Essentially, retinol is just a specific type of retinoid. Integrate Retinol Slowly and Gently. “They have the same benefits, it just takes longer,” says Dr. Kaminska. Everything You've Wanted to Know and More, If Your Skin Can't Handle Retinol, Try Retinyl Palmitate, Here's Why You Shouldn't Confuse Retinaldehyde and Retinol, Experts Say These Drugstore Acne Treatments Work Best, Retinol Is a Magical Acne Treatment—Here Is How to Use It, Retinol, Acids, or Both? “Most skin types can tolerate a retinol or retinoid,” says Levin, “but you have to make sure to choose the right retinol/retinoid product and that you are using a nonirritating gentle skincare regimen with a moisturizer and a gentle cleanser in addition to your retinoid/retinol.” Working with a dermatologist will determine whether you’re a candidate for retinol or if your skin requires the strength of a retinoid. Think of the words more like cousins instead of clones—they’re related but different. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid using retinols and retinoids altogether. It’s important to realize you should slowly ease into using a retinoid.” To avoid this, she recommends starting off by applying a retinoid every third night. There’s a ton of research, over more than two decades, that proves Retinoic Acid works. So what’s the difference between retinol vs. retinoids? Even if you use a retinol serum in your routine already, when faced with the topic of retinol vs. retinoids, you may be left asking, “what is a retinoid” and questioning what sets a retinoid apart from retinol. If you notice any irritation, drop it down to once a week or dilute the anti-aging lotion with equal parts of a gentle oil-free moisturizer. Retinoids also speed up cell turnover rates and can help unblock pores. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ They’re part of the same Vitamin A family, and just like siblings, they appear to be similar but are actually quite different. But it’s a bit more complex than that: For starters, we often interchangeably hear the words “retinol” and “retinoids” to describe this skin savior, but it’s important to know that both terms aren’t one in the same. “If your skin isn’t irritated after two weeks, increase to every other night for another two weeks. Retinoids vs. Retinol: What’s the Difference? First, tretinoin is also called Retin-A. If you have more oily skin or have tried retinoids in the past, then prescription strength retinoids such as tretinoin, atralin, retin-A, retin-A micro, tazarotene, fabior, or tazorac can be tolerated but still need to be slowly up-titrated.”. Below she breaks down each, how to use them, when to use them, and which other products in our routine might actually make them less effective. Thanks to the fact that these chemicals boost cell turnover, they can smooth fine lines, even out skin tone and age spots, and improve skin elasticity for a more youthful glow. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. New cells are pushing up and the old ones shed off. They can also help recommend a safe routine (we love these moisturizers and this cleanser.). By Dr. Krishna August 9, 2019 November 26th, 2020 3 Comments. We recommend our users to update the browser. 10 Anti-Aging Skincare Tips That Work, According to Byrdie Readers Over 30. Moreover, retinol is available over-the-counter in various serums and other skin care products, while a powerful retinoid can only be gotten with a prescription from a doctor. That’s because retinol doesn’t have as much of the active ingredient as a retinoid. If you’re starting an OTC retinol regimen on your own, Dr. Kaminska recommends starting with applying just a pea-size amount of product twice a week to help your skin get accustomed to it. Only retinoic acid directly affects skin cells and helps reduce signs of aging. They are the exact same thing. Additionally, OTC retinols are often combined with other ingredients, such as moisturizing ingredients, to minimize dryness/irritation, add antioxidants, or brighten the skin. Which Products Can't Be Used in Conjunction With Retinol and Retinoids? “The retinol has to go through multiple conversions before it can be turned into retinoic acid,” she says. These diverse compounds naturally occur everywhere in our bodies and are vital to internal processes like immune function and tissue repair. Tretinoin is a retinoic acid and does not need to go through this conversion. Retinols first need to be converted by special enzymes into the active metabolite, retinoic acid. How to Use the Best Anti-Agers, I Tried Differin Gel and My Neck and Chest Are Now Acne-Free, I Was Against Retinol Until I Started Using This Product, Why Am I Getting Blackheads on My Cheeks? Tretinoin is the generic drug name and Retin-A is the brand name. There are many products that address acne, acne scars, and oil control. Retinol is converted into retinoic acid only after it's stored its applied and gradually absorbed by your skin. Levin adds, “Retinoids and retinols can initially cause a process called ‘retinization,’ which leads to redness, dryness, and flaking, especially when you first start. Retinol is a type of