Is Your Retinoid Cream Potent Enough? How to Find Out
What Is Potency?Potency, when referring to the pharmaceutical field, is the measurement of drug activity in terms of how much activity is required to produce an effect of a given intensity. High potency drugs produce responses at low concentrations, whereas low potency drugs produce the same response at a much higher concentration. The potency of a medicine, cream, or product depends on affinity and efficacy.
Potency, Affinity, and Efficacy
The affinity and efficacy of a drug are both measurable factors. Affinity refers to how tightly, or loosely, a drug binds to its corresponding receptors. Efficacy is the measurement that determines the maximum effect a particular drug can produce based on its affinity to receptors.
Affinity and efficacy are not a one to one measurement. Meaning, something can have high affinity but low efficacy. A drug can be extremely potent and require a small amount to activate the desired effect, but also have a low efficacy and have a lesser overall effect once taken.
What Is Retinoid Cream Used For?
Retinoids are a class of chemical compounds including vitamin A and substances chemically similar to it. They have a wide range of functionality including active roles in vision, tumor suppression and cell growth. Insufficient amounts can result in immune deficiencies and compromise health at the cellular level. Retinoids were discovered in the 1940s, and were originally used as a high dosage oral treatment for hyperkeratotic skin diseases. This was abandoned over time due to the high risk of toxicity. The evolution of treatments using retinoids has come a long way and use of them in treatments has picked up speed again. Retinoids, commonly as a cream, were first approved to treat acne in 1971. This has since been one of the most common uses of retinoids. Retinoids tend to be known as the holy grail of skin treatments, but they do not solve everything. Not to say that it does not have several uses with proven results, with acne being one of them.
If you suffer from stubborn acne, using a retinoid cream may help eliminate some of the breakouts. Retinoid cream acts as an unclogging agent to your pores and allows other creams and gels to work more efficiently. Try to limit your usage in your early treatments to allow your skin to become accustomed to the medicine. Other uses for retinoid creams are for the treatment of warts, wrinkles, psoriasis, bags under your eyes, and much more.
Why Potency Matters in Retinoid Creams
Retinoids still contain some toxicity and should be used in moderation. With that, if you are a beginner when it comes to retinoids and start off with something too potent, your side effects may be more extreme and cause you to have an unpleasant, counterproductive experience.
It is best to ease into using retinoids so that your skin does not negatively react to it. Having the appropriate potency in your treatments can ensure you have a good experience. If used correctly, and giving close attention to your skin, your retinoid will be fast and effective.
How to Make Sure Your Retinoid Cream Is Potent Enough
Retinoids come in a variety of strengths to treat different skin types and skin conditions. Making sure your retinoid is the right potency can be a huge factor in its effectiveness, and your overall skin health.
The nice thing about retinoids is that you do not need a lot in order to see results. For most people, less is more. Retinoids at a very low concentration, some as low as 0.01%, are effective in reducing pore appearance and improving skin health. Pairing a low strength retinoid with other antioxidants can maximize your results and protection while limiting the risks of irritation. Moderate strength retinoids usually contain a concentration of around 0.1% to 0.3%. If your doctor has prescribed this strength for you, use as instructed. Otherwise, try to use this strength a couple of times per week to see how your skin reacts. You may increase the usage if you still show signs of aging, acne, or other conditions as long as your skin remains cooperative to the potency.
Maximum strength retinoids exist at concentration levels ranging from 0.5% to 1%. Use these products if your skin conditions are more advanced than the common break out. You should pay extremely close attention to your skin during usage and limit the application to one or two times per week, unless told differently. If your skin begins to show signs of irritation, reduce the frequency you are using it. It should also be noted that if you are pregnant, avoid retinoids all together.
Retinoids can be an extremely effective solution to your acne and other skin conditions. There is a wide range of concentration and they offer a variety of potency combinations. Choosing the right one is very important so that you can reap all the fast-acting benefits while avoiding any irritation.