Retinoids are an important component within skincare and often considered to be the gold standard for many skin concerns such as collagen loss, poor texture, and dull appearance. Whether you are a skincare minimalist, essentialist, or enthusiast, a routine that includes a retinoid is a smart choice.
What are the benefits of using a retinoid? Retinoids work by encouraging cellular turnover, sloughing off dull dead skin cells, and penetrating the deeper layers of the dermis - which in turn promotes the production of collagen and elastin. Increased collagen and elastin improve the texture of skin and keep it from losing its resiliency and bounce. Other benefits include reduced inflammation, slowing down oil production, and loosening hardened oil within pores making it great for acne prone skin.
It’s important to understand there are several forms of retinoids and each will penetrate the skin differently. For the skin to be able to utilize a topical retinoid, it must first be converted to retinoic acid. The skin is an amazing organ and knows how to convert any type of retinoid into retinoic acid automatically. The type of retinoid will dictate how quickly it penetrates the skin, how deeply it penetrates the skin, and how aggressive or gentle it is on the skins surface. For example, there is prescription strength Tretinoin (Retin A) which is already retinoic acid and therefore needs no conversion. It is, however, the most aggressive on the skins surface. Then there is retinal (retinaldehyde) that has a gentler way of performing the same task, but takes one conversion step within the skin to turn into retinoic acid; followed by retinol that takes two conversion steps to retinoic acid. Lastly, there are retinol esters that take three plus conversion steps. The latter work more as an antioxidant to the skin and do not penetrate as deeply.
Key points to remember when incorporating a retinoid:
If you are new to retinoids, it is best to ease into using them. Start with using them one to two times a week in the evening for the first month. Then work up to every other night for an additional month, eventually working up to every night. You may notice some flaking and mild sensitivity while the skin adjusts. Consistent application is key, however, if you need to cut back to remain comfortable you will still benefit from the results.
They are best applied at night when the skin is recovering and regenerating itself.
You MUST wear SPF every day! Retinoids are pushing up fresh new skin and protection is key.
Retinoids provide long term results. You will notice a difference in the skin after a few weeks of use, and even more so after a few months of use. As much as we wish collagen and elastin could be produced over night, great skin is worth the time, effort, and cost.
If you are pregnant or nursing retinoids are on the do not use list.
If you receive facial waxing or laser treatment, be sure to stop your retinoids a minimum of 7 days before services and wait to use again until the delicate skin has healed.
At Orchard Med Spa we offer several Retinoid formulas, including prescription Tretinoin (Retin A) and Suzan Obagi Retivance which contains potent retinaldehyde paired with corrective ingredients to turn back time. Want to take it to the next level? Call our med spa to schedule with an aesthetician to include a complementary consultation, an Orchard Signature Facial and a Retinoic Renewal. The Retinoic Renewal is a professional only treatment that will jumpstart your skincare journey into the world of retinoids. For those already using retinoids, discontinue use 7 days before your scheduled Retinoic Renewal service. Enjoy the beauty retinoids bring to the skin and feel good reaping long lasting pro-youth benefits!