retinoid. “Benzoyl peroxide and alpha hydroxy acids can deactivate certain retinoids such as tretinoin, so be careful with layering product and make sure to discuss your routine with your dermatologist,” says Levin. Retinoid is actually an … We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. They should be applied to clean, dry skin after toner (if you use toner, that is). Over-the-counter retinols are in ester forms such as retinyl palmitate, retinyl linoleate, retinaldehyde, propionic acid, or retinyl acetate. There are many other brand names for tretinoin, and I won’t get into that. “The major difference between retinol and retinoids,” Levin continues, “is that retinol works more gradually compared to retinoids due to their difference in molecular structure and how they are processed in the skin. “There has to be testing to make sure it actually works.” Of course, that’s not to say that your favorite drugstore brands won’t follow through on their promises—you’ll find a retinoid cream among these OTC products dermatologists say really work. Retinoids, whether it’s over the counter retinol or prescription tretinoin, regulates epidermal skin turnover. Other retinoids, such as … “‘Retinoids' is essentially a basic umbrella term for both over-the-counter retinols and prescription retinoids.”. Essentially, retinol is just a specific type of retinoid. But we have very little proof that Bakuchiol is an anti-aging powerhouse. So what’s the difference between retinol vs. retinoids? She has contributed to Byrdie, as well as Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire, Allure, Vogue, and the New York Times, and more. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian. Retinoids vs. Retinol. That’s what really reduces those pesky wrinkles and fades away dark spots. It is most often found in over-the-counter skin care products. Retinols and Retin-A are retinoids. Retinol – an OTC retinoid that is extremely popular and effective. That results in decreased wrinkles, acne, and pigmentation. So, let’s clear things up. Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Because of this conversion process, retinol is typically about 20 times weaker than retinoic acid. Both retinol and retinoids can improve your skin. Retinoids are a class of synthetic and naturally occurring Vitamin A compounds and derivatives that include retinol and retinoic acid, which are naturally occurring in humans.1 Some retinoids, such as retinoic acid (tretinoin), are available with a prescription only. If it’s a Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Did you know that some products can actually have reverse effects on retinoids? Over-the-counter (OTC) products usually contain retinol, which is … … Overall Benefits. As a slightly milder alternative, opt for a product with AHA instead, making sure it contains at least 10 percent alpha hydroxy or glycolic acid. They all come in different types of products such as cleansers, exfoliants, serums, masks and creams. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), 14 anti-aging treatments dermatologists actually use themselves, anti-aging secrets most dermatologists won’t tell you for free, OTC products dermatologists say really work, My Feet Were Always Cold—Until I Ordered These Australian Boots, 50 Everyday Habits That Can Make You Look Younger, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Retinol (the “older” sibling) has been around longer than most of us (since the 1930’s), and as such, has been studied very extensively. “If you have more sensitive or dry skin, I recommend starting with an over-the-counter retinol or Differin gel, which is more tolerable than other prescription retinoids. During the natural aging process the skin begins to lose its elasticity, resulting in the development of fine lines, wrinkles, and rough feeling skin. In addition, retinoids include Retin-A Micro (tretinoin), Renova (tretinoin), and Tazorac (tazarotene). They sound similar and both have wrinkle-fighting power, but they aren’t the exact same thing. “For most prescription products, they’ve gone through the wringer,” points out Dr. Kaminska. Retin-A is just the most common. Both retinols and retinoids are among the 14 anti-aging treatments dermatologists actually use themselves. “The major difference between retinol and retinoids,” Levin continues, “is that retinol works more gradually compared to retinoids due to their difference in molecular structure and how they are processed in the skin. