These two powerhouses for anti-aging are similar but different. One is stronger and tested by the FDA, but over time the other can deliver good results.
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You're bound to hear a few ingredients pop up over and over again when you hear about anti-aging skin care: retinol vs. retinoids. They sound similar and have both wrinkle-fighting power, but they're not exactly the same thing. Retinoids are a group of vitamin A derivatives which in anti-aging skin care have become "the gold star," says board-certified dermatologist Edidiong Kaminska, MD, co-founder of Kaminsky Medical and Surgical Consulting Incorporated. They can smooth fine lines, even out skin tone and age spots, and improve skin elasticity for a more youthful glow due to the fact that these chemicals boost cell turnover. So what's the retinol vs. retinoids difference?
Retinol is essentially just a particular type of retinoid. Over-the-counter (OTC) products usually contain retinol, a weaker form, whereas "retinoids" usually refer to stronger prescription-level drugs such as tretinoin (Retin-A's generic name), tazarotene, and adapalene. Both retinol and retinoids are actually used by dermatologists among the 14 anti-aging treatments.
Dr. Kaminska suggests that you think of retinol vs. retinoids as a factory line. Retinols are the first in line and are transformed into retinoids, making them the final product that actually improves the skin: retinoic acid. "Retinol must undergo multiple conversions before it can become retinoic acid," she says. It doesn't take as long for retinoids to reach that final product, so they're more intense than retinol.
Because retinol isn't as powerful, with a prescription retinoid, you won't see results as quickly as you would. "They have the same advantages, it only takes longer," Dr. Kaminska says. Isn't hearing that from a professional refreshing? See these other anti-aging secrets that most dermatologists are not going to tell you for free.
Any type of retinoid that you use may irritate your skin and cause side effects such as redness and peeling, and the more likely you are to see these effects, the stronger the product. Follow the instructions of your dermatologist, as with any prescription. If you start your own OTC retinol regimen, Dr. Kaminska Recommend that you start by applying a pea - size product twice a week to help your skin get used to it. If irritation is noticed, drop it down to once a week or dilute the anti-aging lotion with the same parts of a gentle oil-free moisturizer.
Another difference between retinol vs. retinoids is that, as a rule, before hitting the shelves, a prescription retinoid must be FDA-approved, but you don't get the same guarantee with an OTC product. "They went through the wringer for most prescription products," says Dr. Kaminska. "There's been Testing to make sure it works. "Of course, that's not to say your favorite drugstore brands won't keep up with their promises — you'll find a retinoid cream among these OTC dermatologists say it works really.