The dermatological benefits of vitamin A are well known for their positive impact on acne, pigmentation and anti-ageing / skin rejuvenation (fine lines and wrinkles) as it stimulates cell turnover. At Bodyvie we like to start our patients, when appropriate, on topical cosmeceutical grade retinoids to prepare the skin with a view to using prescription tretinoin for a multitude of conditions such as: acne, melasma, general anti-ageing.
This can be commonly paired with 4% hydroquinone for added efficacy in treating pigmentation issues. Hydroquinone is used in a pulsed treatment regime stopping every few skin cycles to prevent ochronosis. Four percent hydroquinoine is the EU maximum dose that can be used.
Most clinics, including Bodyvie, offer a range of AHA based peels, which include various strengths of salicylic, glycolic and lactic acids (or a combination of both) which are more commonly known to patients. However, using trans retinoic acid 2.5% within a treatment appeals to the existing patient base already using cosmeceutical retinoids or topical tretinoin 0.025 to 0.1%, as the peel becomes a natural extension of the established treatment protocols concerning vitamin A. Patients are already familiar with the side-effects of retinoic acid (redness, dryness, peeling and sensitivity) so are used to handling these which is useful when managing expectations and enforcing aftercare including wearing high factor SPF.
We clean the skin first with a gentle cleanser and have found that the mask is easiest to apply with gloved fingertips. When applying to the patient’s face, start from the centre and work outwards, always avoiding the mucus membranes and the hairline. Although the 10% polyvinyl component of the mask makes it very easy to remove, it will also remove hair if applied over it.
The mask is left on for approximately 20 minutes or until dry, then starting at the edges, gently peel off. The bright colour of the mask is useful in ensuring that none is left behind on the skin that might lead to over-treating.
Patient feedback has been very positive, reporting as expected, a mild exfoliation day two to three and incredibly soft skin the day of treatment. Patients like the lightening effect over the whole face, evening out the skin tone after just one treatment. Cumulatively the benefits are even better, when performed every four weeks, so overall it has been a great addition to the clinic’s treatments.