FB Skip to main content

How to Properly Use Retinoids

By May 3, 2021May 2nd, 2023Skin Care, Skin Care Products

Beauty enthusiasts and licensed dermatologists all over the world have long praised the potential benefits of retinoids: increased collagen production, improved skin texture, and the reduced appearance of dark spots. While some may venture as far as calling this the holy grail of skincare products, retinoid use certainly does not come risk-free. Learn how to properly incorporate vitamin-A derivatives into your regimen.

Are Retinoids and Retinol the Same Thing?

Retinol is a retinoid derivative of vitamin A and is naturally produced by our bodies to encourage cell turnover and initiate collagen production. In addition to helping to minimize wrinkles and improve overall skin texture, retinol can also be effective in treating acne and clogged pores, as it reduces the stickiness of pore-clogging cells with its skin drying properties.

Weaker concentrations of retinol, such as retinaldehyde and retinyl palmitate, are more likely to be found in over-the-counter (OTC) skincare products. Most retinoids can be found in serums, face creams, and gels for topical application, but certain medications like Skin Accumax are taken orally and have also proven to be effective in targeting deeper acne lesions, such as cysts and nodules.

When Should I Begin Using Retinoids?

Most dermatologists and skin experts recommend incorporating retinol into your skincare regimen any time from your late 20s to early 30s. This is generally the age when collagen levels in the skin begin to decrease more rapidly, and retinoids can be effective in combatting these changes. However, dermatologists may also recommend retinoids for teens and young adults struggling with frequent breakouts and hormonal acne.

How Do I Properly Use Retinoids?

If you happen to suffer from skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis, it’s advisable to avoid products containing retinol, as it may irritate sensitive skin. Retinoids have been known to cause inflammation, dryness, and increased sensitivity in individuals with already-delicate skin. It’s best to introduce retinoids slowly or mixed with your moisturizer to avoid serious skin irritation. You can build your use over time as you survey your skin’s reaction to the ingredient.

In addition, you should reserve retinoid application for your nighttime routine. These products increase your skin’s sensitivity to sun exposure, which can increase irritation because of its drying effect. As retinoids increase cell turnover, they cause the skin to become temporarily thinner and more fragile. A broad-spectrum sunscreen above 30 SPF should be used daily and reapplied throughout the day while you use products with retinoids.

With much power comes much responsibility, and that couldn’t be truer in the case of retinol. The board-certified dermatologists at The Dermatology Clinic can help you determine how retinoids can help you achieve healthier skin and provide a professional recommendation for making changes to your regimen. Schedule an appointment today at either of our offices in the Baton Rouge area for a skin consultation.