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Retin A is overrated. US sunblocks do not work. Pics incl.

sunblock tretinoin retina american sunblock visia uv damage brown spots wrinkles

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#1 The Beauty of Peace

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 04:20 PM


Yesterday I had my 2nd VISIA analysis done at a local cosmetic clinic. Before that I had it done in 2015. The results are somewhat puzzling. 

VISIA skin analysis grades your results to others of the same age and skin type. It measures spots, wrinkles, texture, pores, UV spots, brown spots, red areas, and porphyrins. Most clinics offer this service free of charge. The higher the number, the better the results. 

 

1528902737049.jpg

 

 

1528899014552.jpg

 

Some facts about me: 

I have been using Retin A/Tretinoin/Stieva A 3-7 times per week for 13 years. Occasionally, I had a break from it for 1-2 weeks but not more than that. 
I avoid the sun as much as I can. I would say that I spend much less time outside than an average person as I exercise in the gym only, shop only in malls, I don't like walking, etc. I use sunscreen with SPF 50 every day all year round. I live in a country where winters are long and summers are cloudy. 

 

Results:

As one can see from the pictures, the number of UV spots significantly increased. The number of brown spots has increased as well. The number of wrinkles also increased (pics not shown.) 

 

Conclusions: 

Based on the results of the VISIA analysis, I can conclude the following: 

  1. Retin A was contributing to the photoaging of the skin by increasing the skin's photosensitivity OR
  2. Retin A was not helpful for treating the photodamage. AND
  3. The sunblocks I used (EltaMD, Paula's Choice, etc.) provide unsatisfactory UVA protection  :unsure:

Edited by The Beauty of Peace, 13 June 2018 - 04:30 PM.

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#2 bosharpe

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 02:35 PM

Interesting. Have you spoken to a Derm about your test? Would be good to get a professional opinion on what's going on here...



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#3 The Beauty of Peace

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 03:24 PM

Interesting. Have you spoken to a Derm about your test? Would be good to get a professional opinion on what's going on here...

 

She said some of the changes are associated with ageing! Welcome to the club  :-D

 

I am switching to a European sunblock from now on. And I am REALLY gonna use 1/4 tsp on my face only.

 

And I am also switching from Retin A to a stronger product. 



#4 bosharpe

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 03:46 PM

Cool, okay. I use Sunumbra Sunkids. Fair price and decent % of Zinc. The Ordinary have also/are also releasing a range at a good price. 

 

What's the stronger product you're switching to? :)



#5 The Beauty of Peace

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 04:02 PM

Cool, okay. I use Sunumbra Sunkids. Fair price and decent % of Zinc. The Ordinary have also/are also releasing a range at a good price. 

 

What's the stronger product you're switching to? :)

 I've heard about Sunumbra. But it contains aloe vera which supposedly oxidizes in the presence of UVA rays (http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/17197137).

 

I used to wear Cotz Sensitive sunblock with 20% of Zinc Oxide. In the light of those Visia results, I am not 100% confident now that Zinc Oxide is actually the best UVA blocker. Maybe Eva was right, European sunblocks are much better than US sunblocks in that regard.

 

I am switching to the ZO Radical Night Repair. Surprisingly, it is much stronger than the 0.1% Retin A.


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#6 Forever21

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 03:58 AM

Tinosorb perhaps?



#7 The Beauty of Peace

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 11:59 AM

Tinosorb perhaps?

 

Just ordered some in the gel form from Europe. Most creams look greasy on me.



#8 pamojja

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 12:20 PM

 

 

1528902737049.jpg

 

 

1528899014552.jpg

 

 

Excuse my ignorance, but why is a decrease from 73% to 43% in UV Spots, and a decrease from 99% to 83% in Brown Spots within 3 years considered a worsening?

 

Why would one want more UV and Brown Spots?


Edited by pamojja, 15 June 2018 - 12:21 PM.


