I receive a lot of questions regarding the differences between retinol, retinoid, and retin-a. It can be confusing, but they are all derivatives of vitamin A. It is important to incorporate vitamin A into your skincare regime because this vitamin is one of the most result driven ingredients for cellular turnover, so it’s good to have one of these in your personal routine.
Retin-a is an active ingredient and requires a prescription. This form can be irritating for skin as it may cause dryness, flaking, and the skin to feel quite sensitive. So if you are using retin-a, start slow, about once to twice a week and only at night since it is photosensitizing.
Retinoids and retinols on the other hand are inactive ingredients, so your skin has to convert them into the form that your skin needs and therefore you can use it at any time of day depending on how it’s formulated. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to start with one of these. But be careful, only some brands are formulated so you can use them during the day. It’s important to understand your product. Talk to your esthetician about the best fit for you!
SkinBetter Alpha Ret and AlphaRet Exfoliating Peel Pads available at New Beauty and Wellness
SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream, this is a great place to start
Obagi Retivance Skin Rejuvenating Complex, this is excellent for sensitive skin and rosacea
SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair, this is a great option for necks