(Jacob Rumans) #1



Retinol isn’t new. “We
have 30 years of
data demonstrating
that it works for acne,
sun damage, and aging
skin,” Dr. Hale says. But
retinol formulations
have undergone an
astounding transforma-
tion, turning what was
intolerable for some into
an ingredient suited for all
skin types. “The biggest
downside to retinol is
that it can be very irritat-
ing,” says dermatologist
Melissa Kanchanapoomi
Levin, M.D. So brands
have developed alloys
packed with hydrators
like hyaluronic acid and
glycerin to counteract the
drying effects. Dr. Hale’s
favorite: Skinbetter
Science AlphaRet
Overnight Cream ($125,
skinbetter.com), which
causes little to no irrita-
tion to the skin and con-
tains alpha hydroxy acids
to bolster results. “It’s the
best over-the-counter
retinol product,” she
says. There are exciting
prescription-level options
too. “The FDA recently
approved Aklief, which
contains a new retinoid
molecule, called trifaro-
tene, that’s more gentle
on the skin with fewer
side effects,” Dr. Kan-
Levin says.
Dr. Hale also likes
Altreno, a pre-
scription tre tin-
oin that fights
adult acne while




When our panelists were
asked which innova-
tion showed the best
results, scalp injections of
platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
for hair growth was at the
top of many lists. “You
get significant benefits
with very little downside,”
Dr. Schultz says. First, your
blood is drawn and spun
in a centrifuge to sepa-
rate the PRP, which is then
injected all over your scalp.
“Using your blood’s growth
factors to stimulate colla-
gen and follicles lets your
own body work its magic,”
says dermatologist
Mona Gohara, M.D.
Another new option
is a laser called Lutronic
KeraLase ($750 to
$1,000 per treatment),
which is paired with a syn-
thetic growth factor serum.
The device stamps across
your scalp, stimulating
the area and creating tiny
channels in the follicles,
where the serum is then
applied. “It delivers active
ingredients where they’re
needed,” says dermatol-
ogist Jeanine Downie, M.D.
“The serum can contain
even more growth factors
than a person’s own PRP,
plus stem cells to help hair
growth,” she says. Nutrafol
for Women ($88 for
1 month, nutrafol.com),
a supplement brand for
hair loss, also garnered
multiple mentions from our
panel. “I’ve seen prom-
ising results,
especially in
with the above
Dr. Downie says.



Cysteamine is a break-
through new ingredient
that fades dark spots.
“It is an antioxidant that
our body produces nat-
urally and helps limit the
production of melanin,
which is the pigment in
our skin,” Dr. Downie says.
“It’s safe and effective
to use all over the body,
including the lips and
underarms.” You can find
it in Cyspera Intensive
Pigment Corrector
($169, us.cyspera.com),
a cream that you apply
like a rinse-off mask.
Cysteamine is a potent
active ingredient and
may cause irritation if it
sits on clean skin for too
long, Dr. Downie says.
So apply it at the end of
the day, before you wash
your face. Leave it on
for 15 minutes (it may tin-
gle, and it has a distinc-
tive odor), then wash it off
with cleanser and
apply your serum
or moisturizer.
With nightly use,
you can expect
to see brown
patches and
spots fade in one
to three months.



Smart in-office techniques
and new topical formulas
are now able to deliver
skin-improving ingredi-
ents precisely where you
need them and in record
speed. Microneedling, one
such treatment, uses tiny
medical-grade needles
to stamp very small open-
ings into the skin to stim-
ulate a wound-healing
response. “We then apply
ingredients that are
approved for or shown to
be safe for use by injec-
tion,” Dr. Schultz says. “It’s
a fabulous way to get
increased penetration
and therefore efficacy.”
The Infini RF Microneedling
device (average price
is $1,600 per treatment)
also includes radio fre-
quency waves to help
stimulate collagen. Your
at-home skin care can
zone in where it’s needed
most as well. Dr. Jart+
Teatreement Moisturizer
($32, sephora.com)
contains an
salicylic acid that
breaks open only
when it touches
skin, which has
a different pH
from clear areas.

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