3 Reasons Why You Should Use Retinoids


One of the ingredients everyone should incorporate in their skincare routine is Retinoids. They are derivates of Vitamin A and include Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin) Retinoic acid, Retinol, Retinyl linoleate, Retinyl palmitate and Tazarotene. These ingredients were first used in the 1970s to treat acne, but patients discovered that during the treatment their skin had improved in many other ways. Here’s what Retinoids can do for your skin:

1. Retinoids prevent AND reduce wrinkles

All those anti-ageing ingredients commonly found in beauty products don’t reduce the wrinkles you already have but can only prevent new ones from forming. Some also contain ingredients like silicones that temporarily fill them in reducing their appearance, but nothing can get rid of wrinkles once they’re formed. Nothing bar Retinoids. Retinoids are the only thing that so far has been scientifically proven to reduce wrinkles thanks to its ability to stimulate the production of Hyaluronic Acid and collagen, which are the substances that give skin its structure, firmness and fullness. And not only do Retinoids stimulate their production, but they also slow down their depletion (which happens as we get old) preventing new wrinkles from forming! Of course you shouldn’t expect miracle results overnight, but with prolonged use you’ll see an improvement.

2. Retinoids treat acne

If you have acne, retinoids can help. Retin-A, for instance, is one of the most common treatments prescribed for the treatment of acne vulgaris. It’s not clear why and how it works, but it probably something to do with its ability to unclog pores. Although less strong, over the counter retinoids, such as retinol, can help keep acne under control too.

3. Retinoids fade hyperpigmentation spots

Hyperpigmentation (or dark spots on the skin) can be caused by several things: the sun, melasma, hormones, even cuts and bruises. Whatever the cause, Retinoids help speed up the skin’s natural cell turn over (the process by which skin replaces itself) so that these spots fade much faster.

Some tips on how to use Retinoids

Retinoids may be fantastic and beneficial ingredients, but like all good things in life, they don’t come without side effects. Here are a few tips on how to avoid them and get the best results from Retinoids.

– Because of their exfoliating action they can cause redness, burning, stinging and flaky skin in some people, especially those with sensitive skin. If that’s happened to you, only use retinoids two or three times a week instead than daily. In addition, apply only a very small amount and don’t use any other type of exfoliant or it might be too much for your skin, which will react badly.

– Another side effect of their exfoliating properties is that they make skin more susceptible to sun burns and sun damage in general. For this reason, it’s best to use Retinoids at night. If you wanna use them during they day though you can, but remember to also use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

– Retinoids should never be used in conjunction with AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids) as they will make them less effective. However, these ingredients are also good for the skin so if you wanna use them all, apply AHA or BHA during the day and Retinoids before going to sleep at night.

– Pregnant women and women that are breastfeeding should avoid using Retinoids. That’s because taking Retinoids orally can be harmful to the child and cause birth defects. And although there is no proof suggesting that Retinoids applied topically have the same side effects, dermatologists recommend to err on the side of caution and avoid them while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Do you use Retinoids in your skincare routine?

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  1. beautifulwithbrains says

    Connie, retinaldehyde is one of the less irritating form of retinoids and usually it works well at small concentrations. I’m sure the product you are using is working but like all antiaging products, it needs time before you can see the results. :)

  2. tina says

    Thanks for the good article.
    dear Giorgia, have you ever come across reduced glutathione? it’s a dietary supplement antioxidant. what do you think of it?

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Tina, you’re welcome. Reduced glutathione is a powerful antioxidants but unfortunately scientific studies so far have shown that it is not well absorbed by the body in supplement form. So, when taken orally, it is less effective. It also has some side effects, but then any supplement can potentially have some too. Personally, I would use a good moisturizer or serum full of antioxidants and eat a healthy diet than rely on reduced glutathione. Hope this helps.

  3. meryem says

    i love your blog, please can you do a review about neostrata skincare, with retionol or aha,

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Meryem, I don’t think I ever saw Neostrata products in my town but I will try to get a hold of them and review them. In the meantime, I had a look at the ingredient lists of their products and most of them seem to be well-formulated, although quite overpriced.

