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Retinoids A Potent Skin Care Ingredient

By Marilynn Syrett Published 06/25/2009 | Beauty
Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A that are used topically or even orally to treat a variety of skin concerns like acne, aging signs, sun spots and even certain cancers. However, in spite of their valuable advantages, retinoids should be used very carefully.

Functions of Retinoids

Retinoids normalize the skin cell growth and function and thus encourage the shedding of the outer dead skin layers. This promotes the appearance of fresh new cells from underneath. It binds to the specific receptors in your skin and controls the cell activities. It can stimulate the production of collagen within the skin cells and also prevent the hyperproliferation of epidermal cells. This further keeps your skin pores clean and improves acne inflammations.

With regular use, retinoids change your gene expression and encourage healthy renewal of skin cells. As a result, your skin tone improves and premature aging is prevented. It also helps treat aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines. Apart from this, retinoids also have many other exfoliating and anti-inflammatory properties.

Types of Retinoids

Retinoids are available in a variety of forms, both in weaker and stronger concentrations. The 2 most popular forms of retinoids are Retinol and Tretinoin


This is a very popular form of retinoids used extensively in acne skin care products and acne treatments. Topical application of retinol can treat acne inflammations that erupt on the skin surface. Pimples usually contain pus that fills up hair follicles. Retinol helps separate the extra cells and discard the pus accumulated in the roots of hair follicles. Thus, there is a decrease in comedones and the skin becomes clear.

Regular use of retinols makes the skin soft and smooth. The skin pores become less visible and the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines become denounced. Also, retinol stimulates collagen production and thus enhances the overall quality of the skin.

Product Suggestions:

iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum This is a superb serum that heals your skin and lightens the texture. It has anti aging properties and is also an effective treatment for Rosacea. It contains 15% Vitamin C, 1% Vitamin E and 1% retinol combined with powerful antioxidants and olive leaf extracts. It heals the skin and improves skin integrity. In addition, it also enhances the skin texture and prevents damage by the ultraviolet radiations of sunlight. It also contains 0.5% of kojic acid that evens out skin pigmentation and prevents the occurrence of acne and zinc sulfate that helps reduce inflammation.


Also called retinoic acid, Tretinoins are a form of retinoids that are used to treat comedonal acne, whiteheads and blackheads. Tretinoin increases the skin cell turnover and promotes the extrusion of plugged material in the hair follicles and also prevents the formation of new comedones. It unclogs the skin pores and helps the oil glands to function normally. It also increases the cell turnover and exfoliates the upper layer of the skin. It also has powerful anti-aging properties and helps to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Tretinoin is used in several skin care products and is available as serums, creams and gels.

Side Effects of Retinoids

Retinoid treatments rejuvenate the skin and enhances its texture. However, in the beginning you might experience worsening skin conditions along with redness and peeling. But this is just because retinoids have started working and are showing the effect of the process. Your skin will take time to get accustomed to retinoids.

Retinoids tend to increase the sensitivity of the skin. As a result, the skin becomes more vulnerable to UVA and UVB radiations of the sun. Therefore, it is important to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen at all times. Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or above and slather on ample quantities.

Some Precautions:

Pregnant women and nursing mothers or those considering pregnancy should avoid the use of retinoid based skin care products because of the risk of severe birth defects.

Dr. Marilyn Syrett is a renowned physician and nurtures a keen interest in skin care and the effectiveness of skin care products. She believes that every women has the right to healthy and flawless skin. She has also reviewed several products from popular brand names like Obagi, iS Clinical, Clinique Medical and so on.