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Retinoids In Skincare Routine: Things You Need To Know

There are several skincare items, ranging from retinol to bakuchiol oil. And one such skincare item you need to be aware of is - retinoids!

What Are Retinoids?

Retinoids are compounds that derive from vitamin A. It means that they possess similar structural or functional characteristics to vitamin A. There are many types and forms of retinoids, including retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters [1].

The positive effects of retinoids on the skin and its appearance make them a common active ingredient in dermatological medications and cosmetics.

Note: Consult with your dermatologist before you try a retinoid for your skin.

Types of Retinoids

There are seven main types of retinoids, in order of weakest to strongest, since these are chemical compounds, so the higher up the chemical chain you go, the stronger they become.

Different types of retinoids include retinyl palmitate, retinol, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene, and the newly approved trifarotene [2][3].

There are many different types of retinoids, and the concentration of each differs between over-the-counter (OTC) products and those that can be prescribed only by a dermatologist.

Retinoids are available in two forms: topical and oral.

Benefits of Retinoids

The effects of retinoids include the increase in cell turnover, the reduction of comedone formation due to the reduction of keratin and debris obstructing pores, as well as the enhancement of collagen production and the reduction of skin discolouration.

There are multiple benefits of retinoids, including increasing cellular turnover, collagen production, and elastin production, which results in fewer wrinkles and fine lines. The weaker types of retinoids are particularly beneficial for collagen boosting, fine lines, rejuvenation, and anti-ageing [4][5].

Acne bouts can be prevented by retinoids due to their keratolytic properties, as well as the reduction of dark spots caused by active acne breakouts.

How To Use Retinoids

Retinyl palmitate: You can use this product as your first introduction to this ingredient if you are new to it. Retinyl esters, such as retinyl palmitate, convert to retinal (or retinaldehyde), which then converts to retinol, which further converts into all trans-retinoic acid (tretinoin). Retinoids that require more steps of conversion to tretinoin to work on your skin are considered weaker.

Retinol: The two-step conversion process of retinoid to active retinoic acid is the most common form of the formula in traditional skincare products since it can be applied as a foam, cream, gel, or serum. It has a higher level of instability than some stronger iterations - so the delivery system plays a crucial role - however, it has been extensively studied.

Retinaldehyde: The oxidised form of retinol known as retinaldehyde is directly converted to active retinoic acid, improving cell turnover.

Adapalene: You can use this synthetic version of vitamin A to treat keratosis pilaris and mild acne. It is readily available and easily absorbed.

Retinoic acid: A potent active form of retinoids, found mostly in Accutane or tretinoin, it begins working immediately on the skin. Since it doesn't need to be converted, it has the most therapeutic uses, but it can also cause retinisation and dryness. This is used for acne that is active.

Tazarotene/trifarotene: A synthetic form of vitamin A that binds to specific skin retinoid receptors. Although powerful, it can irritate the skin. As a result of the receptors it binds to, it may not be effective in treating acne.

Story first published: Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 21:02 [IST]
Read more about: skincare skincare tips retinoids
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