Vichy research shows OTC retinol cream as effective as prescription products for photo-ageing


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LR 2412® − 2011
LR 2412® − 2011

Related tags Effectiveness Skin

As the quest for youth and beauty become increasingly important  and improving the visible signs of ageing become the focus for many cosmetics, L’Oreal’s Active Cosmetics Division has found an over-the-counter solution claimed to be as effective as prescription products, and safer.

Retinol, the ingredient we often find in a number of skin care products these days, can be as effective as tretinoin, the ingredient considered the gold standard when it comes to treating ageing skin, without the side effects, says L’Oréal-owned Vichy Laboratories, which published its work in the Journal of Cosmetics Dermatology​.

Working with scientists in Brazil, the research team found that topically applying Retinol 0.2%/LR2412 2% (an active developed by L’Oreal Research in 2011) produces results no different to the ones of the prescription product tretinoin.

OTC solution

This offers an over-the-counter solution to problems associated with photo-ageing and the researchers claim that the Retinol 0.2%/LR2412 2% cream is better tolerated and much better perceived by women used to rejuvenation procedures.

Tretinoin has been used in dermatology for over 50 years for the treatment of photo-aged skin; however, its use is also associated with a certain number of adverse effects such as pruritus, burning sensation, erythema, and desquamation, currently known as ‘retinoid reaction’.

In contrast, the irritancy potential of classical retinoid therapies such as cosmetics and anti-wrinkle products are generally well tolerated by the skin and are pleasant to use, but with so few comparative studies done on them they are often presumed to be less effective than prescription therapies.

Comparative study

Therefore the team from Vichy Labs, Fluminense Federal University, and Allergisa Pesquisa Dermato-Cosmetica set out to compare the efficacy, tolerance, and perception of a fixed proprietary combination (Retinol 0.2%/LR2412 2%) vs. tretinoin 0.025% cream in women with photoaged skin.

 “The treatment outcome of Retinol 0.2%/LR2412 2% cream does not differ from the one of tretinoin 0.025% cream,”​ say the researchers.

“Clinical results were not statistically different. Furthermore, Retinol 0.2%/LR2412 2% cream is better tolerated and better perceived by women used to rejuvenation procedures.”

The test was a randomized, parallel, double-blind, controlled clinical study carried out over 3 months, which saw 120 women apply an SPF 50 sunscreen to their face in the morning and in the evening either the association of Retinol 0.2%/LR2412 2% or tretinoin 0.025%.

Clinical and instrumental parameters were assessed at days 0, 28, 56, and 84. Subject perception of the efficacy, tolerance and cosmeticity of the tested products were assessed at days 28, 56, and 84.

The results showed that both products improved wrinkles considerably, mottled pigmentation, pores, and global photo-damage.

There were no significant differences noted between the two cream formulations and adverse effects were mostly graded mild, with the Retinol 0.2%/LR2412 2% cream better tolerated.

At all visits, subject perception of the association of Retinol 0.2%/LR2412 2% was either comparable to or better than tretinoin 0.025% cream.

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