  4. meryem says


    thank you for your interest, neostrata is a canadian brand, and i live in canada, and yes its overpriced but they have a wrinkle repair with retionol for 30 dollar or35,
    can you recommend me a good brand with retionol,

    thank you so much
    sorry for my english iam french

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Meryem, I didn’t know it was a French brand. I know it is available here in Italy but my town is small so most brands aren’t sold here. But I’ll do to my best to get my hands on their products. :)

      Unfortunately products with Retinoids tend to be quite expensive. A good drugstore option would be Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream, (Night Formula or Original formula), which contains a stable form of Retinol and it comes in a tube. Roc Multi-Correxion Night Treatment is another not too expensive product with retinol. Hope this helps.

      And your English is really good. :)

  5. JohnDoe says


    I’m using the retino-A 0.025% cream for anti-aging purposes, 3X/week. I don’t experience redness, but I do see some flakes and skinpeeling, especially around nose and chin… Any tips bwb?



    • beautifulwithbrains says

      JohnDoe hi. I’m sorry you’re experiencing some side effects. How long have you been using the cream for? The flakes and peeling occur because skin needs time to get used to retinol but if you’ve been using it for a few weeks it may just be that this ingredient isn’t suitable for your skin type.

  6. JohnDoe says

    Well, I have been using it for 4 weeks now. I’ve read it can take up till 3 months for the flaking to disappear. Is that true? Note that I’m using a prescription retinoid, not a beauty creme…

    I wonder if should continue this experiment?

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      JohnDee, well if you have sensitive skin, then yes it may take a few months for the flaking to disappear. Although if in 4 weeks you haven’t seen even a slight improvement I’m not sure it’s a good idea to keep using it. Prescription retinoid creams are “stronger” than cosmetic retinoid creams so maybe switching to a cosmetic cream may work better for you. It may not irritate your skin as much. Keep in mind though that some people just can’t use retinoids as their skin just can’t get used to them so if you don’t see an improvement soon or even cosmetic creams don’t work for you, it will better to stop using retinoids altogether.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Katrina, ROC Multi-Correxion Night Treatment, SkinCeutical Retinol 1.0 Maximum Strength Refining Night Cream with 1.0% Pure Retinol and Paula’s Choice RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer, Skin Remodeling Complex are all good options.

      • Katrina says

        Great! I’ve been constantly hearing about the ROC Multi-Correxion Night Treatment, so I’ll give it a try. Hopefully it won’t cause me terrible side effects, worth a try though. Thanks!

        • beautifulwithbrains says

          Katrina, you’re welcome. I hope you won’t experience any side effects either. To minimize the risk, start using it every other day at first to give your skin time to get used to it. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Fiona, hi. Usually, mid-20s are a great time to start using retinol, but it could be used even earlier if you needed it to help with conditions such as acne. But I definitely wouldn’t wait until wrinkles appear. While it can help reduce them, it takes a long time to do so and, in any case, it’s best to use it to prevent them in the first place.

  7. riza says

    thanks for that good information. pls. give an advice, im using UK DERM ERASE tretinoin ANTI ACNE AND DEPIGMENTING SOLUTION 250mcg/ml, i feel breathing hard and experience headache everytime i use, would you advice me to stop using it or can you give me some tips how to avoid such side effects. it’s good to my skin. thanks a lot.


    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Riza, those side effects sound pretty serious. I think you should stop using it, and switch to a less strong form of retinoids. It will work more slowly, but you shouldn’t experience any side effects. Hope this helps.


  1. […] 3 Reasons of Using Retinoids and Steps to Effective Usage: Retinoids is clinically proven as the most effect anti-age treatment to date. Its enriched Vitamin A complex not only exfoliate to enhance cell turnover rate, it also stimulate collagen and hydraluronic acid to plump up the skin and reduce wrinkles. […]

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