Did you know that retinoids are one of the hero ingredients when it comes to skincare? They are derivatives of Vitamin A which explains the anti-ageing effects and ability to address various skin concerns such as uneven skin tone and texture resulting in glowing and youthful skin.
Have you heard of the terms retinol and retin-A? They are forms of retinoids. While the two of them are related, each have big differences. What are they exactly and how can we benefit from them? Let’s unravel the differences between them and discover their amazing benefits, a great start for newbies who would like to venture into the world of naturally sourced retinoids.
WHAT ARE RETINOIDS AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT OUR SKIN?
Retinoid is a term that is used to describe a group of vitamin A compounds including retinol and retin-A. Just like “curry puff” and “onde-onde” are forms of “kuih”, retinol and retin-A are forms of retinoids. Naturally, our body makes retinoids in the form of retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is an active ingredient that does its job in speeding up skin cell turnover which makes way for new cell growth and because of this, it helps:
- Lighten hyperpigmentation
- Lighten appearance of scars
- Further improve skin tone and texture
Reduce fine lines and wrinkles
- Brighten skin, giving a more radiant look
The only sort of retinoid that your skin can actually get nutrients from is when it is in the form of retinoic acid also known as retin-A. With retinol present on the labels of many conventional skincare treatments and beauty products, it brings us to the question — ‘how does retinol work on the skin if retinoids are only effective in the form of retinoic acid?’. Keep reading and you’ll find out!
WHAT IS RETINOL?
Image via Yani Skincare
Retinol is a synthetic form of vitamin A and does not affect the skin directly. Enzymes in the skin would need to convert it into retinoic acid first. With that said, the effects of retinol is said to be snail-like because it depends on how fast the individual’s skin converts it into retinoic acid. Other factors that also slow down the results of retinol includes:
- How well the product is kept (keep it in a cool and dark place awat from sun)
- How old the product is
- Concentration of retinol in product
Due to these factors, it may take 3-6 months to notice differences in the way our skin looks and feels.
Using retinol isn’t like using acne cream, you don’t have to wait for pimples to show up to start incorporating it into your skincare routine. The truth is, dermatologists recommend to start using retinol in your early 20s. Even if you didn’t jump on the retinol bandwagon for preventative measures to limit signs of aging, fret not! Retinol will still work with your skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
In the beginning of your retinol journey, it can be quite irritating to the skin if the formulation is too strong and mild effects may be felt such as stinging, drying or skin turning pink-ish. While it is common, it is always recommended to start with a pea-sized amount of a lower concentration (0.5%) and use it twice a week, slowly increasing the usage to give the skin a chance to acclimate.
WHAT IS RETIN-A?
Image via Sanova Dermatology
Retin-A is also a synthetic form of vitamin A and as mentioned earlier, is known as retinoic acid. Since Retin-A is already a form of retinoic acid, it doesn’t need to be broken down by enzymes in our skin for it to work. Because of this, Retin-A works a lot faster than retinol and results can be seen in 6-8 weeks depending on the individual. Think of Retin-A as the bigger brother of retinol, it works more effectively and faster, but its effects can be much harsher, which is why most countries require it to be prescribed by a dermatologist.
Although you can purchase Retin-A (also known as tretinoin) without a prescription in Malaysia, it’s highly recommended that you understand how to use it correctly to avoid painful side effects. One of the main issues you might face when introducing it into your skincare regimen is that you may experience dryness, peeling, flaking, or burning since it is much more intense compared to retinol, hence why it is always advisable to consult with a dermatologist beforehand.
If you’re new to this side of the skincare world and are keen on incorporating retinoids into your routine, but too scared to because of its side effects — don’t worry! Mother Nature has got you covered. Say hello to our Rosehip Pure Oil (ba dum tsss!) which is great for:
Sensitive skin because it contains a natural form of retinoic acid (vitamin A) and has no added preservatives, chemicals or fragrances thus it is gentler compared to other retinoid products
- Deeply moisturising (bye-bye dry skin) because it contains a wealth of essential fatty acids which can penetrate deep into the skin due to its molecular structure, which in turn help boost hydration and elasticity
- Exfoliation of skin and boosting collagen formation because it contains vitamin A and C. They help increase skin cell turnover and aid skin cell regeneration, boosting overall radiance
Brightening and evening out skin tone because it contains antioxidants vitamin E (tocopherol) and C, a powerful combo
- Reducing inflammation due to the presence of vitamin E (tocopherol), an antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory properties
Our 'youth in a bottle' Rosehip Pure Oil is suitable for most skin types including sensitive skin
Say hello to glowing youthful skin with the help of our Rosehip Pure Oil! If you want to know more about our natural products, our Happiness Customer Officers are here to help. Reach out to us via Instagram or rootremedies.com.