ANTIAGING SKIN CARE INGREDIENTS
RETINOL VS. RETIN A
Retinol vs. Retin A
Retinol, a form of vitamin A, is
found in many anti-wrinkle and skin rejuvenation products.
Retin A, also known as trans-retinoic
acid or retinoic acid, is a type of tretinoin.
Retinol and Retin A are often confused - whilst they
are related, they are quite different. Their relationship
lies in that retinol eventually gets converted to retinoic
Retinol and other forms of vitamin A, such as retinal
and retinyl palmitate, do not have much direct effect
on the skin. They first need to be converted by special
enzymes into the active metabolite, retinoic acid.
Only Retin A [retinoic acid] directly affect skin cells
to reduce some signs of aging.
In theory, you should be able to apply retinol to the
skin, wait till it gets converted to retinoic acid,
however the conversion rate is low and varies greatly
In addition, when exposed to air either during storage
or use, most retinol oxidizes and degrades before it
can become available for conversion to retinoic acid
in the skin. Retinol products tend to have fewer side-effects
than retinoic acid [tretinoin, Retin A] due to this
lower biological activity.
As a result, significantly less people respond to retinol
creams than to retinoic acid [tretinoin, Retin A], and
the degree of response tends to be less too.
Some companies have developed stabilized high-concentration
retinol formulas that seem to be more effective. However,
high concentrations of retinol can be almost as irritating
to the skin as retinoic acid.
Pure Retinol doesn’t possess these side effects
unless you have particularly sensitive skin. Therefore
it is better to apply Retinol before you go to bed so
that if there are any side effects they should disappear
Many skin specialists recommended starting with Retinol,
especially because the potential side effects of Retin
A. If this is tolerated by the skin, then try changing
to Retin A.
Retin A (Renova and other brands) appears to perform
better at eliminating fine lines and reducing wrinkles
than the best retinol formulations.
Retin A, applying before bed time, after ALA and before
moisturizer. If you experience skin irritation and/or
chronic peeling try reducing the concentration by mixing
with your moisturiser or get a lower concentration product.
Alternatively reduce the frequency of application.
NOTE: In some countries, retinoic acid (tretinoin,
Retin A, Renova) is available only with a prescription
by a physician. Discontinue use of either product if