Question: When can I re-introduce vitamin A?

Dear Dr Allem, my dermatologist has diagnosed me with Perioral Dermatitis (around my mouth area). He said that my vitamin A moisturiser could be aggravating it and has put me on a skincare regime that comprises very mild products with no anti-ageing benefits, until the problem clears up. I am very vigilant with my anti-ageing routine, and would like to know if you think it would be safe to go back to using vitamin A products when my skin clears up? How long should I wait before re-introducing active ingredients? And also, is it bad to stop using all anti-ageing products in favour of using "plain" skincare products during this time? I am worried about long-term results.

Answer

Thank you for your question. Remember you are not stopping your products indefinitely. It will just be until your skin has recovered. I would suggest that once your Dermatologist gives you the green light, that you SLOWLY introduce your products again. Be very slow with the Vitamin A. Use it once a week for the 1st month, then twice a week for the 2nd month, then 3 times a week for the 3rd month. If it’s a fairly strong Vit A, then there is no need to use it more that three times per week. If you really want to or if it’s  a mild Vitamin A, then you will have to continue with the slow build up until your skin has adjusted. As for your other products, depending on what is in those products and how active they are, you may want to also just slowly introduce these, alternating them with your Vit A so that you don’t have all your actives on at the same time. One thing you need to start using ASAP is your SPF.

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