Why You Should be Using Retinoids

Between the sun, pollution, chemicals, and free radicals, our skin gets exposed to a lot over the years, and as we age it can start to show signs of wear. A good skincare routine can help combat this, particularly one that involves the use of retinoids.

You’ve probably heard of retinoids, as they are commonly touted as a miracle cure for acne and aging and can already be found in a number of popular skincare products. But do you know what they are and how they work?

Here’s what you should know about retinoids and why you should consider adding them to your current skincare routine.

What are retinoids?

Retinoids are a class of chemical compound derived from vitamin A that aids in regulating the body’s natural function of desquamation, or the shedding of dead skin cells. If skin cells are not properly shed, they can get stuck together and clog your pores which often results in problems like acne or small red dots known as “chicken skin” or keratosis pilaris. Retinoids are also known to have anti-inflammatory and collagen boosting properties, which is why so many people also use them to fight against uneven skin and signs of aging.

There are many different types of retinoids in varying forms and strengths, both natural and synthetic. The most popular is retinol, but other retinoids include retinoic acid, isotretinoin, alitretinoin, etretinate, acitretin, adapalene, bexarotene, and tazarotene.

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How do retinoids work?

The human body has 48 known nuclear receptors in our skin and tissues, and each has a special function. Experts believe that retinoids bind to and activate retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and retinoic X receptors (RXRs) in our cells. By activating these receptors, retinoids boost our skin’s collagen production, regulate the shedding of dead cells and encourage new cell growth.

Retinoids are also thought to inhibit transcription factors such as activator protein 1 (AP-1), which is linked to inflammation and immune system response. Retinoids also encourage intercellular communication, which stimulates the repair and growth of skin cells.

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