What Is Retinoic Acid Or Retinol and its Benefits?

While it is true that we are very clear that miracles do not exist in terms of improving our skin without doing anything about it, it is also true that for a long time a particular substance has been declared as “the star substance in terms of stopping aging ”, retinol or vitamin A (which is the same) will be responsible for achieving a much smoother and smoother skin.

How many times have you heard the word retinol or retinoic acid in cosmetics? Surely many times but you may not know what it is exactly or how it can help us improve our skin, as you may not know that there is a big difference between retinol and retinoic acid, that is, one is not the same as the other and we will find out all of this in this article.

If you are looking for cosmetics that help you with acne, that help you eliminate the spots on your face caused by the sun or you simply want an anti-aging treatment, I am sure that all this information will interest you enormously?

Now that we know that retinol and its derivatives are wonderful substances and that we should not do without if we have the opportunity, it is time to start learning a little more about them! ??

Here you will find the best creams with retinoic acid, surely you will be interested in knowing them: 10 best creams with retinoic acid. 

Let’s know a little about retinoids

As we have already said a little above, we have heard countless times about retinol, retinoids or retinoic acid, but we are probably not very clear about what they consist of, if they are the same and how we can make good use of them, therefore in this article I will explain it to you in detail and you will see the great importance they have in the world of cosmetics.

Many years ago, around 40 or 50, retinol began to be used to treat skin with acne and sun spots ? It was known that it improved the presence of pimples and that it considerably reduced the spots on the skin, so quickly It went viral all over the world and many cosmetics and treatments contained it in their formulation.

The big surprise was when people realized that not only did their acne and facial blemishes improve, but it also greatly reduced facial wrinkles and expression lines, offering a much smoother and softer skin, as well as plump and youthful. . When this happened, that’s when the boom of this substance really hit the cosmetic world.

The world of retinoids is great but we have clear is that they all derived from vitamin A . We can differentiate them thanks to their time or number of conversions that they must make until they become retinoic acid, that is, how many times it must be converted to achieve the maximum level, being a retinoic acid similar to the one our body produces naturally.

Now that we know a little about retinoids and vitamin A, let’s move on to talk in more detail about retinoic acid and retinol in particular, to see their differences and similarities ⚖ .

Here you will find everything you need to know about the wonderful and necessary vitamin A: Learn the functions of vitamin A in health.

Retinoic acid, what does it consist of?

Without a doubt, retinoic acid is the most effective , the one that offers the best results and the one that offers the fastest changes in our skin. The problem is that just as it has hundreds and thousands of benefits, it also has many side effects that harm us and that we must avoid.

This substance is very unstable? , if it comes into contact with sunlight or air, it rusts instantly and breaks down, losing all its properties and being practically nullified. In addition to that, it is also completely forbidden to use it if we are going to expose ourselves to the sun (such as going outside for any purpose, for a very short time that we are going to be) since the consequences are redness, inflammation, wounds or any other damage to our dermis.

Nor should we use it with other slightly more aggressive cosmetics , such as exfoliants and others, since in the same way it could harm our skin. For this reason it is a substance that has a medical prescription only for specific treatments.

Due to this, the world of cosmetics could not use it in its products and that is how little by little they were deriving the famous retinol, a substance from the same family and with great effectiveness but without so many side effects, so which is much more respectful with the dermis.

In this article you will find the best creams to end those wrinkles and enjoy a young and radiant face : The best anti-wrinkle creams.

Retinol, the most respectful option

As I told you, the elixir? Retinoic acid par excellence, but unfortunately not everything could be good and due to its numerous side effects it was decided to use it alone and exclusively as a substance prescribed by doctors to treat major problems, such as very severe acne.

But shortly after, its legal format arrived, that is, retinoic acid turned into a substance that does not have as many side effects and that we can find in many cosmetics for daily use, retinol .

But of course, being a much softer substance and not as powerful, we must also say that its effectiveness is not the same as that of retinoic acid, it is not as effective in terms of reducing wrinkles, in terms of treating spots nor acne, etc. But it still offers really amazing results and that is why many people use it today to get a much younger and more radiant face.

