Ask the Diva

Ask the Diva

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

February 2020:

Ask Savvy Derm Diva

Dear Savvy Derm Diva,

Because of my skin experiencing increased dryness during the cooler weather, should I discontinue my retinol in my routine during this time of the year? -Curious about Retinols. Val K.

Dear Curious about Retinols,

I am so glad you asked as I have a lot of patients curious about this as well.  It’s proven that retinol is a perfect product to use to up the ante of your anti-aging defense.  That said, it can at least three months of use to reap the rewards of this magical potion. Because of this, I say no unless you are experiencing any side effects with the product, such as stinging, burning that is not resolving. You may experience more dryness or some transient mild forms of these types of side effects in which you should make sure you are using a good moisturizer two times daily in addition to possibly adding a hyaluronic acid.  You may even want to decrease the use every other day or even replace your current retinol with a milder form. Some Tips: Discontinue when side effects are not improving and contact your Board-Certified Dermatologist for an appointment because you may be experiencing something known as Irritant Contact Dermatitis.

Diva Tips: 

Retinol from mild to most potent includes retinyl palmitate, retinol, retinaldehyde (AKA retinal), and retinoic acid (AKA Tretinoin).????

Dear Savvy Derm Diva,

I keep seeing moisturizers with the terms “humectants” and “emollients.”  Why are these two ingredients so important?

-Wanting to know. Karen T.

Dear Wanting to Know,

I love this question because it helps define the importance of the reason we use moisturizers in the first place.  Natural humectants such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin are necessary because they moisturize the skin by attracting water from the environment into the skin.  Examples of emollients include “oils” or “lipids” such as mineral oil, coconut oil, and shea butter to name a few.  They are responsible to soothe and soften the skin by replacing oils (lipids) and preventing water loss.  Both synergistically help strengthen the barrier of your skin.

Diva Faves:

Gold Bond Healing with Aloe Fragrance-Free Lotion, Gold Bond Eczema Relief Lotion/Cream, or Amlactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion. ????

Renata Block is the creator of Savvy Derm Diva, an online resource for proper skin care. Ask Savvy Derm Diva is a monthly column answering your skincare related concerns! Make sure you follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! MUAH!????