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Let’s get started… Retinol. Retinoids vs Salicylic Acid. Myth: Retinoids thin the skin. (We just don't have as much research behind it yet.) Retinol and retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A that improve the biological condition of the skin, diminishing blemishes and making it look smoother, says Dr. Manish Shah, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Denver. Retinols are the first in line, and they get converted to retinoids, which turn into the final product that actually improves the skin: retinoic acid. The main difference between a retinol and a retinoid is that a retinol works a little less efficiently. So, retinol is a type of retinoid. When it comes to skincare, the popular terms “retinoid” and “retinol” are often used interchangeably, but they are not one and the same.Retinoid is the generic term for all topical products that contain derivatives of vitamin A. Retinol is simply one example of a retinoid. Unlike HPR, retinol has to be converted by the body in order to be of use. Tretinoin. Because retinol isn’t as powerful, you won’t see results as quickly as you would with a prescription retinoid. “Retinoic acid is the compound that your skin can use; retinol, on the other hand, needs to be converted by the skin to retinoic acid in order to work. The more conversions, the ‘weaker’ the product.” Levin explains that while retinoids and retinol do exactly the same thing, it typically takes longer to see results from retinols compared to retinoids. And if you haven’t heard by now, decades of clinical research has shown that retinol does quite a few amazing things for your skin. Retinaldehyde, also known as retinal, is directly converted into retinoic acid by our skin. The bottom line: Speak with a dermatologist to determine if your skin can tolerate retinoids or if retinol is a safer bet, remember to apply them only at night, and sandwich it with a gentle cleanser and moisturizer. Revolution Granactive Retinoid. “Both retinol and retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that ultimately get converted into retinoic acid,” explains Levin. They are derived from vitamin A. Retinoids are a class of topical medications used for a variety of reasons including: anti-aging, acne, discoloration and more. Retinoids don’t take as much time to reach that final product, so they’re more intense than retinol. Retinoids The term “retinoid” describes a family of ingredients that includes both Retin-A and retinol. If your skin is still tolerating the retinoid, go for every night!” Another tip to ensure tolerability is to apply with a moisturizer. Over-the-counter products will typically have less retinol concentration than skin care products containing retinoids prescribed by your dermatologist. Retinoids are a group of vitamin A derivatives, including retinol, retinyl palmitate, and retinoic acid. Retinoids are a group of vitamin A derivatives that have become “the gold star” in anti-aging skin care, says board-certified dermatologist Edidiong Kaminska, MD, co-founder of Kaminsky Medical and Surgical Consulting Incorporated. Think of retinol vs. retinoids like a factory line, suggests Dr. Kaminska. Her work also appears in BuzzFeed, StyleCaster, and Yahoo. This makes retinoic acid a more potent and effective retinoid than retinol. Retinol Vs Tretinoin. The other three products in The Ordinary's retinoid range contain retinol. The buzzy topical is clinically proven to treat both acne and wrinkles because of its ability to stimulate epidermal turnover and reveal fresh, healthy skin cells. Apply a pea-size amount of the retinoid first, wait a few minutes, and then apply a moisturizer to combat any dryness or flaking. One more difference between retinol vs. retinoids is that, as a rule of thumb, a prescription retinoid has to be FDA-approved before hitting the shelves, but you don’t get the same guarantee with an OTC product. Both retinol and adapalene are retinoids, but only adapalene is FDA-approved to treat acne. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. One of the primary differences between retinal vs. retinol, is the amount of time it takes for each to make an impact. First, it is metabolized into retinaldehyde, and then finally into retinoic acid (active vitamin A). Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. By using Byrdie, you accept our. “Retinols, which are readily available over the counter, contain a lower concentration of the active retinoic acid ingredient,” says Levin. Retinoid vs. Retinol: What They Have in Common. That being said, while retinoid is an umbrella term, it’s also commonly used to denote prescription-strength forms of vitamin A, such as adapalene, tazarotene, and tretinoin. Isn’t it refreshing to hear that from a professional? Get to clear skin with the Clear90 app. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum ($90) night, skip any products with vitamin A derivatives (retinol… For both retinol and prescription retinoids, Levin recommends that you only use them in your nighttime routine, as sunlight deactivates retinoic acid. Image via West Lake Dermatology. Over-the-counter retinols are in ester forms such as retinyl palmitate, retinyl linoleate, retinaldehyde, propionic acid, or retinyl acetate. Rachel is a board-certified dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Dermatology. This article addresses the pros and cons of Benzoyl Peroxide vs Salicylic Acid vs Retinoids for Acne. Retinols are much weaker than prescription retinoids. paulynn/ShutterstockWhen hearing about anti-aging skin care, you’re bound to hear a couple of ingredients pop up time and time again: retinol vs. retinoids. To add more confusion, you’ve been hearing about Tretinoin and Retin-A. It’s overwhelming to know the difference between