Retinol vs. Retinoids: Does Retinol Reduce Fine Lines and Wrinkles?

Retinol vs. Retinoids: Does Retinol Reduce Fine Lines and Wrinkles?

"Retinoids are ten times more bioavailable than retinol and work on the middle layer of skin (dermis), which helps change the structure and function of skin, resulting in diminished fine lines and wrinkles and improving acne breakouts, acne scars, and discoloration!"

·       Did you know retinoids are prescribed medications, whereas retinol is an over-the-counter product that requires dermatologist approval before use?

·       Did you know retinol helps enhance cell turnover and deliver anti-wrinkle benefits by enhancing collagen production in the dermis?

·       Did you know retinols and retinoids have crucial roles in promoting/ retaining the collagen in the dermis by slowing down the enzymes, called metalloproteinases, that are known to be aggravated by sun exposure?

·       Did you know retinoids are stronger than retinol, improve moderate to severe acne that has not improved with other treatments, and allow other medicated creams and moisturizers/ gel/serums to work better?

First, one must understand the differences between retinoids and retinols based on their effect, potential, and claims. A board-certified dermatologist/ cosmetologist consultant must evaluate your skin concerns to recommend the one that suits you best. Of course, the prescribed topical medications work great if your aging status is primary and you are a candidate for premature aging. However, retinoids are prescribed as they help minimize premature signs of aging, improve skin texture, and maintain collagen and elastin production in the dermis. On the other hand, retinol is an over-the-counter, youth-enhancing active product that can be easily available at drugstores and in the cosmetic market. However, retinoids and retinol are different and must be thoroughly understood to know what they do and why they are used. Retinoids like Retin A and Tazorac are derivatives of vitamin A and prescription medication stronger than retinol. One may find retinol creams in the market with conventional branding claims the anti-wrinkles benefits, but using them without a cosmetologist's prescription is not worth it. Secondly, retinol improves the effect of aging concerns only if it is conjugated with sun-advanced or broad-spectrum sunscreen. Retinols have different strengths and concentrations than active ingredients like retinoids and require a thorough assessment before recommending the specific one, as without having the skin evaluation, using any random retinol can cause more damage than benefits. In addition, one can expect mild irritation, dryness, and sun sensitivity when introducing retinol to their skincare routine. So, the board-certified dermatologist recommends using retinol with the right percentage at the right intervals. One must note that pregnant ladies who are trying to get conceived and breastfeeding women are not allowed to use retinols and retinoids.

Key Points to Be Noted When Using Retinol:

·       Retinols are over-the-counter products, but only prescribed ones should be used to avoid unwanted irritation or side effects.

·       Even though retinol is a youth-enhancing active agent and a mainstay of drugstores, it still manages to mystify and is often misused. Thus, avoid getting suckered by social media ads randomly, even though something is highly promotional.

·       Balance is critical, cautions Bowe. Firstly, start slowly (pea-sized) with two evenings a week, then increase gradually to every night.

·       Wash your face with a mild cleanser and pat it dry. And 15-20 minutes post-cleanser apply retinol.

·       Avoid the application around or under the eyes, as orbital areas are sensitive, delicate, and irritating.

·       Applying moisturizer before retinol is my pro tip for retinol users because retinol can dry. Wearing moisturizer with a hydration effect or a squirt of ceramide-enriched moisturizer before retinol is a good idea. 

·       Always wear prescribed moisturizers containing a lower vitamin A dose, zero fragrance, and loads of soothers.

·       Always use retinol in conjugation with sunscreen, which means apply retinol at night and wear sunscreen every day regardless of whether you are stepping out.

Note: Retinols work on the top layer of the skin, promote skin cell turnover, brighten skin tone, reduce acne, and boost collagen production.

·       Since retinol is a highly active ingredient, skipping your retinol product the day before you exfoliate is recommended. So, suppose you are scheduled for certain in-office treatments, like microneedling, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, or laser. In that case, you are instructed to pause the application of retinol a few days before-and-after treatments to avoid unwanted skin irritation or harsh effects.

·       If your skin is too sensitive and you have concerns like Rosaceae or eczema, it is not recommended to use retinol; instead, you can go for Bakuchiol or wild indigo, which works beautifully without any irritation or sun sensitivity.

·       If someone has acne concerns from the very beginning, they can use retinol in their teens or twenties. But, mid-twenty is the best time to start retinol for those with concerns like early signs of aging, such as sun spots, discoloration, age spots, and acne.

In the context of slowing down the aging process and improving the tone, texture, and collagen and elastin production, retinoids are 10x more bioavailable than retinol. Retinoids are pricey prescription medications only recommended after evaluating skin concerns and type. Retinoid is a "catch-all" term for all vitamin A-based products on the skin. The FDA claims that it can change the structure and functions of the skin, resulting in collagen and elastin production and other skin structures and reducing wrinkles and fine lines. Retinoids have a crucial role in unclogging pores, allowing other medicated creams, moisturizers/ serums, or gels to work better, reducing acne outbreaks and scars, and treating oil production, bacteria that cause acne, and inflammation.

Retinols can be the best measure against fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, dark spots, and other early signs of aging. Still, it does not work on static aging, such as laugh lines, nasolabial folds, saggy skin, and lines at the corners of the mouth, across the cheeks, and along the neck. To address the concerns of static signs of aging, various surgical and non-surgical options are available at Dr. Karishma Aesthetics; you can schedule an in-person consultation and know your best option.

Call us at 9108969006/ 7624809006 and schedule your one-on-one consultation today. For more information on skin aging, please visit our website page, Dr. Karishma Aesthetics

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