What Topical Retinoids Can Do For You

If you want to change your skin at all, in any single way, then topical retinoids are the secret to achieving your skin goals.

When you hear the word retinoid, you may immediately jump to thinking about Accutane, and the many friends you had in high school who used it.

Which may bring back horrible memories of extremely red, irritated skin that eventually led to killing off any trace of acne.

It’s true that topical retinoids are great at getting rid of acne—more on that later—but they’re a magical product that does so much more.

Dive in and check out the many benefits of topical retinoids, and the best way to start using one today.

Topical Retinoids Benefit #1: Anti-Aging Miracle Worker

topical retinoids are anti-aging miracle workers
Image via Bustle

Whether you’re 25 or 55, topical retinoids are a must in your skincare routine if you want to slow down signs of aging, or even begin to reverse them.

In fact, retinoic acid, the active ingredient in topical retinoids, is the only ingredient recognized by the FDA to actually improve the cellular function of aged and photodamaged skin.

What does all that fancy talk mean?  It promotes cell turnover, which leads to an increase in collagen production, which leads to a decrease in wrinkles and fine lines.

And if anything can increase collagen, you know you want a piece of that.

Or, if you’re one of the lucky ones who have yet to have a single line on your face, topical retinoids can actually help you avoid getting them (to an extent).

But… you have to commit to using it.

When it comes to topical retinoids, it takes weeks, not days, to begin to see changes in your skin.

And depending on which topical retinoid you’re using, you can have different results at different times, as well.

If you want to read more about the many topical retinoids available to you, be sure you check out our post here.

So if you struggle to get ready for bed every night, or even run a hairbrush through your hair before leaving for work each morning, it’s asking a lot to use something multiple times a week.

Especially if you aren’t going to see immediate results.

Not to sound too intense, but if you aren’t willing to commit to using topical retinoids, there’s no point in starting at all.  And honestly, you’re just wasting your money.

You have to be committed because topical retinoids work on a molecular level—skin cells contain retinoid receptors that help regulate specific anti-aging functions.

So being consistent and making it a part of your routine is crucial if you’re going to have success!

Topical Retinoids Benefit #2: Complete Makeover For Your Complexion

topical retinoid is a complete makeover for skin
Image via Telegraph

In the rare case that you aren’t all that interested in anti-aging benefits from topical retinoids, or if you already have a product that helps you achieve all that, then there are plenty of other reasons a topical retinoid is right for you.

Struggle with large pores and black heads?  Topical retinoids can fix that.

Uneven skintone and texture?  Topical retinoids have you covered.

Sun spots that are totally killing your vibe?  This has your back.

Here’s the thing, though.  If you are still all about sunbathing and getting a killer tan, topical retinoids probably aren’t for you.

Retinoic acid will never be able to work its miracles if you’re exposing your skin to damage from the sun.

If that’s you, focus on other powerful anti-aging products like sunscreen, which according to some dermatologists, has been shown to make the skin look 24% younger.

Random number, we know.

Topical Retinoids Benefit #3: Severe Skin Problems Worst Enemy

topical retinoids help with severe skin issues
Image via Dr. Oz Show

One thing we failed to mention in the last section is how powerful topical retinoids are for managing and controlling acne.

For some people with severe cystic acne, topical retinoids are the only thing that can help.  While in those cases, a retinoid is most often taken orally, most dermatologists will start you on a topical retinoid first.

If you are struggling with mild acne, though, topical retinoids can come to your rescue, as well!

In addition to that, topical retinoids are often used to treat and manage other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, mostly due to its ability to increase cell turnover.

Here’s the thing—while topical retinoids are amazing when it comes treating every skin condition under the sun, you will probably have a reaction of some kind to it, mild or otherwise.

Redness, slight irritation, and dry skin are all very common side effects of using topical retinoids.

For best results and the least amount of disruption to your skin, dermatologist recommend following these easy steps:

steps for success with topical retinoids
Image via Derma Doctor

  • Start by using the product every other night and seeing how your skin reacts. Then increase frequency.
  • Wash your face before applying. Apply a pea sized amount to your entire face, avoiding the eye area
  • Wait 20 minutes to allow product to sink in before applying moisturizer
  • Wash your hands and expect discoloration on your face towels and pillowcases

Don’t be scared away by these instructions.  Following these simple steps and finding the right topical retinoid for your skin can be a total game changer for your overall appearance.

So give your dermatologist a call to discuss your options for topical retinoids, and be prepared to ease your way into gorgeous, glowing skin.

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About the Author ()

Jessica Jones is the Executive Editor of Retinol.com. At age 23, Jessica began seeing a few fine wrinkles and decided to make it her life's mission to stop them in their tracks! When she's not trying out the newest retinol creams, Jessica can usually be found at the gym, or at happy hour!