Why You Should be Using Retinoids

Benefits: Clearer skin

Acne breakouts can be irritating, embarrassing, and sometimes even painful, but retinoids have been used to successfully treat this condition ever since retinol was first introduced on the market in 1971. Acne is caused by oil trapped inside clogged pores and can manifest in the form of whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and in severe cases, painful cysts deep below the skin.

Because retinoids help unclog pores by encouraging your skin to shed dead cells, they can be used to treat moderate to extreme cases of acne with remarkable success. A 2011 study found that 55 percent of patients who visited dermatologists for their acne problems were prescribed some form of retinoid treatment.

Zero Creatives / Getty Images

Benefits: More even skin

Retinoids have also long been used to treat uneven skin, discoloration, and pigmentation disorders like melisma (gray or brown patches), actinic lentigines (liver spots), and hyperpigmentation. By promoting the shedding of old cells and the growth of new cells, products containing retinoids can help regenerate your skin and correct discoloration, making it look more radiant and evenly toned.

TimoninaIryna / Getty Images

Benefits: Less damage

Even if you’re not lying down in a tanning bed or spending all day out in the sun, your skin is still being exposed to harmful UV rays year-round that can speed up the aging process and visibly damage skin. Those of us who are sun worshippers are likely already showing some visible signs of sun damage like freckles, spots, and wrinkles or moles. Because retinoids promote skin cell turnover they can be highly effective in repairing skin damage caused by sun exposure and promoting the regrowth of normal skin cells.

asiandelight / Getty Images
2 of 4