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March 06, 2020 3 min read
Retinoids have long been considered an anti-aging powerhouse and one of the most effective topical treatments to promote skin renewal, significantly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, fade pigmentation, smooth skin texture, improve skin elasticity, brighten skin tone and boost collagen production.
But with terms like retinoids and retinol often being interchanged, how do you know the difference between them, and, most importantly, how do you choose the right one for you?
Retinoid is an umbrella term for the whole family of vitamin A derivatives, including over-the-counter products containing Retinol and prescription treatments like Retin-A.
Regardless of which type of retinoid you choose, the only type that our skin is able to use is called retinoic acid, the active form of Vitamin A. Retinoic acid binds to the retinoid receptors in our bodies, where it boosts cellular repair and renewal processes. This means that all other forms of retinoids have to be converted into retinoic acid before the skin is able to use it.
Here is our quick guide to Retinoids and how to use them in your routine.
Retinoids get faster results, but can potentially cause more irritation and need a prescription.
Retinol is gentler than retinoid and can be bought over the counter. But it takes longer to reveal results.
Most skin types can tolerate a retinol or retinoid but you have to make sure to choose the right retinol/retinoid product for you. Retinoids are incredibly effective topical skincare ingredients and it’s important to take your skin concern and type into consideration. Speak with a dermatologist or your facial aesthetics expert to help you decide whether prescription retinoids or an over-the-counter retinol is a better option for you.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s recommended to avoid using retinols and retinoids altogether. A small percentage of people are super sensitive and sometimes have a very difficult time tolerating a retinoid.
Whether you use Retinol or prescription retinoids it’s important to carefully incorporate these ingredients into your skincare routine, especially when you’re a first time user.
Once you start using a Retinoid or Retinol product your skin may get worse before it gets better. This period is called Retinisation and ma
y involve peeling, flaking, dryness and redness while your skin adjusting to the product. This is temporary and will settle down, usually after a couple of weeks.
Anything between two and twelve weeks depending on the product and how well your skin responds. Some people may start to see a difference in as little as fourteen days, but don’t give up after the first 2-3 weeks if you don’t see results.
The key is consistent use.