How Do I Know My Anti-Ageing Treatment is Working?

“Do you look younger?”

That’s the obvious question to ask yourself if you are wondering whether or not that pot of supposedly magic anti-ageing cream is delivering on its (generally very expensive) promises.

But what are you really looking for? What does ‘looking younger’ even actually mean? Here is a rundown of the top things to watch for when on your anti-ageing skincare journey when you are using a prescription topical retinoid, the gold standard ‘anti-ageing’ cream.

  1. Skin gets irritated:

    Yes, I want your skin to get a bit irritated from your treatment, especially at the beginning. This reassures you that the cream you are using actually does something. Now, I don’t need my retinoid to be irritating because I know it is effective so I generally tend to start myself and my patients on a low strength retinoid to minimise this. But even at a low strength, people often get irritation. If I use tretinoin 0.025% for more than four or five days in a row, my skin gets slightly red and flakey. So at that point I take a day or two off and then start again. Don’t worry if you don’t get any irritation at all. Everyone is different. Finish the strength you have and then at your next follow-up ask your Dermatica consultant if you can increase your strength.

  2. Skin feels smoother:

    You may not notice a visible difference but after a few months of treatment your skin should definitely feel softer and smoother to touch.

  3. Skin appears brighter:

    Expect to see a more translucent look to your skin. This is hard to describe and you will know what I mean when you see it. It’s almost like your skin becomes slightly more pale but this is usually because inflammation has reduced as well as pigmentation, making you appear more pale or brighter if you have darker skin.

  4. Skin looks smoother:

    Over time any creepiness or fine lines in your skin should start to become less noticeable. You often notice this in how your foundation or powder ‘sits’ on your skin. Pores might also appear smaller and again this can be noticed by how your makeup no longer collects into certain areas during the day.

And, most importantly, you need to ensure you are giving your treatments time. You didn’t develop signs of ageing overnight (though it might feel like that sometimes) so you can’t expect to reverse them overnight either. Slowly, gradually, with consistent use you will definitely see improvement. But don’t rush out. Good things come to those who wait. And those who use prescription anti-ageing treatments.

Until Next Time,

Dr. Natalia Spierings