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Are you looking for skincare products to help your skin look and feel younger, clear up acne breakouts, or create even skin tone and texture? Retinoids are skincare powerhouse products that deliver exceptional results, but you need to find the right ones and use them the right way. In this blog, you can learn more about how to use retinoids and the recommended retinoid products from the team.

So, What Exactly Are Retinoids?

Retinoids are skincare products derived from vitamin A that offer numerous benefits for the appearance and health of the skin. From antiaging effects to clearing pores and reducing inflammation, retinoids can help improve the overall skin tone and texture to help people look and feel their best. Retinoids can be applied topically or taken orally, depending on the patient's specific needs. Retinoid products are typically available via prescription only.

Are Retinols Different?

Retinols are skincare products that are similar to retinoids. They are also derived from vitamin A and can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. These topical skincare products are often less concentrated than prescription-strength retinoids, so they may be a better option for patients with sensitive skin, those who can’t tolerate prescription-strength retinoids, or those who prefer an over-the-counter skincare option.

What Are the Benefits of Using Retinoids or Retinols?

There are many benefits of including retinoids or retinols in your skincare routine, including:

  •  Increasing production of collagen and elastin for firm, smooth skin
  •  Regulating skin cell turnover for a smoother tone and texture
  •  Diminishing skin inflammation, puffiness, and skin thickening, which can be beneficial for psoriasis sufferers
  •  Clearing skin during acne breakouts and unclogging pores
  •  Protecting skin from sun damage
  •  Addressing melasma and other skin conditions that cause dark spots or discoloration

How Should I Add a Retinoid or Retinol into My Skincare Routine?

While retinoids offer so many benefits for skin health, they can also lead to side effects like redness, itching, burning, dryness, and flaking skin. For this reason, it’s important to take the time to find the right retinoid or retinol for your skin and choose a low dosage that you can increase as your skin adjusts to the retinol. In most cases, you should start with a very low-dose retinol product like SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 Apply this product every other day for a month or longer. Then, you can increase application to daily for a few weeks before switching to a stronger product like the SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5. You continue this process until your skin is acclimated to handle the strongest retinol skincare products, such as SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 and Revision Skincare Retinol Complete 1.0 . When in doubt, schedule a visit with a trusted dermatologist to create a plan to add a retinoid or retinol into your skincare routine. You can also keep reading to learn more about the recommended retinol products from our Derm Skincare team.

SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3

If you’re still moving up to stronger doses of retinols or your skin hasn’t responded adversely to retinols in the past, SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 may be your best option. Specially formulated to be gentle to the skin, SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 offers an increased boost of retinol that minimizes the risk for adverse side effects. This product is also free of parabens, fragrance, and gluten and it’s non-comedogenic, meaning it’s a good option for those with mild skin sensitivity or acneic skin. SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 is one of the few skincare products that is even great for combination skin. Because it’s formulated with skin sensitivities in mind, those who have sensitive skin may be able to utilize this product if they work their way up starting with the gentler Avene products. However, people with sensitive skin should always consult with a dermatologist before introducing any new skincare products.

SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 & Revision Skincare Retinol Complete 0.5

If you’ve worked your way up to the SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 but you still need a stronger dose of retinol, SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 and Revision Skincare Retinol Complete 0.5 are two great options. The SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 was formulated specifically for those who have used the SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3, so it’s an easy transition. For those who notice some adverse side effects as they start using stronger retinol products, Revision Skincare Retinol Complete 0.5 may be a better option. Its time-release retinol helps to minimize irritation. Additionally, Revision Skincare Retinol Complete 0.5 offers a hydrating boost that also reduces skin inflammation and irritation.

SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 & Revision Skincare Retinol Complete 1.0

For those who are looking for the most dramatic results from over-the-counter retinols, working up to using SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 or Revision Skincare Retinol Complete 1.0 should be the goal. SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 is formulated to maximize retinol benefits, including promoting cell turnover, increasing collagen and elastin production, and unclogging pores. It’s a great option for those who are working to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and those who have frequent acne breakouts. For those who have dryer skin or who have noticed irritation caused by stronger retinols, the Revision Skincare Retinol Complete 1.0 may be a better option. Like the Revision Skincare Retinol Complete 0.5, this retinol has a time-release formula that minimizes the potential for adverse skin reactions.

Need Help Adding a Retinoid into Your Skincare Routine?

The over-the-counter retinols available from are effective and make a big impact for many patients. If you have sensitive skin or can’t seem to achieve your desired results with retinols, it may be time to talk to a dermatologist for specific product recommendations or to learn more about prescription-strength retinoids. The dermatologists at U.S. Dermatology Partners are here to help you achieve your skin health goals. If you’re ready to learn more about retinoids and find the right product for your skincare needs, take a few moments to complete our online scheduling request form. Once we receive your request form, one of our local team members will be in touch to finalize the details of your visit.