What is the Deal with Retinoids

Retinoids are not only one of the most highly recommended skincare ingredients available today, they have become the basis of any high-quality skincare routine. Retinoids are chemically altered forms of Vitamin A that you can apply to the skin. Retinoids are clinically proven to reverse sun damage, fade dark spots, minimize fine lines, reduce the appearance of pores and texture, as well as fight acne, making them the perfect ingredient for people with oily skin.

Retinoids are keratolytics, meaning they exfoliate the top layer of the skin, revealing newer skin cells and eliminating the buildup of older ones. The term “retinoid” includes many products, including adapalene, tretinoin, retinol, retin-A, and retinaldehyde. They are essentially the same product but with varying degrees of efficacy. Retinol, one of the most common over-the-counter forms of retinoid, is often found in serums and moisturizers. Contrarily, tretinoin is much stronger, which is why it’s available only by prescription.

How to Use Retinoids

Retinoids should be applied at nighttime in order to work best because they are deactivated by the sun. To begin, cleanse your face with your oily skin cleanser of choice. You want to apply retinoids to a clean, dry face, immediately after cleansing. A pea-sized amount of product is sufficient. Using more can cause irritation and skin peeling. Also, retinoids should never be applied to the sensitive areas of the skin such as the eyelid and the skin around the eye. However, there are some eye creams available with very low amounts of retinol that are specially formulated to be applied to the eye area.

After applying your retinoid, immediately apply moisturizer. Even if you suffer from oily skin, retinoids can dry out and dehydrate the skin so be sure to find a moisturizer that meets your needs. Knowing how and when to layer retinoids alongside your other skincare products is key to seeing the best results possible.

Top Retinoid Products

Retinoids are unique in the way that they can be fine-tuned to meet each individual’s needs. Not only is there a variety of types and strengths available, but because they come in the form of a gel, cream, or serum, they can be applied to targeted areas.

Products with retinol and adapalene are the most commonly found over-the-counter products from the retinoid family. Below are a few of the most highly-rated and readily-available products without a prescription.

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum 

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane

Differin Gel Adapalene Gel .1% Acne Treatment

Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum

Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum

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