Retinol vs Retinoids: When to Use Each and Why

Your skin needs a retinoid product to heal from within. Retinoids are clinically proven to treat acne, wrinkles and a bunch of other skin issues. Its ability to stimulate collagen growth, speed epidermal turnover, and decrease inflammation makes it a powerful ingredient. Retinoid is an umbrella term for both over-the-counter and prescription retinoids. It is a derivative of Vitamin A that is converted into retinoic acid for use in skincare. It is easily available in the market.

Retinol and Retinoids are quite different from each other and should be seen as cousins, not twins. Let’s see what makes them different and how beneficial they are to the skin.

What is a Retinoid? 

Retinoids are basically antioxidants that fight wrinkles, promote collagen growth beneath the skin and diminishing wrinkles over time. Retinoids are proven to improve skin's texture and tone by increasing cell turnover and lightening dark spots. 

What is Retinol? 

Retinol is a type of retinoid which is mainly used in over-the-counter products. Retinol contains a lower concentration of the active retinoic acid ingredient. Retinol hydrates and brightens the skin. Retinoids on the other hand have a much higher concentration of the active ingredient. Otc retinol products are less intense than prescription products and work gradually. In Over-the-Counter retinol products, retinol is usually combined with other ingredients for better results. 

Who can’t use Retinol and Retinoid? 

Most skin types can handle retinol or retinoids. However, you have to make sure to choose the right retinol/retinoid product and that you are using a non-irritating, gentle skincare regimen.

People with sensitive skin, it is recommended to use over-the-counter Retinol because it is more tolerable than other prescription retinoids. If you have oily skin or have tried Retinoids in the past, then prescription-strength retinoids can be tolerated. 

What products can’t be used with Retinoids? 

Before adding retinoids to your skincare regime, make sure to look at your existing skincare routine as some ingredients can make retinoids less effective and way more irritating. Benzoyl peroxide and alpha hydroxy are the two acids that can deactivate certain retinoids such as tretinoin. Don’t just layer these products together as it will do more harm than doing good to the skin. 

Retinoids and retinol can initially cause a process called retinization, which leads to redness, dryness and flaking, especially when you first start using them. 

The Takeaway 

For most people, Retinoids are safe, amazingly effective ingredients to add to a skincare routine and the benefits only increase the longer you use them. The younger you start, the more preventative it will be in terms of reducing the formation of lines and wrinkles. Azani’s 1% Retinol cream is excellent for relief against matured skin. It is a potent Night Cream for Face Firming and Smoothing. In short, retinoids and retinol are both forms of Vitamin A. They provide similar anti-aging results, but in different time frames. Retinoids are FDA approved and are often only available with a prescription, while retinol is available over the counter