Retinol, Retinoids and Their Benefits

October 14, 2019
By: Dermatology Consultants of Frisco

Retinol is an anti-aging molecule derived from vitamin A.

It occurs naturally in eggs, fish, and full-fat milk. Retinol first entered the market in the 1970’s when it was used for acne treatment. However, later on, scientists realized its other benefits.

Retinoids, on the other hand, is the umbrella term for a particular skin product, and retinol is a specific type of retinoid. Typically, consumers can purchase retinol over the counter, while retinoids are stronger and require a prescription. As a result, over-the-counter products may have less dramatic results. Prescription retinoids can be up to 20 times stronger than their over-the-counter counterparts. Please speak with a dermatologist to inquire about getting a prescription for stronger retinoids.

What Does Retinol Do?

Retinol's main benefit is smoothening the skin and reducing wrinkles.

According to, "[Retinol] alters the behavior of aged cells, so they act in a more youthful manner." The proper and continuous use of retinol has been known to work wonders on skin’s tone and texture. Retinol can also help ward off the effects of aging on your skin.

Retinol's vitamin A compounds boost collagen production, which accelerates the skin's renewal and regeneration process. The process also serves to act as a toner by removing discolorations and age spots.

While there are some skincare products out there that exaggerate their benefits, retinol has been proven to consistently get results. According to, "Retinoids affect gene expression, causing enhanced collagen production, skin smoothening, and an evening of pigmentation." Giving your skin retinol is like giving it a healthy diet, which allows your skin to look and perform better. Many women that use retinol raved about the dewy, glowing look their skin gives off.

Individuals should be aware retinol is not a quick-fix solution. You should stick with it for at least 12 weeks to start seeing its profound impact it can make. Those who use retinol regularly will never stop benefiting from its results. For people with skin issues that persist after their retinol use, a dermatologist may recommend a stronger retinoid. Many dermatologists will prescribe stronger retinoids (such as tretinoin) to assist with acne, remove skin discoloration or to slow aging.

Who Can Use Retinol?

Despite some skin myths out there, retinol works exceptionally for people with sensitive skin. If you have more sensitive skin, start with lower concentrated retinol to gauge your reaction. Once your dermatologist assesses your tolerance, they may gradually work you up to a stronger dose.

Retinol is a potent skin product. Users should avoid the sun after using retinol, as it can leave your face more exposed to harmful UV rays. Most dermatologists recommend you apply retinol at night before bed, and then follow-up with sunscreen in the morning. If you're embarking on a sunny holiday, skip your retinol routine during your travels.

It's essential to work with your dermatologist to find out if retinol should be a part of your current skincare routine. Retinol is safe for long-term use but also should be avoided by women that are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your dermatologist will recommend if retinol is the right product for you and at which concentration level.

Dermatology Consultants of Frisco and Precision Dermatology

The Dermatology Consultants of Frisco has a full team of experienced dermatologists to help every client address their skin issues. The clinic provides general, pediatric, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology services for clients. Customers receive comprehensive care from the best team in Frisco in a friendly environment. Book your first consultation today to start solving your skin issues.