#9 The Beauty of Peace

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 12:25 PM

Excuse my ignorance, but why is a decrease from 73% to 43% in UV Spots, and a decrease from 99% to 83% in Brown Spots within 3 years be considered a worsening?

 

Why would one want more UV and Brown Spots?

 

 

The higher the number, the better the results.

 

In 2015 my skin had fewer spots than 73% of other women the same age/skin type. In 2018 I have fewer spots than only 43% of them.



#10 pamojja

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 12:42 PM

The higher the number, the better the results.

 

In 2015 my skin had fewer spots than 73% of other women the same age/skin type. In 2018 I have fewer spots than only 43% of them.

 

OK. So that number doesn't relates to the spots them-self, but how much percentage tested had fewer spots. The problem with that measurement is that it is dynamic. The more persons that get tested, the more the results would differ, even the one from 2015 would be different today. Worse when this test was only invented short before 2015.

 

For example, last year my ubiome test result stated a higher microbiome diversity than 93% tested, and an overlap of 96,4% with persons tested without health issues.

 

Not even a year later the same test gives 89% more diversity, an an 95,8% overlap. Simply because more persons with more varying results have been tested.

 

Do you know since when your skin test was made available. If not many years before 2015 the different results may mean very little.



#11 The Beauty of Peace

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 01:06 PM

OK. So that number doesn't relates to the spots them-self, but how much percentage tested had fewer spots. The problem with that measurement is that it is dynamic. The more persons that get tested, the more the results would differ, even the one from 2015 would be different today. Worse when this test was only invented short before 2015.

 

For example, last year my ubiome test result stated a higher microbiome diversity than 93% tested, and an overlap of 96,4% with persons tested without health issues.

 

Not even a year later the same test gives 89% more diversity, an an 95,8% overlap. Simply because more persons with more varying results have been tested.

 

Do you know since when your skin test was made available. If not many years before 2015 the different results may mean very little.

 

I agree this Visia testing is far from being perfect in many regards. I also had the test done in 2013 and the pattern was similar. I don't know when it became available.

 

However, I  have a hard time believing that I have more UV damage than an average woman of my age. I stay indoors most of the time (far away from the UV light.) No biking, hiking, walking, etc. I suspect an average woman of my age has a kid or two and should spend more time outdoors than me. I also don't go outside without a sunblock rain or shine.

 

Also, putting the test aside, I don't feel like my skin is in great condition. 

 

 



#12 miss_vaanjie

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 02:26 AM

Agreed and agreed! The photosensitivity of Retin-A is a huge drawback that I feel is understated all too often, and there is significant evidence that retinoic acid impairs adipogenesis (i.e. leads to loss of subcutaneous fat.) So far I've been using Biore UV Watery Essence underneath a Neutrogena 21% zinc oxide sunscreen, but I want to try Bariesun's formula as well as a few other Scandinavian formulas with Tinosorb M and S.  I find the FDA's refusal to approve new UV filters to be absolutely absurd, and most US sunscreens are frankly shit.  



#13 Keizo

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 08:36 PM

reapply sunscreen several times per day, wear a hat



#14 lucaasalberto

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 10:06 PM

Hi,

 

I am sorry you're not having the results expected, The Beauty of Peace. I am no expert, but since I was diagnosed with rosacea a few year back I have come in contact with very contradictory information on forum posts, academic journals, documentaries and youtube videos on the topic of skincare and photo-ageing, but one thing that seems pretty solid is that ageing is a complex combination of processes, as you know, and that sunscreen and retinoids are gold standards as far as topicals go. With all your care to avoid the sun and use topical retinoids (and I am assuming you always avoided the sun and used sunscreen, because since sun damage is cumulative, it is my understanding that you could just be showing now damage done decades ago... we know for instance that having a couple of bad sunburns in childhood can make you more prone to certain types of melanoma decades later), there is no assurances that you will avoid looking older in general, or look younger than most women your age. You can only be sure of looking younger than you would have had you not taken care of your skin.

