In each edition, Modern Aesthetics® asks top aesthetic physicians what cosmeceuticals they are loving today. This month, co-chief editor Heidi A. Waldorf, MD, Director, Laser & Cosmetic Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, talks about the latest from NeoStrata – their SKIN ACTIVE Retinol + NAG Complex, released in March 2016.

What is NeoStrata's SKIN ACTIVE Retinol + NAG Complex?

It's a new lightweight, anti-aging serum containing retinol in a specially designed airless pump. With its proprietary formulation, NeoStrata's SKIN ACTIVE Retinol + NAG Complex addresses multiple signs of skin aging including wrinkles, uneven tone, pore size, plus acne in a base appropriate for all skin types. This potent anti-ager contains both 0.5% pure, stabilized Retinol and a patented NeoGlucosamine® (NAG). Because NAG helps build natural collagen and its surrounding support matrix, it intensifies the action of retinol to improve not only skin texture and color, but also to make it appear plumper and firmer. The ingredients act synergistically to pack a one-two punch.

How important is it to include a Retinol in an anti-aging regimen and what were some of the obstacles to its use in the past?

Sunscreen aside, retinoids are the category of ingredient with the most scientific evidence for prevention and correction of the signs of aging skin. The difficulty has been that for many of my patients, any retinoid—prescription or over-the counter—caused significant irritation. They couldn't use it frequently enough to see results. Not anymore.

NeoStrata created a time-released microencapsulated delivery system that maximizes retinol stability while enhancing tolerability making it appropriate even for patients with more sensitive skin. That's gain without pain.

How well does it work?

The studies were impressive. And in ‘real life' use, patients are more compliant with regular use of the product and therefore more likely to reap its benefits.

How do patients use this product?

As with any retinoid, I suggest patients start by applying the serum lightly to clean skin in the evening, once or twice weekly, then increase frequency to every other night or every night as tolerated. It can be used alone or layered under a moisturizer such as NeoStrata Skin Active Dermal Replenishment or Ultra Moisturizing Face Cream. It's a really nice complement to other products in the Neostrata line as well as products from other lines patients may already be using.