Topical skin care and its place in plastic surgery today are often overlooked by clinicians formulating a plan for facial rejuvenation. Not only is it important to consider topical skin care as part of comprehensive care, but clinicians should also be educated with the data available in today's literature. This review aims to familiarize the reader with the biological processes of skin aging and evidence-based clinical outcomes afforded by various topical therapies. Furthermore, this review will focus on solar damage, the value of retinoids, and how they can be used in conjunction with forms of treatment such as chemical peel, dermabrasion, and lasers. Finally, guidelines will be provided to help the physician administer appropriate skin care based on the data presented.
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