To make it a little more powerful, cosmetic brands decide to introduce other substances in the formulation of their products that encourage them to be better absorbed by our skin and thus make the most of them.

Even so, something that continues to be very similar to retinoic acid is its sensitivity to light and sun ?, so whenever you buy a product with retino, it is sure that its packaging is dark in color and made of a more resistant material that is not plastic, but rather metal or glass.

Benefits of using retinol

Now that we are clear that to use retinoic acid we need a prescription (you can go to your dermatologist and talk to him about the objective or the problems that you want to remedy with the use of this powerful substance and follow his recommendations to the letter) and that the most viable is the use of retinol, much more respectful but also less effective, it is time to know the benefits of this other substance.

Vitamin A is very necessary? for our skin, it will offer infinite properties and improvements to our face, as well as a most beautiful appearance, so a good dose of this vitamin should not be missing in our routines and for this our beloved retinol will take the cake, as well that we know a little more about its benefits.

  • It will enhance the synthesis of collagen and help increase its production
  • It will offer a much smoother and softer skin
  • It will provide large doses of hydration to the skin
  • It has a great ability to reverse photoaging
  • Soothes the skin and tightens the pores
  • It is ideal for people with oily skin, as it controls the production of sebum
  • Helps renew skin cells
  • It has great antioxidant properties, protecting the skin from external factors
  • Prevents hyperkeratinization and helps in the removal of blemishes on the face
  • Great ally when it comes to reducing wrinkles and expression lines

As you can see, this substance has innumerable benefits, here you can find the best known and most important, which are not few! ? It is really a star substance but it is important that we know how to use it and that we inform ourselves very well before adding it to our routines on our own.

All this is very important to avoid suffering its side effects that I am going to talk about next.

For all those who are looking for extra hydration , you will love knowing the best options on the market: 10 best moisturizing creams on the market. 

As everything can not be good (although not bad, we just have to be careful) does this substance have side effects? As you already know, although not all skins are the same and therefore not all of them should have the same effects or even not have it in some of them.Possible side effects

For you to know it to the fullest , the ideal is to also know that we can find each other after use, although if we do it well and following the steps of professionals or cosmetic manufacturers we do not have to have any problems in this regard .

  • Redness in the area of ​​the face or body where we have applied it
  • It is possible that we can observe some peeling of the skin
  • You may experience burning or itching in the area
  • Lack of hydration and dry skin
  • Presence of new pimples or stains
  • General inflammation of the area where we have applied it

It is clear that despite the fact that retinol is much gentler and respectful to the skin than retinoic acid, we must also be attentive to any effect it may produce, but don’t worry! that the cosmetics that we can buy with this substance are completely safe, since they have been tested and the amount that must be taken has been studied in depth to be completely safe.

Despite this, if you suffer from any of the symptoms that we have mentioned above, the ideal is to stop using the cosmetic or the substance itself and visit a dermatologist to show us the steps to follow.

Doubts about the use of retinol

We know the main difference between the two substances that we have heard hundreds of times as if it were only one, when in reality retino and retinoic acid are not the same, we have talked about the benefits of the first and about its possible side effects , We could say that we know a lot about him but there are still some issues that are vitally important to know .

So that we can leave this article being retinol experts, we are going to address the most frequent doubts that there are about this substance, so get ready, here we go! ??

When can I start using it?

The age is always something to make us confused, we do not know for our age is a good idea to make use of retinol, if instead it is better to wait for older be or may even think that already old we will not do anything use it (we can use this for any type of substance or cosmetic).

However, retinol is a substance that we can start using at any age, as long as its dose is correct? (always in a parameter between 0.1% and 0.3%), but the real age where we begin to need this substance is after 25 years.

What is the best way to use it?

It is clear that whenever we use retinol we do it through another cosmetic, such as a serum, a cream or any other product itself.

But depending on the type of skin? that we have, one type of product or another will be better, for example, people with oilier skin will be able to find gels rich in retinol that will help reduce the presence of acne, moisturizers or for any other purpose and serums for those who are fortunate enough to have normal skin and finally the oil rich in this substance for those drier and more sensitive dermis.

