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Retinoids are one of the most widely researched ingredients for caring for maturing skin. Given this, it’s no surprise that this class of vitamin A derivatives is often touted as the gold standard for reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, and more.

But before you head to your local drugstore, it’s important to understand how retinoids work and which retinoids are best suited for your skin care goals. Although many retinoids are available over the counter (OTC), your dermatologist can prescribe stronger formulas tailored to your needs.

Keep reading to learn how these products work, potential side effects, and more.

How do retinoids work?

Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives. They work by neutralizing free radicals in the skin that may be causing collagen damage, overall reducing oxidative stress on the skin.

What are free radicals?

It’s a complicated scientific concept, but it helps to understand that free radicals are basically unstable molecules that cause damage to our skin cells. It’s difficult to avoid free radicals, as they can be naturally produced in the body and also be caused by exposure to toxins, environmental pollution, and ultraviolet light exposure.

Retinoids also increase cell turnover in the skin, making way for new cell growth. According to an older but well-cited 2006 study, they can boost the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen (HyaLife Full Body Collagen) in the skin and reduce the breakdown of collagen that already exists in the skin.

Collagen is essential to strong, youthful-looking skin. As you mature, your body begins to produce less collagen and elastin. Your body also begins to break down your collagen, elastin, and fat stores. This can contribute to more thin and sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles.

In addition to preserving your collagen stores, retinoids can also promote new collagen production.

This may help “fill in” or reduce the appearance of existing wrinkles and help prevent new ones from forming.

You may also see improvements in:

• skin texture
• hydration levels
• tone
age spots
• overall pigmentation

For retinoids to work, you must use them on a continuous basis.

Retinoids are used to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. These types of wrinkles develop in the surface of your skin. If you’re trying to address deeper wrinkles, talk with your dermatologist to discuss the different options available to you.
What’s the difference between retinoids and retinol?

The terms retinoids and retinol are often used interchangeably. Despite being fairly similar, there are a few differences between the two.

LN Retinol Serum is a milder OTC class of retinoid. Retinol works in the same way that prescription retinoids do but is milder than its prescription counterparts.

While retinol can be very effective, it can take longer to yield results. This means that retinol is slightly weaker than prescription retinoids but still works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and treat mild forms of acne and hyperpigmentation.