When it comes to retinoids, the golden standard is still tretinoin (the active ingredient in Retin A), which has been shown for years to have anti-aging benefits.
The fashion and beauty magazines are full of articles about “Retinaldehyde,” a new kind of retinol product that they say provides clinically proven improvements for a host of skin conditions, from aging to acne care. But what exactly is Retinaldehyde? Does it really work? And how do you know which kind of retinol is right for your skincare needs?
A Retinol Primer Retinol was first introduced in the 1950s. In studies, it was shown to repair certain skin areas when applied directly to the skin for long periods of time. For this reason, many dermatologists prescribe retinol products for dark spots, wrinkles and damaged skin cells caused by sun damage.
How does Retinoids work?
Retinoids work by stimulating cellular turnover and collagen production to reverse signs of aging. But unlike Reinaldehyde, many research studies have been done on retinol and it’s effectiveness for reversing visible signs of aging. Reinaldehyde is a milder form of retinoids containing vitamin A and has similar properties as retinol but not exactly the same.
Let’s Examine Retinoids – Reinaldehyde, Esters, Retinoic Acid
Because of its strength and versatility, retinoic acid is the standard by which all other cosmeceuticals are measured. Retinoic Acid is derived from Vitamin A. You can find a variety of retinol based products on the market. As a group they are called retinoids, and in addition to retinoic acid they include reinaldehyde and esters. Most are topical formulations although oral retinoic acid is used to treat severe acne. Retinoic acid also has anti-aging properties. It can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and lighten hyperpigmentation associated with sun spots and age spots. Retinoids promote thinning of the outermost layer and increase regeneration of the epidermis. Side effects include skin irritation and redness. Other formulations such as esters do not have these side effects but are not as effective. For daily use, retinaldehyde must be both effective and tolerated. Use of retinoids must be discontinued up to a week prior to any cosmetic procedures such as lasers, chemical peels, or microdermabrasion. However, they can be used in conjunction with these procedures to enhance and prolong their benefits. In fact, retinoids can actually expedite healing.
Is Retinaldehyde Better Than Retinol?
The key difference is that retinaldehyde is much closer in power to retinoic acid, but without the infamous side effects. It therefore acts up to 11x faster than retinol at providing anti-ageing, radiance-boosting and clarifying benefits to the skin.
Retinaldehyde, though just as gentle as retinol, is more powerful than its counterpart. If you’re looking for a retinoid that goes the extra mile (and you can afford to pay more), make the switch!