Do Vitamin C and Retin A thicken skin "in vivo" and how long does it take?

I was told by a skin care producer that my thinning skin needs Vitamin C and Retin A because they're the only products shown by research to actually thicken skin AND cure wrinkles on real, live humans. Is this true? Is there really a body of research on humans showing this? If LONG before I'll see results?

Doctor Answers 1

The Thickening of Aging Thin Skin

Prolonged use of Retin A and certain formulations of Vit. C which penetrate the dermis do result in thickening of the skin. The operative word is penetrate. Most cosmetic preparations do not penetrate the dermis and a mere topical application which does not get into the skin will not work. 
Using the right products the effect can become visible in as little as 6-8 weeks in some while in others it takes a little longer. 
By the way the science behind this concept is 20-30 years old. 

Peter Aldea MD
Memphis, TN

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

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