Retinoids v Retinol
Tretinoin (also known as retinoic acid) belongs to a family of ingredients called retinoids, which are all derived from Vitamin A. It’s only available on prescription as it’s a whole lot more powerful and effective than other members of the retinoid family, including retinol and retinaldehyde and for this reason, it has been used by dermatologists for decades to treat skin concerns ranging from acne and pigmentation to improving the appearance of fines lines and wrinkles.
Tretinoin is the most active form of retinoid and works directly on receptors (called retinoic acid receptors) found on your skin cells and this is how it exerts its biological effects in your skin. Over-the-counter retinoids such as retinol need to be broken down by enzymes in your skin to become active which is why they are less effective. In fact, studies have shown Tretinoin to be around 20 times stronger than retinol which is why the percentages of Tretinoin used are lower than retinol.
Being a potent prescription ingredient, Tretinoin can be associated with side effects such as dryness, irritation and skin peeling, usually when it’s first started. For this reason, we gradually increase the strength of Tretinoin in your Personalised Solution to give your skin time to build up its tolerance so that you can see results whilst minimising the chance of experiencing side-effects.