Every time we turn on the TV, we are bombarded with advertisements for skincare products, many of which contain chemicals and vitamins that we’ve never even heard of. When we hear a list of complicated ingredients, we may be confused as to what the product does, or if it’s even good for us.
One of these skincare treatments whose ingredients have people scratching their heads is retinol.
What is Retinol?
Retinol is a type of retinoid that is made from vitamin A. It is used as a skincare product because it exfoliates the skin to improve it’s texture. Retinol also enters into deeper layers of the skin than other skincare products to encourage the creation of elastin and collagen. These two proteins help plump up the skin, decreasing the wrinkles and lines on your face, giving you an overall smoother look.
Retinol works to improve the natural features of your skin instead of only removing dead skin cells as many other anti-aging and acne products do. Retinol skincare products can be found in many different forms, including serums, creams, and lotions.
Retinol is primarily used to treat:
- Fine Lines
- Sun Spots
- Other Signs of Sun Damage
- Unevened or Textured Skin
Because it works deep in the layers of your skin for longer lasting results, retinol products have boomed in popularity, proving the power of vitamin A and that retinol products are here to stay.
But retinol is only one type of retinoid.
What are Retinoids?
Retinoids are chemical compounds that are vitamers of vitamin A, or are chemically related to vitamin A. Retinoids are typically used in medicine because they can regulate new cell growth.
The difference between retinol and retinoids is that retinol is a specific type of retinoid. Retinol is also weaker than retinoids, so products with retinol will produce results more slowly. However, because it is much stronger, many products with retinoids require a prescription from a dermatologist in order to purchase them, whereas most retinol products can be purchased over-the-counter.
A visit to your dermatologist for a skin exam is the best way to determine your specific needs and whether you should use retinol or retinoid skin care products.