retinol vs retinoid when they sound so similar. Retinol and retinoic acid are related but distinctly different. If ever there were a hero ingredient in our skincare routines, it would be retinol. Follow your dermatologist’s instructions, as with any prescription. To learn a bit more about what sets these terms apart, we connected with Melissa Levin, MD, of Downtown Dermatology in Manhattan. When retinol is absorbed into the skin, it has to go through two processes in order to convert into active retinoic acid: retinol to retinal, then retinal to retinoic acid. Here's How to Fix (and Prevent) Them, The Best Retinol Serums for Anyone Who Doesn't Know Where to Start, Byrdie uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. We’re here to break it … Applying retinol and AHA/BHA in one evening is a recipe for irritated, dry skin. This makes them more palatable to the skin, but it also means that some products may have trace amounts of retinol in the bottle. Now, lets dive into the difference between retinol and tretinoin. MARA. As we age, our skin begins to lose its elasticity, which leads to fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and discoloration. Namely retinol, tretinoin, glycolic acid and kojic acid. And this causes the dead skin cells on the outer layer of your skin to shed off more rapidly. This is commonly believed because one of the side effects when first … Retinol vs Retinoid vs Retin-A vs Tretinoin. Exposure to the sun over the years, as well, tends to dramatically accelerate this effect. Benzoyl Peroxide vs Salicylic Acid vs Retinoids for Acne. Tretinoin, like Retinol, is a retinoid, but, unlike Retinol, Tretinoin is a concentration of pure retinoic acid. Clear90 is a free app that helps you keep track of your progress with Differin–all the way to clear skin–in just 90 days. Retinoids and retinol deliver the same benefits, even though the rate at which you’ll see improvements might differ. Retinoids and retinol deliver the same benefits, even though the rate at which you’ll see improvements might differ. Over-the-counter (OTC) products usually contain retinol, which is a weaker form, while “retinoids” usually refers to stronger, prescription-level drugs like tretinoin (the generic name for Retin-A), tazarotene, and adapalene. It converts to retinoic acid 11 times faster than retinol, and is said to be approximately 20 times more potent than retinol. Lindsey Metrus is a senior editor at Byrdie and has been with the brand since 2015. It takes more steps for these ester forms to be converted to the active retinoic acid. “These ingredients should not be mixed and applied at the same time,” Dr. Nazarian says. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s Medscape.com and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. For starters, retinol must be converted into Retinoic Acid (Tretinoin) for it to work its magic. Granactive Retinoid & Retinol are a lot like siblings. 2  So, retinoids are also used to treat acne. The skin starts to produce proteins like collagen and elastin in a faster manner. It means that it speeds up the growth of new skin cells. Mara Evening Primrose + Green Tea Algae Retinol Oil. Touted as a “skin-tone-correcting solution,” this serum's $10 price … Any type of retinoid you use can irritate your skin and cause side effects like redness and peeling, and the stronger the product, the more likely you are to see those effects. The accumulation of sun exposure over the years tends to dramatically accelerate and compound this effect. Retinol is found in many products that don't require a prescription. Retinoids are a class of ingredients chemically related to vitamin A. “Prescription retinoids have a much higher concentration of the active ingredient, so they are readily available for the skin to use.” In other words, retinol is what you’re used to using in your regular serums and creams, whereas retinoids can only be prescribed by a doctor (except for Differin, $13, the first OTC retinoid). Retinols are much weaker than prescription retinoids. RETINOL VS. RETINOID. The namesake of this site, retinol is a popular skincare ingredient that’s a derivative of vitamin A. Check out these other anti-aging secrets most dermatologists won’t tell you for free. Retinoids vs. Retinol In the grand scheme of things, both retinoids and retinol do the same thing; take that lazy skin turnover and put it on a treadmill. A small percentage of patients are super sensitive and sometimes have a very difficult time tolerating a retinoid. Like the other retinoids, it works by increasing collagen and helps to reduce the appearance of fine and course wrinkles, smooth the skin and reduce discoloration, and has additional anti-cancerous properties. All retinoids behave like or are derived from vitamin A. Retinol is vitamin A, and is a type of retinoid. How to Treat Your Sunspots and Prevent New Ones From Popping Up, These Best-Selling Retinol Serums Are All Under $20, This Is How Long It Takes for Retinol to Actually "Work", What to Do Now to Have Better Skin Tomorrow, Next Year, and 10 Years From Now, What Is Retinol? 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