By Beenish Batool
So you’re looking to kickstart your anti-aging skincare routine—or maybe you’re hoping to elevate it, then there is something you should be getting the hang of. While many ingredients, such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, can lend to a healthier, more youthful-looking visage, nothing is quite as effective as retinol (and retinoids, as a whole). That’s why they’re now considered as being the gold standard in anti-aging skincare. But when you head out to get yourself something great, you have to ensure that you are making the most of this regime. But the major question that needs to be answered is which one to adapt in your routine- retinol or retinoid? If your skincare regimen doesn’t include a retinoid product, your skin may be seriously missing out. Retinoids are clinically proven to treat acne, wrinkles, and a host of other skin issues, thanks to their ability to stimulate collagen growth, speed epidermal turnover, and decrease inflammation.
A derivative of vitamin A, retinoids can tackle everything from fine lines and pigmentation to acne and psoriasis. They achieve this by boosting the turnover rate of skin cells. These can also accelerate the rate of skin cell division and new cell growth. In short, they change how your skin cells function. Applying retinoids topically helps increase cell division on the surface of your skin, which helps thicken the top layer of skin. Retinol and other retinoids also work deep in the skin’s dermis layer to stimulate collagen and elastin production and collage is the holy grail to amazing looking skin. These skin proteins naturally decrease with time, leading to thinning skin and other visible signs of aging. Boosting their production, then, allows retinoids to offer pro-aging support not to mention fight sun damage and help reduce the appearance of pores. Additionally, retinoids can unclog pores, removing the bacteria that contributes to acne breakouts, and reduce the inflammation and shedding associated with psoriasis.
However I wanted to touch upon the biggest misconception about retinol and retinoids is that they’re the same, and that the terms are interchangeable. In reality, “retinoid” is the term assigned to the overarching category of compounds derived from Retinyl Palmitate. “There are dozens of retinoids available in skincare and all retinoids fall into one of four categories: retinol, retinoic acid, retinyl esters, and retinaldehyde.
ADD RETINOIDS INTO YOUR ROUTINE
Determine your skin type — and its needs. Retinoid is not ideal for those with sensitive skin. Whereas retinol is ideal for sensitive, reactive skin types, as well as those with less sun damage.
Select your product-since retinol products saturate the skincare market, it’s important to know which are worth plucking from the shelves. If you’ve never used retinol (or retinoids), start with a low-percentage OTC retinol in the best form for your skin type before asking your doctor or dermatologist for a prescription solution.
Perform a patch test- even if you think you’ve selected the perfect product for your skin type,it is important to perform a patch test to rule out an adverse reaction when applying it to your face, neck, and chest.