Retin-A and Retinol: What is the difference?
Retinoids come in prescription and non prescription forms. Retinoid refers to any vitamin A based molecule that has the ability to help unplug pores, even out skin discoloration, restore vibrancy to the complexion, reduce oiliness, acne and psoriasis and improve the appearance of fine wrinkles.
Retin-A is a brand name for tretinoin which is derived from retinoic acid , a synthetic derivative of vitamin A and considered pharmaceutical. Retin A is stronger than retinol and has a direct effect on the skin by providing peeling, exfoliation and enhance collagen production.
Retinol is a natural form of vitamin A. It is formed in the body by the hydrolysis of retinyl esters which is eventually converted into retinoic acid. Retinol s has a milder effect on the skin and has been a good alternative for those with sensitive skin.
Be aware of common side effects such as dryness, redness, irritation and skin peeling. Wear an SPF of 30 or higher as the skin becomes more ‘sun’ sensitive when using these products.
Avoid applying these products to wet skin as water bonds with any retinoid and makes it more likely to cause irritation. After cleansing, it is advised to wait at least 20 minutes then apply as directed by your doctor or aesthetician.