Retinoids vs. Retinol

You have been hearing about retinoids and retinol for decades.

 What’s the difference? While both products are Vitamin A derivatives, Retinoids are prescription strength products that require a visit to the doctor and the pharmacy. Retinols are weaker but over the counter and much easier (and less expensive) to access. Both can help with fine lines and wrinkles, mild to moderate acne, boosts collagen production, speed up cellular turnover, and improve unwanted pigmentary changes of the skin. Both retinoids and retinols have been a staple in my dermatology practice for 23 years for anyone who wants to have a healthier, more youthful complexion (aka everyone).

Which to choose?

The biggest drawback of retinoids, which limits its use for many, is the potential for redness, dryness, flaking, peeling and irritation for many who use it. While these symptoms may diminish over time, for many they never do. That can be frustrating.

Retinols are a great option for anyone who has experienced the irritating side effects of prescription retinoids. You will get the same great benefits as retinoids:

  • reduction of fine lines and wrinkles
  • improvement of skin texture and tone
  • increased collagen production
  • improvement of mild to moderate acne
  • improvement of pigmentation changes, but without the irritating side effects.

Our Hydrating Retinol Serum can be used with other great Save the Wave Skincare products

Like to exfoliate? Retinol has exfoliating properties but can be used with a scrub 1-2x/week if tolerated. Try our gentle Amber & Honey Gentle Exfoliating Scrub.

Our Rejuvenating 10% Lactic Acid Gel Exfoliator can be used 1x/week to allow better penetration of the Hydrating Retinol Serum to get the maximum benefits (stop retinol one day prior to peel and one day post peel).

Always remember to hydrate and use one of our mineral based sunscreens every single day, to keep the skin protected, healthy, and looking its best. And finally, please remember to discontinue all retinol, exfoliants and peels for one week prior to any in-office laser treatment or waxing of affected areas.

We can’t wait to hear your results!

-Elena & Heather.

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