We all love anti-aging products, especially ones that work!

With so many different brands and products on the market, it can be difficult to sift through what your skin actually benefits from versus what you could probably do without.

But one product that most dermatologists say everyone should be using is a retinol.

There’s retinol and retinoids, and determining which one is best and most suitable for your skin can be achieved with help from a dermatologist.

Retinoids help with cell turnover, collagen production, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, and improving dark spots and skin discoloration.

Many retinoids are prescription-based and come with the brand name we know as Retin-A. Initially, Retin-A was widely used by dermatologists to treat acne, but the side effects of noticeably younger skin prompted doctors to look into the anti-aging benefits as well.

The topical use of Retin-A is FDA approved, and many women use it strictly for the anti-aging benefits and not just to help treat acne.

Retinol, however, is a form of Vitamin A and is a something we naturally produce. It’s found in many skincare products in various strengths and also helps with anti-aging.

The main difference between the two is a retinol has to be changed into retinoic acid by the body and is a process that can take a couple of weeks to complete. Because of this, noticeable results might take up to six months.

But a retinoid is already converted into retinoic acid, which means the body doesn’t have to do the work first, and therefore results are typically noticed in 4 to 6 weeks.

Retinoids, like Retin-A, are also available by prescription, and require a dermatologist to help determine which product and strength is best for you, according to Westlake Dermatology

Some over-the-counter skincare products contain a retinol, but many lack the strength that is necessary in order to achieve visible results. Products like SkinMedica have the appropriate strength, but are only available for purchase at a dermatologist’s office.

The best thing for anyone who wants to incorporate a retinol or retinoid into their skincare routine is to contact a dermatologist and get a quick exam.

You won’t regret it.