What Are Retinoids… And How Can They Help Improve Your Skin?

Retinoids are compounds derived from vitamin A. That means they have structural and functional similarities to vitamin A and are therefore commonly used as active ingredients in many dermatological medications and cosmetic products. They can have a positive impact on the healthiness and appearance of skin. And retinoids are available in various forms, including retinal, retinol, and retinyl esters.

Topical retinoids and oral retinoids are available. The former refers to products like gels, liquids, and creams while the latter refers to capsules and tablets that are taken orally.

Let’s take a closer look at how retinoids can help to improve your skin.

Retinoids Are Available In Different Strengths

Before looking at the ways in which retinoids can benefit your skin, you should be aware that retinoids are available in different strengths.

Weaker forms of over-the-counter retinoids can treat the signs of aging and mild acne, while more severe skin conditions like psoriasis can be treated by stronger retinol products that are prescribed by medical professionals.

Check out this insightful article to find out what is the strongest retinoid.

Helping Acne

One of the most common uses of retinoids is to treat acne. Whether you have mild or moderate acne, or even maskne, retinoid products can help by unclogging the pores of your skin and enabling topical antibiotics to get inside your pores.

That can help to eliminate the bacteria that cause acne. And because retinoids unclog pores, it means other medicated creams for treating acne and other skin conditions can work better when they’re applied. Retinoids can also help to reduce the formation of scars caused by acne.

Improving Skin Aging

Retinoids can help reduce inflammation to give your skin a more youthful complexion. They can also reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The latter is achieved due to the fact that prescription retinoids increase the production of collagen, which stimulates new blood vessels in your skin, helps to fade age spots, reduces precancerous skin spots, and gives your skin a rosier appearance.

It typically takes between three and six months of regular retinoid use to see improvements in wrinkles and fine lines, and the best results are usually seen between six and twelve months.

Treating Psoriasis

The skin condition psoriasis causes flaky patches of skin, which can then form into silvery scales. If you have psoriasis, retinoids could help. They can reduce inflammation and limit high rates of skin cell proliferation, thereby helping to alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis. However, you may need to combine a retinoid cream or gel with steroid treatment to maximize your psoriasis treatment.

Aiding Pigment Conditions

Conditions like melasma cause patches of discoloration on the skin, and actinic lentigines involve small spots appearing on the hands or forearms. Such pigment skin conditions can be treated with retinoids because retinoids directly act on the cells that produce pigments.

Relieving Irritation Caused By Pseudofolliculitis Barbae

The inflammatory condition of pseudofolliculitis barbae involves skin irritation after hair removal. Retinoids can help to provide relief and are one of the best treatment options available.

Disrupting The Growth Of Warts

If you have warts, your doctor could prescribe retinoids to help, although you will typically try other treatments first. Regular use of retinoid creams can disrupt the growth of warts, although it usually takes a few months for warts to disappear.

Using Retinoids

If you use over-the-counter retinoids, make sure you always follow the instructions on the packaging. Similarly, if you’re prescribed retinoids, ensure you always follow your doctor’s advice on how to use the product.

Typically, it’s recommended that prescription-strength retinoids, in cream or gel form, are applied once a day to the area of affected skin. For maximum effect, apply the product in the evening to help reduce sun exposure.

When using a retinoid gel or cream, you should rub it into your skin completely, use the precise amount that you’ve been instructed to use, and only use the product for as long as you have been instructed.

It can take a little time to see the positive effects of retinoids, but if you have a skin condition like acne or psoriasis, or you simply want to maintain a rosy and youthful complexion, you should certainly consider trying retinoids.

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