Retinols and products containing them may seem like the latest skincare fad. However, retinoids have been used as a topical acne treatment since 1971. Dermatologists and patients alike have flocked to retinoids for years due to their anti-aging properties and today, retinols and retinoids can be found in many skincare products, both those available from your dermatologist and those that you might find on the shelf at a local drugstore.
So, what is the difference between the two?
The term “retinoid” is often used as a catch-all phrase for several products containing vitamin-A. These include tretinoin, tazarotene, trifarotene and isotretinoin which are all used to treat mild to severe acne. Retinol, on the other hand, is a type of retinoid that’s often utilized to improve uneven skin tone, reduce pigmentation, and even out skin texture. It is available over-the-counter in a dizzying array of products.
How do you know which ones are right for you?
A skin product that contains retinoids is a good option for someone with mild acne, mild pigmentation irregularities, or mild fine lines and wrinkles. The trick is figuring out which retinol product to try, given that there are so many options available. People with sensitive skin
or who have skin allergies or dryness have to be cautious when choosing a product that contains a retinoid as they can be more drying and irritating for these patients. Additionally, those with darker skin pigmentation may also take a cautious approach, as irritation from retinoids could cause hyperpigmentation. Lastly, special attention should be taken to protect skin from sun exposure while using a retinoid, as use can make skin more sensitive to UV rays.
Visit Your Dermatologist Before Starting Treatment
Overall, the best and safest way to find out if a retinoid treatment could be right for you is to visit your board-certified dermatologist. They can help you decide if retinoids are right for your skin. For patients visiting our office, we carry Revision Skincare’s Retinol Complete in .5 and 1.0 concentrations.
Savannah River Dermatology is located at 575 Furys Ferry Rd in Augusta, Ga. For appointments or other questions, our office can be reached at 706-691-7079.