Retinoid describes a vitamin A derivative that helps unclog pores, boost natural collagen production to reduce fine lines, and speed cell turnover to improve skin tone and texture. There are 3 prescription-strength retinoids available: tretinoin (Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Atralin, Avita, Renova), tazarotene (Tazorac, Avage), and adapalene ( Differin). As an over-the-counter alternative, retinol is available. Retinol is gradually converted into retinoic acid (the active ingredient in prescription creams), but is less potent.
Starting a retinoid regimen can be irritating at first, and it’s important to keep your skin well moisturized. Applying the cream at night gives your skin a chance to absorb the product without being exposed to sunlight. For the first 2-4 weeks, ease into the regimen by applying every 3rd night while your skin becomes accustomed to the product. Once the skin biology has adapted, apply every other night or even every night if there is no increase in drying or irritation. As always, apply SPF 30 sunscreen whenever exposed to sun.
Anyone who wants smoother, more even, younger looking skin should be on a retinoid. It will soon become your skin’s best friend.