They just work. But how exactly? Read on.
With age, sun exposure, and stress, your skin naturally becomes less elastic and dryer, causing lines and creases. Fine lines appear the older you get because your cells produce less collagen (the structural protein of the skin), causing your skin to appear thinner and looser. The less collagen your skin has, the less water it can retain, causing structural folds (i.e., wrinkles and lines). Retinoids improve wrinkles by directly stimulating collagen formation and inhibiting collagen breakdown.
Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by thinning skin in the area, exposing blood vessels underneath. Because retinoids help increase collagen production, they help thicken the skin in the area under the eye, therefore, reducing the appearance of dark circles.
Freckles, melasma, age spots, and dark spots occur because of the overproduction of pigment on our skin. This is often caused by sun exposure, age, hormonal influences, skin injuries, or inflammation. Retinoids can improve these forms of dyspigmentation on the skin by dispersing and exfoliating melanin granules, which protect skin from sun damage, in the deepest layer of our skin.
Enlarged facial pores are caused by sebum production, skin aging and photodamage, and hair follicle sizes. Retinoids can help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores by clearing the cellular debris around the pores making their appearance seem smaller.
Tactile roughness on the skin is attributed to the the thickness of the outermost layer of the epidermis consisting of dead cells and the lack of of glycosoaminoglycan (GAG) content, which promotes the ability of the collagen and elastin fibers to retain moisture. Retinoids can improve rough skin by reducing the outer layer of dead skin cells and increasing the presence of GAG.
Acne may be classified into 2 types: noninflammatory, which is characterized by comedones, and inflammatory, which predominantly consists of papules and pustules. Microcomedones are the precursors of both inflammatory and noninflammatory acne. Retinoids work by decreasing microcomedones and comedones; thereby primarily decreasing noninflammatory acne and causing some reduction of inflammatory acne.
Why haven't I heard about retinoids?
Good question. One we’ve pondered often ourselves. That’s why we created DearBrightly, to make retinoid and retinoid education accessible to everyone — all genders and all skin types.