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What is Retin A and Retinol? What can they do for your skin?

Clients have a lot of questions about Retina A and Retinol. It’s not always easy to understand what the differences between them are, what products they are in and whether you’d benefit from incorporating them into your daily skincare routine.

Retin A is also referred to as Tretinoin. It is a vitamin A derivative and is used topically to treat skin conditions such as acne, and to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The other product we commonly hear about is Retinol. This Retinol is the main active ingredient in most over-the-counter night and corrective creams. There are a few main differences between these two products.  Tretinoin is a prescription only medication, whereas Retinol is not. Tretinoin (Retin A) will work faster to treat skin conditions and is more powerful than Retinol.

The good news is that the Retinol that is in your anti-aging cream will work just as well as the prescription tretinoin, it will just take much longer. Retinol is also less irritating to your skin.

What are these products doing for your skin? Tretinoin will cause faster cellular turnover of the skin to occur. This is the shedding of old and dead skin cells. It will also prevent the production of collagenases, an enzyme that breaks down the healthy collagen in the skin causing wrinkles. Both products are meant to be used at night, because they cause sun sensitivity, so please wear your sunscreen. They are both wonderful products and will be a great addition to your skin care regimen.

The Z.O. product line offered at SPRY is a medical grade skin care line that offers both Tretinoin (Retin A) and Retinol based products to suit our patients’ needs. Patients can set up a skin care consultation with the esthetician to help determine which products would be beneficial in their personal skin care regime.

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