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Retinol vs Alpha Hydroxy Acid vs Glycolic Acid

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blesstd
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Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:47 pm      Reply with quote
Can someone explain the difference between these three? Do they all do the same thing? Is one versus another for a particular skin type or is it more a matter of preference.

I tried doing a search but became overwhelmed with the number of results. If anyone has the answer, could you please help me out. In the meantime, I'll keep at the search results.

Thanks a lot!
Alley
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Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:44 am      Reply with quote
Not to add to your reading list but I think you might find your answers here.

http://www.smartskincare.com/treatments/topical/

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Septembergirl
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Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:24 am      Reply with quote
Interesting link.

It says that retinoids are proven effective in skincare. Then it says that retinol is possibly effective.

I thought that retinol was a retinoid, but obviously not. Embarassed
Is retinaldehyd a retinoid? If yes, will it then be a safer bet to use products with retinaldehyd than retinol?

I have been using PSF 0,5 % retinol for some time. Recently I switched over to a product called Alpha A 1 % from the brand Alpha H. It contains retinyl propionate. Is that a retinoid?

I didn't mean to hijack this thread... I got eager because I realise that I have been wondering about these things. I hope somebody will answer. Thank you. Smile

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Alley
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Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:48 am      Reply with quote
Septembergirl here is my take on it. The only clinical proven wringle fighter is tretinoin; proven because it has been around long enough.
Other retinol products are using a different delivery system to stimulate the retinoid receptor hoping to have the same effect as tretinoin but with less irritation.
I have tried tretinoin and Avene, the Avene is much less irritating but I have no idea if is will be as effective.

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Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:47 pm      Reply with quote
Retinol is a vitamin a derivative. It has been used for years to fight acne. MD's found it helped lessen wrinkles and increases collagen. The 2 acids mentioned act as exfoliators. Sloughing off dead skin. use acid in the am retinol in pm. They work. It can take up to six months to see results. Don't give up. Both of my MD's have used retinol for years. Get the prescription strength.
flitcraft
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Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:43 am      Reply with quote
Here's my derm's take on this: Tretinoin (Retin A) is the gold standard for anti-aging. It's got lots of peer-reviewed science behind it. But it can be quite irritating, and for some (including me, apparently) the irritation never goes away, though for others, their skin will be able to tolerate it. So, if you can afford it, since it's prescription only, and your skin can tolerate it, that's your best bet.

As for the OTC products, retinaldehyde is more easily converted by the skin into the useable form, retinoic acid. It isn't as irritating as Retin A, but since the skin has to perform the additional step of conversion to a useable substance, you get less of the effective agent. Retinol and retinyl palmitate require two steps to biologically convert to a form the skin can use. So you need a much higher percentage in a product for the equivalent performance as retinaldehyde. In other words, at equivalent percentages, Retin A is most effective in generating a biologically active agent, then retinaldehyde, then retinol and retinyl palmitate. The problem is that there isn't much scientific research out there to show anti-aging effectiveness from the lower amounts of retinoic acid you get from the OTC products. (I think there may be one peer-reviewed study on retinaldehyde showing its effectiveness, but I'm not sure.) So most of the evidence on OTC retinoids is anecdotal--reports from individual users like us folks on EDS. Useful but not as conclusive as scientific testing.

The other thing to consider is that various products use different agents as the vehicles to deliver the retinoid--some are relatively oily and some relatively drying. Depending on what your skin needs,you may find the base ingredients cause problems for you, irrespective of your skin's reaction to the retinoid. So trial and error may be needed to find the right combination of retinoid and base ingredients for your needs.
eli68
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Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:47 am      Reply with quote
Thank you flitcraft wave - that was very enlightening indeed!
Septembergirl
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Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:45 am      Reply with quote
Flitcraft - thank you very much. Lots of useful information in your post.

Is retinyl propionate (which I use at the moment) considered to be almost the same as retinyl palmitate?

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Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:25 pm      Reply with quote
Thanks for this info too, as I am considering bumping up to retin-A - at least using it on my "problem areas" if not the whole face (I'll have to experiment and see if my whole face can handle .25% retin-A).

I've been using Leaf & Rusher Active Serum which contains 2% retinol (as well as other stuff) for about a year now and it's made a big difference in my fine lines and skin texture.