Firstly I would seek out a more trustworthy method of comparison from now on; as some have pointed out, that is a dynamic test that can change simply by more people taking the test, and not at all what you would call reliable, specially because the goal is to improve your skin, not your skin in comparison to other people your age, because that can just be unrealistic (for instance, some people's genetics, and even whole classes of people, will put them in an advantage unbeatable even by the most comprehensive anti-aging skin care and lifestyle). Your doctor should be the one taking pictures and doing all the tests and scanning all the damage for future reference (that's how my dermatologist does it at least, and then we have a reliable reference to gage improvement; he also looks at my skin under a UV lamp, I am guessing because you can see damage not yet visible to the naked eye, but I am not sure and I have never asked; there are probably other methods perhaps more suited to you). Secondly, I think you are absolutely right in that retinoids are not all of the answer (and in that sense overrated), but that shouldn't discourage you from having in your arsenal pretty much the most proven topical for preventing and reversing photo-ageing after sunscreen.

 

Lastly, about sunscreen and sun protection, you are right to use hats and protective clothing, and avoid the sun during peak hours, since even the most efficient sunscreen can't protect you from all UV light. I think there is a consensus as well that sun filters are not enough, and you should be looking at proven antioxidants and perhaps DNA repair enzymes to use under sunscreen, which can improve your UV protection overall. I can't speak to the debate about zinc oxide versus European sunscreens; I have used both, but I think the most important thing is to use the recommended amount at least, and really be generous with it (which is why I just avoid zinc sunscreens these days; too much white cast to apply liberally); I avoid direct sun light if at all possible, but if I am at the beach or outside for extended periods of time, I will reapply throughout the day; I guess ideally we would reapply sunscreen throughout the day everyday?! I just cannot bring myself to apply more than twice daily on a normal day. Having said that, if you are using a reliable and stable sunscreen with UVA protection, be it zinc oxide or otherwise, in the recommended amount, the sensitivity retinoids are causing should not outweigh the benefits; as you know, retinoids have been tested with concomitant use of sunscreen, and have been shown to improve ageing skin; so as long as you are using sunscreen and being sun-smart, your retinoid should not make you more susceptible to sun damage than not using it; it's actually the opposite.

 

I am sure none of this is news to you, but I just thought I would leave my opinion. I wouldn't give up on prescription retinoids (specially not for a retinol product like ZO Radical Night Repair, which can just add another layer of problems with conversion of retinol to retinoic acid, which is different for different people...), perhaps just tweak with the frequency and strength till you find a comfortable routine (I am also assuming that after 13 years of use, you no longer have any irritation; if you do, then perhaps you should consider a lower strength, and not a higher one, because I don't think constantly irritated skin is the goal considering how inflammation is tied to ageing). I think the most important thing though is to understand that comparing yourself to other women or most women your age is a loosing game; all we can do is ensure we are taking the steps to be the best we can be, because we all have pasts filled with different genetics, lifestyles, sun exposure, etc., and in that sense you should have as your goal to improve your skin. And on that note, you can't beat sunscreen and (prescription) retinoids. And perhaps to deal with some of the visible issues bothering you, you will have to rely on something other than topicals, because they really have their limit; in that sense, perhaps lasers would be a more effective way to undo accumulated damage that the retinoids are not resolving.

 

All the best,

Lucas.

 

 

 

 

 



#15 The Beauty of Peace

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 08:43 AM

Here I test different sunblocks I own (Vichy, EltaMD, Anessa, Cotz, Australian Gold, etc.) https://www.longecit...sing-sun-paper/

Guess which one is the worse.


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#16 nickthird

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 06:17 AM

From what I read using Retin A makes you look better in the short term because you are forcing the skin cells turnover faster, but it also makes you look much older in the long run because these cells get worse with the number of replications. You are effectively speeding up natural aging the more you use it.


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#17 andromeda

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 07:09 PM

did you tried collagen pills or eating more proteins?. studies about collagen pills showed that it can reduce wrinkles in people and that might be due to the better nutrition(amino acids) the participants got from the pills.







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