The Ultimate Guide to Retinol and Retinoids: This Miracle Skincare Product Will Be Your New Secret To Flawless Skin
By Cassidy Thompson
Ever since hitting the market, retinol, or more specifically, retinoids, have proven themselves as miracle workers on our skin - for all ages. Integrating a quality topical retinoid into your skincare routine is essential for making sure you enjoy picture-perfect skin.
Consider this post your all-around guide to retinoids and retinol. We break down retinoids vs. retinol, when you should be adding retinoid products to your skincare routine, how retinoids work on your skin to achieve these amazing results, and the benefits you should expect from the product.
Where Do Retinoids Come From?
Retinoids were first approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration in 1971. At this time, they were used to treat stubborn acne cases. Yet, as retinoid products were used more and more, they became well known for their anti-aging effects.
Since their introduction, retinoids have gained immense popularity. Today, retinoid and retinol products are known as a “cure-all” since they successfully treat a variety of skin conditions. Most commonly, retinoids and retinol are used to treat acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and even psoriasis.
Both retinoids and retinol are derived from vitamin A, “they are the most well researched skincare ingredients on the market. Both help with antiaging, collagen synthesis, cell turnover, and skin lightening. They are also good for combating acne.” says Rebecca Raoof NP, Co-Founder of RAOOF MD.
Retinoids vs. Retinol
While both retinoids and retinols are derived from vitamin A, there is a slight difference between the two. You are more likely to find retinoids, the faster acting ingredient, in medical grade skincare products, including those that you source from a professional skin care provider. Retinol, on the other hand, is typically available over-the-counter in lower concentration, though it isn’t uncommon to find it in medical grade products in higher concentrations.
If you are looking for dramatic, fast acting results that are formulated by dermatologists, we recommend our Retinol 10X Serum. This best selling serum contains .25% Retinol, far more than the average .1% that is found in most retail skincare brands. available over the counter. For even more powerful results, you might want to consider RAOOF MD’s Tretinol 0.5%, one of the strongest anti-aging products available on the market. The Tretinol 0.5%'s exclusive formula works to stimulate cellular regeneration and collagen and elastin production, improving skin grain and tone, and helps to normalize the physiology of the skin.
How Do Retinoids and Retinol Work?
Our bodies harness the retinoids derived from vitamin A, and use it to help our cells regenerate. With the retinoids, our cells are able to utilize the vitamin A it is derived from to promote cell turnover. This healthy cell growth helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while also fading hyperpigmentation.
On top of helping our cells to regenerate, retinoids also contain comedolytic, or anti-acne, properties. Retinoids work wonders by unclogging blocked pores, helping to treat even the most stubborn acne while also preventing new breakouts.
Retinoic acid, which is in retinoids, promotes cell growth and blocks our body’s own production of collagenase, a natural enzyme in our body that breaks down collagen. The more collagen that we have in our skin, the more plump, youthful, and voluminous our skin is. Retinoids also help our skin recover from any wrinkles that have already formed while also lightening the skin and evening any hyperpigmentation. The result of regular retinoid use is vibrant, glowing skin for years to come.
What’s Medical-Grade Skincare?
Medical-grade skincare is growing in popularity, especially among celebrities. But, what exactly is “medical-grade” skincare?
Medical-grade skincare is deemed “medical-grade” due to a higher concentration, and potency, of active ingredients, such as retinoids. When it comes to retinoids and retinols, retinoids are considered a medical-grade active ingredient, due to their higher potency. Retinol is generally over-the-counter, but when added to a medical-grade product, expect to see a much higher concentration than retail - as shown in our Retinol 10x Serum.
Is Medical-Grade Skincare “Worth It?”
Medical-grade skincare is clinically proven to be much more effective when compared to its over-the-counter competitors. In medical-grade skincare, you have a higher concentration of active ingredients that result in more dramatic results within a faster time frame, as well as other natural ingredients that help your skin respond to the active ingredient that is not found in over-the-counter variations of the same active ingredient.
Clinical studies have shown that medical-grade skincare will provide you with faster, more dramatic results. For a long time, obtaining medical-grade skincare required visiting a dermatologist. Now, we are able to purchase safe, medical-grade skincare products through trusted sources from the comfort of our homes.
One of the most popular retinol products are anti-aging eye creams. By lessening the fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes, your entire face is able to appear more youthful and vibrant. To firm, tighten, and brighten this area of your skin, we recommend our dermatologist formulated, Advanced Correction Eye Cream with Retinol. This rich and restorative, all-in-one anti-aging eye cream contains peptide complexes and a breakthrough retinoid, to reduce dark circles, wrinkles, and fine lines.
If you are looking for a fast, dramatic treatment for a specific skin condition, purchasing a medical-grade skincare product is optimal for giving your skin the best results in the shortest amount of time.
Best Practices for Your Retinoid Use
As a general rule, you will want to use your topical retinoid at night, since retinol is deactivated by sunlight. Some regular retinoid users experience sun sensitivity, as well. To help mitigate this, make sure to apply your daily SPF in the morning.
When you first begin using a retinoid product, your skin may react with dryness and peeling. Don’t panic! This is a normal reaction. To help your skin adjust, start by using a pea size amount only two to three times a week, slowly increasing to every other day, and eventually every night, if tolerated. Starting slow and building up will help you use your retinol consistently and without skin irritation.
If your skin seems to be significantly irritated with the introduction of retinol, you may need to increase how much moisturizer you apply and/or use it every other night. The key to getting the most out of your retinol product is making sure you're using it consistently, that your skin is hydrated, and isn’t being irritated by the retinol.
The Bottom Line
Contrary to its original intention, retinoids are used for much more than just treating acne. A medical-grade topical retinoid is a secret weapon when it comes to even, flawless skin.
Looking for the best way to integrate a retinoid product into your skincare routine? Try our Retinol 10X Serum, containing .25% retinol, Vitamin C, and Coenzyme Q10. This fast acting and best selling serum is suitable for all skin types, making sure that you will quickly see its benefits.
Are you ready to try retinol, but only want to target fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes? This is a great place to start! We recommend our Advanced Correction Eye Cream with Retinol, which is specially formulated to increase cell turnover for healthy, younger looking skin in this delicate area.