According to leading us dermatologist Dr Hema Sundaram, Retriderm delivers high-strength retinol without the irritation.

The benefits of retinol are inarguable, and its effects on sun damage, textural inconsistencies, dead skin cell build-up, superficial wrinkling and premature signs of ageing are well-published.

retridermRetriderm, manufactured by Biopelle and distributed in Australia by Dermocosmètica, delivers cosmeceutical-strength retinol, without the irritation associated with typical Vitamin A products. The range includes three strengths, 0.5%, 0.75% and 1.0% retinol.

The high tolerability is possible due to Retriderm’s proprietary formulation of a protein-rich, oil-free, aqueous suspension.

“I’ve been using Retriderm since July 2013,” says US dermatologist Dr Hema Sundaram. “I was intrigued first by the unique technology (which is patented) and the results from the clinical study.

It is highly effective – more so than other retinol products I have used – without the skin irritation often associated with tretinoin.”

Topical treatment of photo damage

Trans retinoic acid (RA), or tretinoin, is the primary topical pharmaceutical used to reduce the clinical manifestations of photoaged skin – including wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, laxity, brown spots and a rough appearance, as well as histological symptoms including disorganised collagen fibrils in the dermis, reduced levels of types
I and III collagen precursors and crosslinks, and high levels of elastin.

Due to the irritation associated with RA, retinol is the ingredient of choice in many cosmeceuticals, as it is metabolised to RA in the skin and leads to similar benefits in improvements in skin quality and rejuvenation. This is achieved with less irritation compared to tretinoin.

According to Dr Sundaram, Retriderm is the best of both worlds. “The range of irritation of various retinol products on the market is really quite wide. Many creams are non-irritating, but not very effective,” she says. “Others have high concentrations of retinol, but the retinol is not bioavailable. Still others are not properly formulated and can cause significant irritation. Because Retriderm’s efficacy approaches that of prescription tretinoin, I compare its irritation profile to the prescription options, not to the over-the-counter alternatives. Also, Retriderm is much less irritating. In fact, in the clinical study, the Mild strength showed no statistical difference from inactive placebo in all measures of irritation and inflammation.”

According to the published clinical paper by Drs Michael Gold, Leon Kircik, Vivian Bucay, Monika Kiripolsky and Julie
Biron, commissioned by Biopelle, the improvements associated with topical retinol therapy may not be all attributed to in-vivo conversion of retinol to RA. Tissue and elimination studies have led authors to conclude that potency is not explained solely by in-vivo conversion of retinol to RA, but rather tissue uptake of retinol.

“Retriderm is a completely unique formulation, that delivers more retinol into the skin,” Dr Sundaram explains. “Retinol is an oil and typically formulated in an oil-in-water emulsion. This limits its bioavailability, as oil is not as easily absorbed into the lower layers of the skin as water is. Retriderm uses a unique delivery system that is an oil-free, aqueous suspension.”

The topical formulation of Retriderm also includes collagen, elastin, and sodium hyaluronate to drive retinol metabolism to RA.

“In addition, Retriderm contains high concentrations of protein – much higher than anything that can be found in a cream – which helps the retinol to convert to the active metabolite. The proteins also have humectant properties to soothe the skin and reduce irritation,” Dr Sundaram adds.

Clinical results with Retriderm

The published clinical paper included an open-label pilot study, conducted at two sites to determine the efficacy of a suspension of retinol for the topical treatment of photodamaged skin.

Subjects with wrinkles of grade three or higher on the Rao-Goldman wrinkle scale, and with an overall photodamage of grade three or higher, applied retinol suspension once per day in the evening and sunscreen in the morning.

At 60 to 80 days, the percentage of improved subjects was 100 percent for overall photodamage, crow’s feet and lack of elasticity; 90 percent for cheek wrinkles and lack of brightness; 80 percent for mottled hyperpigmentation; 70 percent for under-eye and forehead wrinkles; and 40 percent for skin roughness.

“Retriderm is a mainstay of my skincare regimens for patients with photodamage, and I also find it efficacious for acne,” says Dr Sundaram. “I see results equivalent to prescription retinoids such as tretinoin. It is really quite remarkable.”

“In general, patients love the product, and especially love the results. Every skincare program should include a retinoid – regardless of the procedures a patient is having or the other products that are being used. Retriderm is my go-to retinoid,” she concludes. AMP

For enquiries, call George Kypreos on 0413 733 739 or email

Treatment of photodamage using a novel retinol formulation

Gold, M. H. et al (2013)
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology 12 (5), 533-540.

Discussion: This is the first report to demonstrate:

1. The efficacy of 1% retinol in a proprietary formulation designed to improve delivery of retinol to photodamaged skin; and

2. The efficacy and safety of this same formulation at a concentration of 0.5%.

Conclusion: Daily application of this topical 1% retinol formulation [Retriderm] improves photodamaged skin for at least 8 to 12 weeks. Although improvements with the 0.5% retinol were more modest, side effects such as burning, dryness, itching, and redness during the 8-week study period were minimal. These encouraging results justify a longer term study to determine whether 0.5% retinol would provide benefits comparable with those of 1% retinol while reducing side effects.

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