What Smart Consumers Need To Know About Retinoids
The best retinol for your skin
If you’re interested in the science of skincare, chances are, you’ve heard of retinoids. But what exactly are they, and why are they good for your skin? Let’s break down the myths the skincare industry has built up around retinoids, and reveal the truth behind this superstar ingredient.
Retinoids, a family of molecules that most people know as Vitamin A, possess powerful anti-aging and anti-acne benefits. They’re a special class of vitamins that turn on skin chemistry and are highly effective in stimulating the production of new cells—which leads to firmer, smoother, and more glowing skin.
What is less known is that not all retinoids are created equal, and retinoid products on the market today have varying degrees of potency, effectiveness, and irritating effects. At the highest end of the spectrum, products formulated with retinoic acid are the most powerful. Retinoic acid, considered to be 100 times more potent than off-the-shelf retinol, is approved by the FDA as a treatment that activates collagen production, reverses acne, eliminates existing wrinkles, and prevents new ones from forming.
But, as effective as it is because retinoic acid is regulated by the FDA, products containing this potent ingredient require a prescription—which is not always convenient for folks with busy lives. It can also be irritating to the skin, which limits its practical use.
On the other hand, off-the-shelf retinoid products typically contain only trace or slightly higher amounts of the active ingredient (0.01% to 0.5%), which means that you may have to wait up to 12 weeks to see any signs of skin improvement. To achieve the most noticeable effects in the least amount of time, you’ll need to use products with higher concentrations of retinol (ideally over 2%), which can be costly for manufacturers.
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Truth Treatments has created a super-potent and very effective Truth Retinol 5% Gel, formulated to be equipotent to prescription-strength retinoic acid, but without the troublesome need for a prescription. We also threw in a healthy dose of premium, stable, skin softening Vitamin C into our Truth Retinol 5% Gel. So, in addition to reducing the appearance of wrinkles and scars, you’ll also get all the wonderful skin benefits associated with Vitamin C like increased hydration, firmness, and evenness in your skin tone.
Lastly, many people avoid retinoids and say they’re too irritating to use regularly. This is not quite true—what sometimes passes for irritation can be skin stress that acts as a precursor to the growth of new cells and connective tissue, similar to the way weight lifting and exercise work. Think of it as a workout for your skin!
Instead of avoiding retinol altogether, we suggest using it intelligently. Apply small amounts and find a dosing schedule that works for you. For some folks, that might be once every two weeks; for others, once every 5 days. A good starting point is once every 10-12 nights. We also recommend starting off with our Truth Retinol 1% Gel, and working up to our Truth Retinol 5% strength.
As a pharmacist who has been formulating prescriptions and pharmacy-potent skin health products for over 30 years, I know that there are amazing anti-aging and skin health benefits from the strategic and smart use of retinol. With careful periodic application and enough days off for your skin to rest, you’ll be able to maximize your skin’s health and beauty with retinoids.
…and that’s The Truth.
Here at Truth Treatments, we’re proud to act as your resource for holistic wellness, and unafraid to dispel skincare myths that most of the skincare industry tries to sell you. If you’ve learned something from this article, please share it with a friend or follow us on Instagram to join in on the conversation!