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flitcraft
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Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:53 pm      Reply with quote
Septembergirl, I don't know anything about retinyl propionate. I did google it and find a double-blind sceintific study in which 75 subjects used it (or a placebo) for 24 weeks, and 60 followed up for another 24 weeks. No statistically significant improvement was found. Here's the link: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2230.1998.00331.x

Keep in mind that the percentage of the active ingredient that you are using might be different from that in the experiment.
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Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:57 pm      Reply with quote
Hope the Retin A works for you, lunarmm. I tried it several years ago and never got over the peeling and red phase. But I'm thinking of trying it again, now that I've learned so much from the forum here at EDS. Let us know how it works for you.
Septembergirl
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Sun Apr 20, 2008 4:05 am      Reply with quote
flitcraft wrote:
Septembergirl, I don't know anything about retinyl propionate. I did google it and find a double-blind sceintific study in which 75 subjects used it (or a placebo) for 24 weeks, and 60 followed up for another 24 weeks. No statistically significant improvement was found. Here's the link: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2230.1998.00331.x

Keep in mind that the percentage of the active ingredient that you are using might be different from that in the experiment.


Thank you very much, Flitcraft! Smile

I have a hard time finding the right retinol/retinyl product. PSF retinol 0.5 made me flake quite a lot even though I used it only twice a week. Alpha H alpha A 1 % retinyl propionate doesn't cause irritation, but it's not too much scientific proof that it will work, obviously.

I would love to try retin-a, but it's difficult to get it prescripted from a doctor. I ordered it from Medsmex once, but the package was stopped in customs. I got a letter from customs authorities telling me I had been trying to take illegal prescriptive strength drugs into the country. Embarassed

To avoid being a criminal, I will stick to OTC products. The Leaf & Rusher serum sounds tempting. Could it be used in the eye area? That's where most of my lines are.

I would also be interested in recommendations on retinaldehyde-products.

Thank you. Smile

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flitcraft
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Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:29 am      Reply with quote
I've used Avene's retinaldehyde products for the past few years and have found them to be non-irritating but effective for my skin--mature, dry, somewhat sensitive, with fine lines, wrinkles, and a tendency to hyperpigmentation.

In Europe and Canada, Avene's retinaldehyde products include Ystheal cream and lotion (the lotion being a bit less emollient) at .05% retinaldehyde, plus a Vitamin E precursor; Eluage, also at .05% retinaldehyde which comes in a cream form (and I think a higher strength gel for spot treating wrinkles, too) and has hyaluronic acid fragments supposedly to boost efficacy (I don't know anything about the science behind that...); and Diacneal, which has .1% retinaldehyde and 6% glycolic acid. I've used both Ystheal and Eluage and like them both. I had no peeling or flakiness except around my mouth when I first started using them (don't know why, and it went away within the first week or so). I haven't used Diacneal, which is marketed as an anti-acne product, but I just picked some up last week while in Canada, so I will report on that once my current stash of Eluage is used up. (Oh, and don't bother with Ystheal's special purpose product for eyes, it has a lot less of the active ingredient for the same price. I just use the "full face" product and gently tap it around the eyes--no problem. If you had irritation in the eye area, then you might think about adding the lower-strength eye product.)

In the US, Avene has a line of retinaldehdye products sold under the name Retrinal--they have .025, .05 and .1% retinaldehyde respectively. I haven't used any of them, but if the Diacneal works for me, I may switch to the .1% Retrinal.

Osmosis and Pure Skin Junkie also do retinaldehyde products, and I think there is an Australian company that markets exclusively through spas and doctors' offices. There may be others, too.

Hope this helps.
Septembergirl
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Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:19 pm      Reply with quote
Thank you again, Flitcraft.

I recall other forum members have had success with the Avene line.

Apparently the Diacneal is twice as strong as the other Avene serums. The question will be whether it's suited for dryer skin types. My skin is on the slightly dry and sensitive side, though it tolerates different actives pretty well.

I look forward to hearing about your experience with Diacneal. Smile

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flitcraft
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Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:37 pm      Reply with quote
I'll keep you posted, Septembergirl. I plan to ease my way into the Diacneal in a couple of weeks if it ever starts turning into spring (we had snow, sleet, and hail showers this weekend!). What I plan to do is alternate nights between Diacneal and Eluage for a couple of weeks, then go to straight Diacneal. I've been using an AHA about twice a week(Cellularskin-rx's Age Limit Serum, which is 10% glycolic and lactic acid, I believe, so I am hoping that the additional AHA in the Diacneal won't irritate my dry skin. We'll see, though.
januarui
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Sun Apr 20, 2008 4:21 pm      Reply with quote
retinol is kind of a hormone to make you look younger. alpha hydroxyl, i don't know. glycolic acid is one compound from fruit acid, it works as an exfiolator to renew your skin, this stuff can make your radiant.
Septembergirl
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Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:26 am      Reply with quote
A well-known dermatologist in my country (Norway) recommends Pro-Medic Retiderm K as the best OTC vitamin A product.

