All You Need to Know About Retinoids

If taking great care of your skin is important to you, you’ll want to incorporate products containing retinoids into your skincare routine. We’re here to help you get started. Read our guide for all the info you need - or go straight to the experts for a complimentary skincare consultation!

What Is a Retinoid?

It’s pretty much a Skincare Hero! What does that mean? Karen Fernandez, Head of Aesthetics, explains it like this: “Retinoid is Vitamin A or chemically related to Vitamin A. It works by regulating epithelial cell growth, or cell turnover. Retinoids will help your skin cells turn over at a faster rate like they did when your skin was younger.”

To learn about the differences between Retinoid and Retinol, click here.

Benefits of Retinoids

The reason we love retinoids so much is simple: they encourage your skin to function optimally. By working to increase metabolism, retinol visibly improves the skin by increasing the volume of your dermis (or the “engine room” of your skin, as Karen calls it) which is where all the magic and action happens.

This increase in volume allows for more collagen, more elastin, more fibroblasts - which all together work to correct fine lines, wrinkles, and chronic dehydration. Increased volume means increased room or opportunity for more collagen, elastin and the important fibroblasts -all of which give skin its volume and strength.

Who Should Use Retinoids?

Nearly anyone over the age of 18 will benefit from the use of retinoids (and other targeted skincare) in their home care routine. That said, we often recommend retinol products to those looking for dramatic improvement in their skin as well as those who are chronically dehydrated - Retinoids allow your dermis layer of skin to be thicker, which means it can hold on to more moisture.

Why Start Now?

While you can start using retinoids at any time if you are using proper sun protection, the winter can be easier, as there’s less sun and heat to sensitize the skin. When getting started with retinoids for the first time, there can be a period of acclimation that can appear in the form of minor flaking, redness, or increased sensitivity to other products being applied.

Uniquely at this moment in time, with the use of a mask, some of the acclimation can be concealed (keeping in mind that that acclimation period subsides after the first few weeks).

How should you incorporate Retinoids into your skin routine?

Generally, retinoids are used at night. When starting out, Karen recommends using these products a couple times a week, working up to every other night. Eventually, you’ll build up to using your retinol product almost nightly.

In terms of where in your routine to include it, retinol is forgiving and can be used before or after other products are applied at night. Using it first will amplify its effects, using it over moisturizer will make it more gentle, and using it after your growth factor or anti-aging serum will help drive those active ingredients efficiently.

Please note that using a retinol will amplify the other products you’re using, so you want to make sure you’re happy with your product mix. If you’re using something that has been irritating to your skin, for example, the use of a retinol will make it even more irritating. Your provider will be happy to review your product mix and make sure you’re using retinol in the best way for your specific skin type and concerns during a complimentary consultation.

Insider Tip: “If you’re using a retinol, you have to be using an SPF,” advises Karen. “The two work in tandem for maximum anti-aging and correction. We always recommend a physical SPF -meaning that it utilizes zinc and titanium dioxide rather than chemicals for the sun protection action.”

Our Favorite Retinol Products

AlphaRet w-allure

At SkinSpirit, many of our providers swear by SkinBetter’s AlphaRet.

AlphaRet contains a unique, “smart” formula that allows the active ingredients to more efficiently be delivered to the dermis than a prescription retinoid. In other words - “It functions like a retinoid (without the need for a prescription) AND it’s more tolerable than a stronger Retin-A type retinoid - meaning more effective action, with far less irritation,” says Karen.

SkinBetter AlphaRet can be ordered for curbside pickup at your nearest SkinSpirit clinic by calling (855) 383-7546 or you can email to have your new retinoid product delivered.

SENTE Bio Complete

We also love Sente Bio Complete for more sensitive or dehydrated skin types, because it delivers intensive hydration along with an effective yet tolerable retinol - acting like two products in-one. This is a great choice for anti-aging, sensitive skin or skin that has historically not tolerated retinols. "I love this for those with chronic redness that derives from dehydration and epithelial build up," says Karen.

Sente Bio Complete can also be ordered by phone or email, or you can purchase it on our online store here.

Schedule a Complimentary Product Consult

At SkinSpirit, our experts can help you choose the best retinoid or retinol product to get started with and even create a start-to-finish home skincare regimen for your skin type. Complimentary product consultations are available in clinics throughout Washington, California, New York, Texas, and Utah, as well as virtually for your convenience.

Please call us at (855) 383-7546 to get on the books or schedule your appointment online.

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