Who doesn’t want clear skin?? There are tons and tons of various ingredients in the skincare products we use. I’m sure you would love to find that one product that can address all your skin concerns in one bottle. YUP, that’s right, ONE BOTTLE!!!! If I had to choose one type of product that treats many skin issues such as acne, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines/wrinkles, then it would have to be products that contain RETINOIDS. Vitamin A or Retinol is an ingredient used in many skin care products as it supports the overall health of the skin. According to healthfully.com, “Retinoic acid, also called tretinoin, is a prescription topical medication used in the treatment of acne, as well as razor bumps and sun-related skin damage.” Vitamin A not only helps increase cell turnover rate, but it also treats Keratosis Pilaris, which is an excess buildup of keratin (a protein in the body that protects the skin). Retinol, retinoic acid, and Retin-A are all examples of retinoids, nonetheless, each of them contains different concentration levels of retinoic acid. Retin A contains stronger concentrations of retinoic acid than retinol. Therefore, the only way to access Retin-A is through prescription order only from your physician or dermatologist. Retin-A is an excellent topical for those suffering from moderate to severe acne. Retinol on the other hand is found in many over the counter acne medications that are used to treat mild acne or even anti-aging creams.
When it comes to over the counter retinols, not all products are created equal. Many over the counter brands such as Olay, Neutrogena, and CosMedix.carry retinol products. Avène Retrinal 0.1 Intensive Cream is one of my top picks for an over the counter retinol cream that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines/wrinkles and to brighten the skin. It also consists of vitamin E which is an antioxidant that is crucial to protect the skin from free radical damage. Combining retinol with Vitamin E can result in clearer and glowing skin.
If there’s one thing I want you to take from this article, it is the fact that Retinol can be the single best ingredient in skincare. Beyond that, it’s one of the best ways to treat dark marks and superficial acne scars, soften fine lines, smooth texture, and reverse sun damage. A word of caution: retinol-based products can make you more sensitive to the sun. So remember to cleanse and use SPF in the morning, and save your retinol for the night. Always apply sunscreen with SPF of 30+ and avoid exposure during peak hours.
Prescription retinoids contain stronger concentrations of retinol. Retinoid cream/gel topical is prescribed by your dermatologist or doctor. Retinoids do an amazing job of unclogging your pores and removing dead skin cells. You may experience certain side effects such as stinging, burning, itching or redness in the beginning of your treatment as your skin adjusts to the retinoid. In my experience, adjusting the frequency of use to every few days helped minimize these side effects. It typically takes 6-8 weeks to start seeing results from a retinoid, so don’t give up too soon. Prescription retinoids come in different strengths, therefore, be sure to consult with your doctor to determine the appropriate concentration for your skin condition.
Prescription retinoids are divided into three categories:
A.. Tretinoin, which includes brands Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, and Renova.
B. Tazarotene, such as the brand Tazorac.
C. Adapalene, such as the brand Differin.
I am an esthetician, not a dermatologist. All information is based on personal experience and knowledge I have obtained through research. Please consult a dermatologist before you try any product with retinoids. Consult with your doctor if you experience any unusual side effect.
Have tried a retinoid before? If so, what kind of experience did you have? I’d love to hear your comments below!