-encrusted bottles on TV. But we don’t buy branded skin creams for ourselves. We use tretinoin, which we prescribe at incredible prices.

The $400 3 oz skin creams from exclusive department stores? The infomercials with dermatologists in white coats and actresses weaving through Tuscan wheatfields? These overpriced products have no clinical evidence for real cosmetic improvement.

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Because everyone gets older, studying anti-aging products on the skin is really easy. As crazy as it sounds, there just isn’t clinical evidence for the eye creams and serums you’re sold every day. In fact, if you see clinical results for an over-the-counter beauty product, contact us dermatologists at Clear Skin and we’ll tell you what we think!

This doesn’t mean the Clinique™ or Bare Escentuals® products you love don’t feel great going on the skin. But if you ask any dermatologist who isn’t selling their own brand, they’ll tell you the truth. Only two things really improve skin quality as you get older. The first, and most important, is incredibly careful protection from the sun every single day, with a sunscreen – with SPF 50 or higher AND great UVA coverage (we recommend Helioplex from Neutrogena or Anthelios from La Roche-Posay). The second is consistent use of tretinoin cream – the generic form of Retin-A® – throughout a lifetime.

Tretinoin’s constant improvement of skin tone should be started in your 20’s and 30’s, as prevention before fine lines set in. Tretinoin is powerful, not magic. Results show up over months and years, not weeks. But if you stick with it, you’ll end up looking years younger than people using fancy creams that cost ten times as much.