What Are Retinoids?
Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that increase cellular turnover, which causes our skin to regenerate more quickly, thus making your skin look more youthful, vibrant, and refreshed.
The umbrella term “retinoid” is used for all vitamin A derivatives (ex: retinol, retinAL, prescription strength Retin-A). What differentiates them is their strength—i.e. how many conversions they must go through to become active and effective on the skin. The fewer conversions, the more potent and effective the retinoid will be.
How does age affect cellular turnover?
As we age, our cellular turnover decreases significantly. When we are babies, our cellular turnover is as quick as 2 weeks — but once you’re in your 20s-40s, it’s more like 1-2 months!
What are the benefits of retinoids?
Aside from SPF, retinoids are the #1 product for promoting long-term skin health across all skin types. They are fundamental in your skincare routine–they build the foundation for healthy skin by increasing cellular turnover. Here are just a few of their amazing benefits:
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines + wrinkles by increasing collagen production
- Improves skin tone + texture for smoother, firmer looking skin
- Aids in fading sun spots and smoothing out rough patches on the skin
- Increases cellular turnover, which can minimize breakouts
- Stimulates production of new blood vessels on the skin, which improves the color of the skin
Do I need to use a retinoid?
Retinoids help keep our skin looking younger and healthier. We recommend that everyone over the age of 25 should use one. Plus, if you struggle with acne at any age, retinoids are one of our most recommended treatments!
So, how do retinoids work?
In order for a retinoid to work its magic and actually induce change in the skin, it has to be in the form of retinoic acid.
What Retinoid to Use and When to Use It
- Bakuchiol has been shown to lengthen the time of a retinoid's effectiveness
- Because bakuchiol has been shown to calm and soothe the skin, it has the capability to increase the tolerability of retinoids, which can cause sensitivity and flaking when used alone.
- Bakuchiol increases the absorption of retinoids and makes it easier for the skin to absorb
- Bakuchiol is an antioxidant that works together with your retinoid to protect the skin from environmental aggressors
How to Use RetinAL Skin Therapy + Overachiever Together
The key when starting ANY retinoid is to start it slowly and gradually. We recommend starting 3 nights per week on alternating days and gradually working up to 5-7 nights per week.
Apply after your serums in your evening routine. You can apply moisturizer/facial oil after based on your skin’s hydration needs.
Added bonus: RetinAL Skin Therapy is even gentle enough to be used around the eyes and on the neck & chest, which are areas that tend to be neglected with retinoid use because they are more sensitive/reactive.
When in conjunction with Overachiever, use Overachiever in the morning and RetinAL Skin Therapy in the evening.
If there is a night that you are not using RetinAL Skin Therapy—like evenings you use a high percentage chemical exfoliant—use Overachiever both morning and night. (Studies done with bakuchiol show best results with twice daily use!)
If you’re using any other retinoid that’s not RetinAL Skin Therapy, you can use Overachiever 2x per day. We especially recommend it with Retin-A since it can help calm and soothe the skin after those more intense reactions.
Times to Skip a Retinoid
There may be instances when you are unable to use a retinoid, like when you’re pregnant or nursing. This is when you can use bakuchiol (Overachiever) as your retinoid alternative (but always get clearance from your OB first). Bakuchiol (when used twice daily) has similar long-term benefits as a retinoid, but with less irritation, sensitivity and redness that can occur from using a retinoid alone.
More Usage Tips
For more tips and tricks for using retinoids, check out these other articles: