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Retinoids: A Complete Guide, Types, Do’s and Don’ts, How to Start | Glow Regime

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Retinoids: A Complete Guide, Types, Dos and Donts, How to Start | Glow Regime


Retinoids are Vitamin A derivaties which are basically converted into retinoic acid in order to use in skincare. They are very powerful anti aging molecules. Retinoid is a common term used for both over the counter and prescription retinoids.

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The contents on this website, products, and information are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice: the content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Why Retinoids?

At first, they were suggested only for acne and gradually towards pigmentation, to regulate oil production etc., Collagen production by retinoids is incredible, thereby thickening and improving skin barrier, helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and they also contribute to shrinking enlarged pores.

Retinoids basically improves cell turn over and cause chemical exfoliation, on the whole improving our skin texture. They are very versatile and are nowadays used for acne, hyperpigmentation, antiaging and in some conditions like psoriasis.

When Retinoids?

Night! yes, sunlight degrades and reduces the efficacy of retinoids. Post retinoid sun exposure can also severely damage your skin since our skin will be very photosensitive after using it. Hence, they should be used at night for maximum benefits.

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How Retinoids?

Retinoids can cause skin irritation, if used too frequently or if concentrated. Trust me, a very small quantity, preferably not more than a pea size is required for your face. It should be used only once a day and preferably once or twice a week, if you are a beginner. Retinoids tends to dry out our skin especially in areas like, lip corners, nasal folds since these areas are very thin and are prone to peeling, which will inturn cause redness and itching.

So, take any occlusive, affordable ones like Vaseline or any thick moisturizer and apply in those areas along with under eyes and follow it up with your retinoids. To begin with, start with a very low concentration and use it once a week and if tolerated, increase its applying subsequently to twice or thrice a week.

A SUNSCREEN, in the next morning is a very must in order to reach maximum benefits and to protect your skin from photosensitivity.

At what age should one start using retinoids?

Children younger than 10 years are not advised to use retinoids, both men and women can use it when prescribed as a treatment. If thinking of using it for antiaging, you can start from late twenties.

Who should not use retinoids?

Those who are planning to conceive or pregnant should not use retinoids. Lactating mothers are advised to stay away from retinoids. Those who are allergic to retinoids and have excessively flaky and dry skin can refrain from using retinoids.

What are side effects of retinoids?

If used in excess amount, retinoids can cause irritation, purging, inflammation, itching, extreme dryness.

What are a types of retinoids available in the market and how to decide which one to use?


The least potent ones include Retinyl palmitate, which is a retinyl ester. And the second most potent one is retinaldehyde. Both of these are OTC retinoids. Retinol is the most famous OTC used in a lot of creams, serums which are easily available in the market.

Retinoic acid, Tretinoin, Isotretinoin, Tazarotene and adapalene are the most potent formsof retinoids which should be prescribed by dermatologists. They should not be used without a dermatologist’s guidance.

Will retinoids make your skin Thinner?

This i a very common question people will have, but it’s a complete myth. Retinoids tend to improve your collagen production, which is a key ingredient for good skin barrier and on prolonged usage, it will improve your skin barrier which absolutely means your skin will get more thicker and firmer overtime.

What can you pair retinol with?

Retinoids causes dryness, so you can combine it with any hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, peptides etc., You can also go for a thick moisturizer both before and after applying retinol, each with a 20-minute time gap. This is called “Sandwich Technique”.

Here are some of my suggestions

6 Minimalist 0.3% Retinol Serum For Face For Anti Aging, 30 ml 

5 Paula’s Choice CLINICAL 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment, Anti-Aging Serum for Deep Wrinkles & Fine Lines, Fragrance-Free & Paraben-Free, 1 Ounce

4 ‘L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Triple Power LZR Retinol Night Serum For Face, With 0.3% Pure Retinol, Moisturizes Skin and Eliminates Deep Wrinkles, For All Skin Types, 30ml

3 CeraVe Anti Aging Retinol Serum | Cream Serum for Smoothing Fine Lines and Skin Brightening 

2 COSRX Retinol 0.1% Cream, 0.67 Fl Oz, Anti-aging Eye & Neck Cream with Retinoid Treatment to Firm Skin, Reduce Wrinkles, Fine Lines, Signs of Aging, Gentle Skincare for Day Night, Korean

1 The Derma Co 0.3% Retinol Serum for Younger-Looking & Spotless Skin

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