Let’s start off with the basics and define what exactly retinoids are. They consist of vitamin A derivatives which have a bevy of benefits such as unclogging pores, boost collagen, and rapidly recover damaged cells by evening skin tone and smoothing skin. The first retinoid, tretinoin, was put on the market as a prescription to help combat acne 40 years ago. Dermatologists soon discovered that patients on Retin-A (the pharmaceutical brand name of tretinoin) experienced not only acne free complexion but softer, brighter, wrinkle-reduced skin.
Today, there are numerous retinoid-based topical skin creams which can be purchased over the counter, eliminating the need for a visit to your dermatologist. Although, the more potent products still require a doctor’s prescription. A common misconception is that using retinol products will cause your skin to be more vulnerable to the sun’s rays. The actual retinoid itself is sensitive to sunlight, but retinoid shouldn’t make your skin any more susceptible to UV rays than exfoliating your face with a skin scrub. The ideal time to start a retinoid is during times of high humidity such as summer, to avoid drying out your skin.
Along with the pertinent benefits, there are however a few side effects to be aware of before starting any retinoid treatments. They can cause dryness, redness and flaking which is why it is recommended that you make a slow transition into a regimen that includes them. If not under the guidance of your dermatologist, be sure to follow the directions on the product label carefully. Start with every other night to every 2 nights and increase as necessary if you are not impacted by any of the side effects. Though they can be a pricey component to your beauty routine, the use of retinoids have proven to provide the luminous skin many desire, with controllable or little side effect.