Understanding Retinol and Retinoids


Retinoids are one of the commonly-found ingredients in beauty products that claim to battle aging.  Technically Retinoids are a class of chemical compounds related to Vitamin A. Retinol and Retinoic acid are both types of retinoids.  Retinoids require a prescription whereas retinols are generally sold over the counter. Retinols convert to retinoic acid within our bodies but this process is slower.  Retinoids such as Isotretinoin also available in oral forms such as Accutane for the treatment of severe acne.  Manufacturers often include retinols  in over the counter beauty treatments because of the benefits it claims to deliver. What should you know about this popular beauty ingredient?

For our purposes we will refer to these ingredients as Retinoids. Initially, these ingredients were developed to treat resistant Acne. It was later discovered that Retinoids also assist in combating premature signs of aging particularly wrinkles. Many also rely on these ingredients to improve the elasticity of the skin because retinoids claim to boost the production of elastin and collagen. Retinoids suggest they work within to repair past damage and rejuvenate skin texture, tone and elasticity while also reducing the appearance of sun spots, blemishes and pigment problems. Instead of working on the skin’s outside layers alone, its action involves an antioxidant component which combats free radicals. Here at The Skin Specialist, we repeatedly emphasize that free radicals are one of the leading causes of aging and cellular injury.

Are retinoids safe?

Some users blame retinoids for making their skin appear dull, flakey or reddened. This controversial ingredient is also claimed to be toxic. Retinoids are regarded primarily for its ability to remove dead cells. As a result of this exfoliating property, the skin becomes more vulnerable to light and other factors.  Controversy surrounds this ingredient because continuous using of retinoid-filled products thin the skin making you more vulnerable to sun damage, which can contribute to skin cancer.  Dermatologists recommend the usage of prescription products with retinoids at night to make the most of its therapeutic properties while avoiding sun exposure.  To minimize sensitivity we often suggest that you initially apply your retinoid enhanced cream or serum over a thin layer of moisturizer until your skin becomes acclimated.  You should select a hydrating restorative serum that repairs skin damage while you’re snoozing.

If you’re pregnant or currently breastfeeding, retinoids should be avoided.  If you suffer from hormonal acne throughout your pregnancy you will want to seek your medical professionals advice.

Do over the counter retinols deliver?

Skincare counters are filled with products that claim to harness the power of retinol which comes in many forms. Despite studies that support retinols efficacy, not all dosages will work for all folks. Depending on the concentration of the ingredient, in some cases, the skin might end up irritated or flakey. As we all have varied skin types and imperfections we seek to improve, it will always be a best to seek expert advice.  This is to ensure that your skin will not react harshly from sensitizing ingredients.  If you should opt to try a retinol filled product make sure to select one that combines botanical nutrients to combat any irritation.

Retinol and retinoids definitely hold a notable role in the anti-aging industry and if used accordingly, may provide noticeable results, but are the possible side effects worth it?  You can also select newer cutting-edge botanical products which may offer similar results via natural forms of vitamins and see what works for you!

tags: ant aging   retinol   skin-rejuvenation   truth in aging  

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