Decoding Retinoids: Here’s everything you ought to know
Boost collagen to reduce fine lines, and speed up cell turnover to even out discolouration with retinoids, the cure for your skin problems.Updated: Jun 27, 2018 12:14 IST
Over the years, retinoids (a class of chemical compounds that are vitamers of vitamin A or are chemically related to it) have become a must-have for beauty enthusiasts. Such is the popularity of retinoids that it has been hailed has a cure-all for skin problems such as pigmentation, acne, and wrinkles. We got in touch with dermatologists Dr. Suruchi Puri and Dr. Madhuri Agarwal, who gave us the low-down on it.
What are retinoids
According to experts, they can be defined as topical or oral products that are derived from or related to Vitamin A. They first came into existence in 1971, in the US.
How do they work
They work by increasing the production of collagen and by stimulating the blood vessels in the skin, which leads to skin regeneration. This means that over a period, one tends to get new skin. Retinoids also prevent dead cells from clogging pores, which prevents the formation of pimples and acne.
How to use
According to experts, despite all the benefits of retinoids, it does have side effects that need to be kept in mind. Experts suggest that since this cream is an over-the-counter product, which means you can buy it without a prescription, people tend to use it without supervision. However, do not forget that it’s a skin supplement, hence one should use it only under the supervision of a dermatologist. Also, it’s better if you start by using a milder derivative. Apply in the night after washing your face. Go gently and slowly so that your skin can get time to get used to it. It is preferable avoid applying the cream in the morning and go in the Sun as being exposed can cause an allergic reaction, known as retinoid dermatitis. If you are using the cream then opt for a moisturiser and a sunscreen.
Initially, retinoids can cause redness on the skin. Since retinoids lead to an increased turnover of the skin cells, it can cause flaking, dry skin, and itching. Experts also strongly advise not to use the cream during pregnancy as it can harm the fetus.
According to experts, retinoid is a skin supplement and, ideally, should be taken if your diet does not contain vitamin A. One should consume papaya, eggs, mangoes, and carrots on a regular basis to get vitamin A naturally. And opt for natural skin supplements such as aloe vera and green tea extract for skin. However, experts also state that benefits of the long-term disciplined use of retinoids are more compared to a diet rich in vitamin A.