Skin Guide Retinoids Retinol

Retinoid is a general term that includes what you can buy retail and get through a prescription.
Retinoids are considered the gold standard in anti-aging products. It comes from Vitamin A and works deep in the skin’s dermis to boost collagen and elastin production, which increases the rate at which the skin regenerates. This skin regeneration causes the top layer to slough off, slowly revealing new skin. Vitamin A is produced in your body but declines with age. First used to treat acne, researchers found that it improved the skin’s overall condition in addition to treating acne.

How can you benefit from Retinoids?
Retinoids can help with fine lines, clogged pores, sun damage, acne, skin texture, and hyperpigmentation.

An example of a prescription retinoid is tretinoin, a higher-strength product. Prescription retinoids start working faster than non-prescription strength or over-the-counter products.

Retinol is a retinoid containing a lower amount of retinoic acid. The plus side is that if you have drier or more sensitive skin, you may prefer retinol in your skincare regimen because you will not have as many adverse side effects associated with retinoids, like dry patches, redness, and sensitivity. Retinols are also more easily accessible as they are available over the counter.

How to add a retinoid to your skincare routine?
Starting slowly with retinoids is essential, especially if you are dry or sensitive. The attitude of less is more is the right way to go. Retinoids are almost always best used at night because they make your skin sun sensitive. It’s essential to use good sunscreen even when using retinoids during the winter months. It takes patience to see results from using retinoids, but before you know it, you will start to see changes in your skin, and most people will see those changes around the three-month mark.

Oily skin may have fewer side effects and benefit from the constant sloughing off of dead skin cells, which helps prevent clogged pores from forming.

Dry or sensitive skin should start with a lower percentage and introduce it slowly by using it once or twice a week with days in between to allow your skin to get used to it. After a few weeks with no irritation, you can use it twice a week and slowly increase usage depending on how your skin reacts. Make sure to have a reparative moisturizer to use to counteract any dryness you may experience.

Things to consider:
It’s normal to see irritation when first adding a retinoid into your skin regimen.
If you are using other products with active ingredients, check with your doctor or esthetician to determine if you should discontinue those other products first or how they may fit into your new regimen.
If pregnant, you should wait to use retinoids in your skin care regimen until after giving birth.
Using the right retinoid product the right way can transform your skin!

If you have previously tried retinoids and are too sensitive to use them, I am working on a follow-up blog post to review some alternatives. Look for that later in the month!


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