Will retinol help sagging skin?

Hi Dr. Irwin, I am 71 years old and I used retinol a for about 10 years but I quit using it, my skin is still in pretty good shape but it is beginning to sag can retinol help the sagging?

Sadly, the answer is no. Retinol and Vit A cousin creams (Retin A, Renova, tretinoin, etc.) are still the gold standard for repair of the sun damaged skin and will help prevent and reduce brown spots, uneven texture, improve the “glow” of skin by normalizing sun damaged cells and increasing superficial collagen production. They also help to prevent skin cancers and precancerous spots. Learn more about anti-aging and wrinkles creams.


They don’t help much with sagging though. Although sagging is caused partly by sun damage, it’s the loss of volume in our faces from shrinking fat pads, bone, and the deeper layers of skin (dermis) that affects sagging the most.


The best way to correct sagging nonsurgically is to replace volume as much as is aesthetically please with fillers and also tighten the outer envelope (your skin) with CO2 laser (better for older patients) or radiofrequency like Exilis or Thermage (better for younger patients) at the same time.


Hope this helps, Dr. I


Read Dr. Irwin’s article on the best anti aging cream.


Learn more about Color and Texture Issues.

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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