Retinol and tretinoin are both compounds made from vitamin A, and they’re commonly used in topical creams to treat a variety of skin conditions. However, there are some key differences between the two. Retinol is an over-the-counter (OTC) product and is generally more gentle on the skin, while tretinoin is a prescription-strength retinoid that is 20 times more potent than retinol and is a better choice for those with more tolerant or oily skin.
How Do Retinol and Tretinoin Work?
Tretinoin does not go through any conversions on the skin to become active, it is already in its active form. Retinol on the other hand must go through two conversions on the skin to become active. It first needs to be converted to retinaldehyde and then retinoic acid, which makes it less potent when compared to tretinoin.
How Do Retinol and Tretinoin Benefit Your Skin?
Both retinol and tretinoin stimulate “turnover” in the skin, exfoliating the top dead layers of skin to reveal healthier and smoother skin beneath. This can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as hyperpigmentation. Additionally, both products can also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, which can help to give it a more toned and youthful appearance.
Face Studio Clinics Top Tips When Using Retinol or Tretinoin