Retinoid is a term that describes vitamin A derivatives. In the skin, the lack or excess of retinoid creates changes in the upper layers of the skin, it promotes surface layer cells to shed and unclogs pores, helps reduce appearance of wrinkles and increases the speed of cell turn over to even out discoloration and smooth the skin1. The first retinoid was FDA approved almost 40 years ago as a prescription acne treatment. Soon after, dermatologists noticed that patients on retinoid experienced not just clearer but softer, brighter skin with less fine lines and wrinkles. While prescription formulas with retinoid yield the most effective and fast results, an over the counter retinoid, called Retinol, can also improve the appearance of fine lines and discoloration. Because retinol is gradually converted into retinoic acid (the active ingredient in the prescription creams) in the skin, it is less potent.

Retinol [ret-n-awl, -ol]. Vitamin A compound, the first antioxidant to be widely used in nonprescription anti-wrinkle creams. Retinol is used for the treatment of skin aging1.

  1. Ramos E, Silva et al. Hydroxy Acids and Retinoids in Cosmetics. Clinics in Dermatology. 2001;19: 460-466
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