Retinoid treatment has been used for decades to treat several different skin concerns, including acne and psoriasis. These days, retinoids are commonly used in anti-ageing skincare products, thanks to their ability to combat wrinkles. If you’re looking reduce the appearance of wrinkles, it’s helpful to know the facts about retinoids and which ones you should be looking out for.
What Are Retinoids?
Retinoids are a class of vitamin A derivatives which are mostly used in topical products to treat acne, hyperpigmentation and ageing skin. They work by enhancing the growth of certain types of cells.
In anti-ageing products, retinoids allow the skin to behave more youthfully. Ageing comes with a reduction in cell turnover, which causes skin to look more dull and dehydrated. By boosting cell turnover, retinoids somewhat reverse this process.
There are four main types of retinoids to look out for in anti-ageing serums and creams.
Retinoic acid, which must be prescribed by your GP or cosmetic doctor, is inexpensive and gives you fast results. It visibly reduces wrinkles, pigmentation and poor skin tone in a short amount of time. However, it can also be very irritating on the skin, causing redness and peeling. This makes it a good option for short-term treatment, but not the best for long-term use.
Retinol is a pure form of vitamin A and the most popular amongst skincare companies. It requires a conversion to retinoic acid in order to be accepted by your skin – a process makes it less irritating. You can pick up retinol products over the counter, but make sure you pay attention to how much retinol is in the product. A concentration of at least one per cent in a cream or serum will give you the best results.
Retinyl Palmitate is a combination of retinol and palmitic acid. It’s a gentle option because it goes through quite a lengthy process to be converted to retinoic acid. This makes it the best choice for overall skin health, but also makes it a little less potent. If you want dramatic changes in the skin, using a product with retinyl palmitate combined with a nightly retinol serum will give you great long-term results.
Retinaldahyde, on the other hand, is a particularly potent form of vitamin A and consequently one of the more expensive retinoids. It requires minimal conversion but still causes very little, if any, irritation. It manages to give the strong results of retinoic acid alone without the undesirable side effects. Because of its higher cost, it is less widely used in skincare, but if you’re looking to invest in good anti-ageing products, it’s an ingredient worth looking out for.
Getting the Most Out of Retinoids
Whichever retinoid you choose to treat wrinkles with, make sure the product is in an airtight container and that it receives minimal expose to light and air. This will help to preserve the potency of the formula. You should also avoid the temptation to overload your face with the product. Slathering your face with too much will not give you better results. A pea-sized amount is more than enough for the face, and dramatic results will come from dedicated, long-term use.