What are Retinoids

by Jan 26, 2024Blog

What are Retinoids, should I be using them?


Retinoids are a family of compounds that are made out of very concentrated levels of Vitamin A, the most commonly recognized example being retinol. Retinoids work to increase cell turnover by initiating what is essentially a “wound healing response” in the body. New tissues are being created and the old ones are being shed, which is why retinoids are so effective for aging and mature skin types, whose cell turnover rates have naturally begun to slow down.


What can I expect when I use retinoids?


Because the retinoids are stimulating new tissue, we can expect to experience some inflammation, itching, even flaking/peeling. The appearance of sun damage/age spots, fine lines, and even acne can be significantly reduced, or even erased.


Our bodies will build up a tolerance to retinoids, so after prolonged use, the concentration of retinoid being used may need to be increased. That’s why its important to start at a low percentage, so that you don’t run out of options and plateau too early.


When should I avoid using retinoids?


Any time your skin is exposed to high amounts of light. Cosmetic use of retinoids should be suspended a minimum of 72 hours prior to going out into the sun, tanning, any and all cosmetic laser/IPL services unless otherwise instructed by a physician. Retinoids make the skin extremely sensitive to light. Someone who doesn’t burn easily on a normal day could have a very adverse response to light while using retinoids. Retinoids should also be avoided after any cosmetic treatments in order to let the treatment take effect and to let the skin respond accordingly and heal (unless, of course, instructed otherwise by a physician.)



Are Retinoids for everyone?


Retinoids are safe for every colour and type of skin, but some individuals are highly sensitive or have other contraindications such as open lesions or interfering medication, You should always consult with an expert, and always, always perform a patch test before trying something new on your skin.



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