Ale's Lifestyle Confessions

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    What Does Retinaldehyde Do for Your Skin?

    You might have heard many good stories about using retinoids in your nighttime skincare routine. Or even use retinol regularly in your nighttime routine. But have you heard of retinaldehyde? There has been many innovations on retinoids in the recent years and retinaldehyde is one of the newest type of retinoid that has started to appear in skincare products.

    What is Retinaldehyde?

    Retinaldehyde is part of the retinoid family that are considered a group of vitamin A derivatives. The group of vitamin A derivatives comprises of retinoids, retinoic acid, retinol, retinol palmitate and retinaldehyde. The strongest of them is retinoic acid and is only available through a prescription. Whereas, retinaldehyde is the strongest retinoid you can get over the counter. Currently, it is being introduced in a few skincare products and is expected to be featured in more products eventually. 

    For all retinoid products to work on your skin, it needs to be converted into retinoid acid first. When you get a prescription from your doctor to get retinoic acid in the form of tretinoin, it can work instantly on your skin. This is why it is considered to be the strongest of all of the retinoids. 

    Retinol is often the most common form you see in skincare products. Once you apply it to your face, it reacts with oxygen and is converted to retinaldehyde. It is then able to convert itself into retinoic acid and work on your face. When you use skincare products with retinaldehyde, it is one step closer to working on your face as it only requires to convert itself into retinoic acid. This makes it the most potent form of retinoid you can get without a prescription. 

    What does Retinaldehyde Do For Your Skin?

    All retinoids have a similar effect on your skin. The only difference is pretty much the potency of the ingredient. It is often seen as one of the best ingredients to use for those who are looking for some anti-aging benefits. Generally, the earliest I would recommend you to start using skincare products with retinoids such as retinaldehyde is in your 20s. Experts have found that your skin really starts to age at around 25 years old. This is when our body starts to stop producing as much collagen as before. This causes our skin to lose elasticity and start forming wrinkles and volume. 

    Fight Acne

    Retinaldehyde can help unclog your pores by speeding up your cell turnover and working as an exfoliant. Through this, it can clear your skin and prevent further acne outbreaks from happening. They reduce acne outbreaks by preventing the dead cells from clogging your pores. In addition, it can also help your medicated acne creams and gels to work better because your pores are unclogged. 

    Less Wrinkles

    It is able to reduce the fine lines and wrinkles on your face by increasing the production of collagen. In addition, retinaldehyde can also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in your skin and thereby improving your skin colour. What you should know is that it would take around 3 to 6 months of regular use before you should be able to see a visible improvement on your skin. For those of you who have a prescription for retinoic acid (also known as Tretinoin), studies have shown that people were able to see an improvement as early as 6 weeks of use. 

    Smoother Skin Texture

    Retinaldehyde helps unclog your pores and speed up your skin cell turnover rate. This means that your dead skin cells are being sloughed off while your skin is being supported to renew itself faster. This will help you achieve a glow from within the skin while allowing for a more smoother and even complexion. 

    How to Use Retinaldehyde?

    You should always start small when you first start introducing retinaldehyde into your skincare routine. If you have not used any retinoids before, I would suggest starting off with just once or twice a week at first. You should start with a small amount for the first try and then wait a few days to see how your tolerance for retinaldehyde is. 

    Sometimes, when you first start using retinoid products, you might experience some skin purging. This means that the retinoid might make your skin a bit worse before it starts helping improve your skin. You might experience side effects such as redness, patchy skin and might even see your skin become inflamed. If you continue to experience these irritation after 2 to 4 weeks, I would consider talking to a dermatologist. 

    Make sure you only ever use retinaldehyde at night. This is because retinaldehyde is deactivated by the sun and all retinoids make your skin more sensitive to the sun. In addition, every time you use retinoids at night, you should always wear sunscreen during the day as your skin is more sun sensitive. 

    At night, I generally like to use Avene’s RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream as it is one of the leading brands that have started to use retinaldehyde. My skin is pretty used to using retinoids and therefore I did not need to start off with a lower concentration. This includes .1% of retinaldehyde, this is one of the higher concentration and therefore makes it quite worth it. This cream also includes hydrating ingredients to help balance out the exfoliating factors of retinoids.

    When applying retinoids such as retinaldehyde, I would always recommend you to applying a moisturising cream after that. This is because retinoids can be a little drying to your face and adding some hydration would be a good thing for your skin. I always use a hydrating cream after all the retinoids or serums to help keep my skin feeling dewy

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