Retinoic acid is a form of provitamin A and its effects vary according to the concentration and the type of treatment used. Usually treatments using this acid should be performed during the winter months, when solar radiation is much lower.
Dermatologists and cosmetologists often use higher concentrations for a deeper skin exfoliation and faster cell renewal. Night creams usually contain lower concentrations, which yield more subtle effects, offering visible results in the medium- and long-term.
These treatments are effective because the chemical exfoliation stimulates collagen production. Home treatments involve the use of a cosmetic that contains retinoic acid in lower concentrations at least twice a week, depending on the condition of your skin.
People with sensitive skin should not use this ingredient daily. It is important to test a small area of skin before starting treatment to check that no unwanted reaction occurs such as itching, redness and severe irritation.
Although it is known that beta-carotene protects the skin against the harmful effects of the sun, products containing retinoic acid should always be applied at night, as it is sensitive to UV light. During treatment, it is advisable to avoid the sun and use a sunscreen with SPF 50.
If your skin is not carefully protected, the problem can become worse and even cause new spots. Between week one and four of treatment, your skin will appear brighter and more uniform.
Food can also be a good ally to lighten your skin. Some foods, such as dark green leafy vegetables and yellow-orange fruits, are high in retinol and should be incorporated into your every-day diet.