Acne. It can creep up on you overnight and turn into your worst nightmare, especially if you can't pinpoint what might be causing it.
When it comes to treating breakouts, the internet has no shortage of remedies including ingredients like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and benzoyl peroxide. But if these magic ingredients actually worked on every skin type, no one would ever suffer from a breakout again.
If you're someone who has struggled with skin issues for years, trying every remedy on the planet, only to discover that none of them work on your stubborn acne, it's time to bring out the big guns -- and by that we mean retinol.
If you've heard about retinol then you may have also come across 'retinoids' but did you actually know the difference between the two? Even though both are types of vitamin A but while retinoids are a broader term that encompasses over-the-counter and prescription-based retinol and retinoid products.
Will Retinol Get Rid of Acne?
Retinol is milder than retinoid and yields more gradual results, but it works the same way as its close cousin: by penetrating deep into the skin layer and binding with the nuclear receptors to regular your skin cell turnover.
Retinoid acid is a more efficient acne treatment than salicylic acid, which only works on the surface to exfoliate your skin, or benzoyl peroxide, which disinfects your face and unclogs pores.
Retinol is often used as part of broader acne treatment, combined with other skincare staples like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. However, you must mix these ingredients with caution as one can easily deactivate the other.
According to dermatologist Karen Hammerman, retinol and benzoyl peroxide can be used together, although it may cause dryness. However, a higher concentration of the peroxide may cancel out the effect of retinoids which is why it is recommended to use salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide during the day, and retinol at night.
The good news about retinol is that it works on all types of acne, although it might be useful to consult your dermatologist about the exact concentration and amount. Your doctor will also be able to determine whether you need retinol or retinoid depending on the sensitivity of your skin. If your skin is more resilient, an over-the-counter retinoid might be more beneficial.