Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that are converted into the active ingredient, retinoic acid, for use in skincare. A Retinoid is an umbrella term for over-the-counter (OTC) retinol and prescription retinoids, such as Tretinoin. OTC retinol is not biologically available to the body, meaning it has to be converted into retinoid acid (Retin-A) by the skin at the cellular level to be effective. This process causes the concentration of Retin-A to become weaker and increases the time it takes to see results from the product. However, before you go running to grab a prescription for Tretinoin, it is important to note that higher concentrations relate to an increased probability of side effects. While OTC retinol products work more gradually, they tend to have fewer side effects, including redness, irritation, and scaling that are common with prescription retinoic acid. The choice between prescription or OTC retinoids depends on skin type, concerns, and tolerance. Generally, it is common to start with a lower strength retinol and build up usage over time to monitor skin response.
What are the uses of Retinol?
From fighting acne to preventing skin aging, retinol is an essential component of any skin regimen. Because the body cannot synthesize Vitamin A (Retinol), it needs to be supplied to the body. Retinoic acid, which is what retinol is converted into, increases cell turnover, stimulates collagen and elastin production, fades hyperpigmentation, and helps skin stay hydrated and glowing. Moreover, retinoids can play a role in immunity and skin health by reducing inflammation, unclogging pores, decreasing the appearance of wrinkles, and regulating the growth of cells on the skin’s surface. So when it comes to anti-aging, Retinoids are the holy grail for a youthful appearance!
Tips to remember:
- Start gradually! Use once or twice a week at first to see how your skin reacts, and gradually work up to every other day or three times a week.
- Don’t forget to use a moisturizer at night and SPF during the day!
Favorite Retinol/Retinoid Products!
Best for beginners:
- ZO Growth Factor Serum
- Skin Better AlphaRet Overnight Cream
- Revision Skincare® D.E.J Night Face Cream
Best for mature skin:
- Radical Night Repair
- Skin Better Intensive AlphaRet Overnight Cream
- ZO Retinol Skin Brightener