The oil format is very beneficial, since thanks to its texture it will help the retinol to penetrate much better and thus provide many more benefits and facilitate more wonderful results.

It is clear that everyone can use any other type of cosmetic, but the ideal is that they are always the most suitable for us, because only then will the results be surprising.

Each skin is different and that is why we must know ours perfectly to be able to offer you essential care, I leave you this interesting information here: Types of skin: Care and hydration of each type.

The best time of day to apply retinol?

There is always a time of day when doing our routine will be much more effective , for the simple reason that there are cosmetics that work better in certain circumstances and retinol is one of those substances that have an ideal moment in the day.

As you know, retinol is contraindicated with sunlight , so it is not a good idea to use it when we are going to go out on the street and we are going to expose ourselves to the sun or excessive light, since as I have said before it can have consequences unwished.

Therefore, the ideal time in which we should use our retinol every day is at night , when we get home and we know that we will not go out anymore, we do our routine and go to bed (or to see a movie?)

Is it a good idea to use retinol with other products?

Many times we are afraid of using some substances together with other products due to the fact of suffering a side effect or that it cancels the effect of any of them, however in the case of retinol it is very important that we use other cosmetics in addition to it, such as for example moisturizers ? to help us prevent retinol from drying out our skin or sunscreen if it is very likely that we will use it when we go out (although you already know that the recommendation is to use it at night)

Therefore, do not be afraid to use other products together with retinol, since in this case it is much more beneficial to do so.

Can we somehow acquire retinol with food?

Retinol is a substance that we can acquire naturally very easily, although the doses may be small and that is why in most cases an extra is needed, but it is still ideal that we add to our life and our daily diet foods rich in this substance, then I am going to leave you a list here with all the fruits and vegetables in which we can find retinol:


  • Plums
  • Tangerines
  • Melon
  • Mangoes
  • Peaches
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Bananas


  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Red pepper
  • Carrots
  • Mustard leaves
  • Endive and romaine lettuces
  • Chard
  • Broccoli

Times when we should not use retinol

Before starting with this section, here are some wonderful tips for daily routines that will fascinate you: Care Routine against Premature Aging of the skin and Definitive Treatments.

Like everything in life, there are times when it is better not to use retinol because it can be worse for certain reasons and that is why it is important that we know what those cases are.

With this section we finish our wonderful walk through the world of retinoids, so stay tuned ?? to be very clear when we should avoid its use.

  • When we have exfoliated the skin or even cleaned it:  Many of you will think “so you can’t use retinol in facial cleansing routines?” Yes, it can be used and even should, but not at the same moment, that is, when we finish cleaning or exfoliating the skin may make it a little more irritated or exposed to any damage and as you know retinol is a bit strong, so it is recommended to wait about 10/15 minutes to apply our beloved retinol and thus avoid any type of possible problem.
  • When we are in contact with the sun:  This is nothing new, I have already warned you many times throughout the article, but the reality is that it is extremely important that we be very careful with this issue, as it can cause irritations and many others problems like the ones we have named above.
  • When it causes irritation by itself: Many skins do not tolerate the use of retinol (as others may not tolerate any substance, each skin is different), therefore when we use it we may see irritations without more, doing all the steps well and without exposing ourselves to any risk. When this happens, the ideal is to stop using it, ask a dermatologist for advice on some other substance or similar treatment that suits us.
  • Treatments to end acne: Many acne  treatments have active ingredients that are not very similar to retinol, such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acid, therefore, when used together, the effectiveness of both may be nullified. and therefore the ideal is to wait and use each one in due course.
  • When we are going to wax our skin:  It is recommended to suspend the use of retinol at least a few days before (5 or 6 days) to wax our skin, since it can cause irritation at the time of the depilatory process if there are traces of retinol.

As you can see, these are the circumstances in which it is better to avoid the use of retinol or at least be cautious, so a thousand eyes in these cases! ?So far all the information I had to tell you about the wonderful retinol, a substance that has undoubtedly become an elixir in the lives of hundreds of people and that today is widely used in many cosmetics for daily use. I hope that now you are more clear about everything that has to do with the beloved retinol and you know how to use it correctly. Now you just have to enjoy all the benefits it offers! ?

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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