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Difference Between Retin-A vs. Retinol

Difference Between Retin-A vs. Retinol

October 10, 2019

The Difference Between Retin-A vs Retinol

You may be confused on what the difference is between both Retin-A and Retinol and wondered which one would be best for your skin type.  Well, they are quite similar as they come from a group called Retinoids, but they actually differ in structure. 

First, what is a Retinoid? 

Retinoid is a group of compounds that are extracted from Vitamin A. It is known to promote healthy skin cell turnover, leading to treat a variety of skin issues like acne, wrinkles, blemishes, dark spots, and more. It basically exfoliates to make way for brighter, glowing skin while also boosting collagen and elastin production. 

Retinoid comes in prescription form consisting of groups Tazarotene, Adapalene, and Tretinoin, which includes the brand name Retin-A

These groups were originally used to treat acne when they were developed over 25 years ago. However, researchers found more promising results, such as a boost in healthy cells while preventing the build-up of dead cells. 

There are side effects to Retin-A, including peeling, burning, dryness, redness, and irritation, but these will eventually subside after a few weeks. Through the process, you may also notice your skin being extra sensitive to the sun. 

Since Retin-A is relatively stronger than other Retnoids, doctors usually prescribe it for people with oily skin or those with thick skin, as it could be more irritating for drier, thinner skin types.  

Meanwhile, Retinoid also comes in over-the-counter products, which is commonly known as Retinol. 

Retinol is a natural form of Vitamin A, typically used by people with sensitive skin. Contrary to the fast-working Retin-A, Retinol can take weeks before you notice outstanding results. This is because Retinol has a two-step conversion that it must undergo– first into Retinaldehyde and then into Retinoic Acid.

There is a lot of beauty products containing Retinol, like creams, moisturizers, and serums.

Although this type may be milder than Retin-A, it is proven to work wonders for your skin when used alongside other ingredients, such as Vitamin C serums. 

For instance, our Retinol Serum, which is a 1.25% (encapsulated) is also composed of 10% Lactic Acid and 5% Glycolic Acid, making it unique from other Retinol serums in the market. Lactic and Glycolic Acids, help with exfoliation, cell turnover and brighter skin. Our serum is also composed of Sea Algae for better skin texture, clarity, and hydration.

Witness its magic overnight as you wake up with more radiance in the morning!



Ultimately, Retin-A products have a higher concentration of Retinoid than Retinol, which is why they work faster but with more intense side effects. It is best to try a more gentle option that is Retinol before you move on to using a stronger dosage with Retin-A. 

According to a report from Harvard Medical School, doctors recommend using a Retinoid every other day at first before using it every night, as well as wearing a sunscreen during the day to avoid increased sensitivity to the sun. Also note that Retinoids should not be used by breastfeeding or pregnant women.



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