Retinoids are a broad class of compounds derived from vitamin A or synthetic forms of vitamin A. While they exist in different forms and strengths, retinoids are unanimously used for a wide variety of skin concerns ranging from acne, to hyperpigmentation, and aging skin.
Some retinoids are available under a doctor’s prescription. But there are a bunch of over the counter alternatives that work just as well. You can usually find over the counter retinoids in the form of retinol, retinaldahyde, and retinal palmate. While retinoids such as tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene require a prescription.
With the varying degrees of potency, it can be confusing to decide which retinoid is best to address your needs. Regardless of which type of retinoid you choose, keep in mind that they're pretty much applied in the same manner.
HOW TO APPLY RETINOIDS
Though extremely effective in treating various skin conditions, it’s important to remember that retinoids can cause peeling, mild irritation and even post inflammatory hyperpigmentation if not used correctly. In the initial stages it can be nerve-racking trying to figure out the frequency of applications in order to avoid things like skin irritation from happening. By following these steps, you can avoid these sort of disasters.
WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN USING RETINOIDS
It’s not a good idea to mix retinoids with AHA (alpha hydroxy acids), BHA (beta hydroxy acid), or PHA (poly hydroxy acid) as they can increase skin irritation and cause PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) especially on darker skin tones. Darker skin tones (Fitzpatrick scale 5&6) are prone to hyperpigmentation which can take months and even years to get rid of.
If you want to use certain actives in your skincare routine other that retinoids, then consult a dermatologist who can structure your skin routine. Below is a list of the actives that can and cannot be combined with retinoids.
HOW TO MIX RETINOIDS WITH OTHER ACTIVE INGREDIENTS
RETINOIDS AND ANTI-AGING