It contains 0.1 % retinol dextrine (I read on another website that it's the same as retinaldehyde, but correct me if I am wrong). It also contains HA and vitamin K to prevent redness and irritation.

I might give it a try in the future.

Here is a link to the product:

http://www.beautyisskindeep.com/118_pro-medic_PM207.html

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Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:33 pm      Reply with quote
My doc prescribed tretinoin for a breakout I had years ago. I keep renewing the prescription but using it for my stretchmarks instead now. I did the "breaking in" process for my thighs and butt areas. Somehow, once I increase to every other day, it never fails, I get rashes. So I would back off and try again.

My question: If these areas of my body react like this, do you think my face will have a violent reaction? I'm currently using Cellbone's Retinol 1% every night now without any problems. I would like to eventually switch to tretinoin in a few years.
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Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:37 pm      Reply with quote
By the way, I didn't really use the tretinoin much on my face when it was originally prescribed. Maybe just a few times. I was out in the sun a lot (it was summer and we were on vacation for the most part) so I didn't want to bother. Acne breakout eventually went away as it was stress-related, I figured out. So I don't know how my face will react to it now.
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Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:49 pm      Reply with quote
I've been using the Diacneal for nearly a month now...it is my first retrinol product for a few years. I'd previously been prescribed tons of vitamin A creams at a variety of strengths Rolling Eyes

I've posted in a thread I had started with Diacneal in the title, but basically, so far so good. I did have microdermabrasion, so i was starting with a smoother complexion than my normal, but either way, i like it! The first week my face seemed to sting and peel like crazy, but i'm now using it nightly with no problems.
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Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:59 am      Reply with quote
Is Diacneal ok for people with no acne issues?

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Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:18 am      Reply with quote
Alethea wrote:
Is Diacneal ok for people with no acne issues?


I think Diacneal would be fine for someone without acne, but you could also use Retrinal, it comes in three different strengths. I use it and like it a lot.
Septembergirl
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Thu May 01, 2008 5:35 am      Reply with quote
I found an article in NY Times archive, where several dermatologists embrace the wrinkle-erasing, pore-cleansing, collage-boosting and skin-remodelling effects of Retin-A.

A professor in dermatology stated that tretinoin has been used for 25 years, and still stands out as the one ingredient that work better than anything else.

In the article it's also claimed that retinol has some strong science to support its effectiveness.

Nothing is mentioned about possible long term side effects of the use of Retin-A. In other threads on this forum members have mentioned thinning skin and a "waxy" looking face.

From a Google search it seems like the long term effects have not been investigated in any studies. I found a couple of long term users reporting on thinning skin after 10 years of use. They wanted to stop. I find it difficult to decide whether Retin-A/retinoids is the way to go, or not.

Here is the article from NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/30/fashion/30skin.html

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Thu May 01, 2008 6:05 am      Reply with quote
Septembergirl wrote:
I found an article in NY Times archive, where several dermatologists embrace the wrinkle-erasing, pore-cleansing, collage-boosting and skin-remodelling effects of Retin-A.

A professor in dermatology stated that tretinoin has been used for 25 years, and still stands out as the one ingredient that work better than anything else.

In the article it's also claimed that retinol has some strong science to support its effectiveness.

Nothing is mentioned about possible long term side effects of the use of Retin-A. In other threads on this forum members have mentioned thinning skin and a "waxy" looking face.

From a Google search it seems like the long term effects have not been investigated in any studies. I found a couple of long term users reporting on thinning skin after 10 years of use. They wanted to stop. I find it difficult to decide whether Retin-A/retinoids is the way to go, or not.

Here is the article from NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/30/fashion/30skin.html


do you know, how exactly these long term users were using retinoids for 10 years and so ending up with thinned skin and "waxy" look?
I`ve read somewhere that retinoids are supposed to be used every night for a year, and after that - 2 times a week as supporting treatment.
can it be so that these long term users used it every or every other night for 10 years?

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Septembergirl
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Thu May 01, 2008 7:06 am      Reply with quote
Aiva wrote:

do you know, how exactly these long term users were using retinoids for 10 years and so ending up with thinned skin and "waxy" look?
I`ve read somewhere that retinoids are supposed to be used every night for a year, and after that - 2 times a week as supporting treatment.
can it be so that these long term users used it every or every other night for 10 years?


Hello, Aiva.

I don't know how often they used it.

There are no scientific studies on long term side effects from Retin-A, but stories from a few individual users in blogs and forums have made me get second thoughts about using it. They reported on thinner skin and more visible capillaries.

Only short term effects like irritation and flaking are mentioned in the studies I have seen.

I hope that other members can chime in with some enlightening information on possible side effects based on personal experience.

I would love to be able to use the only skin care product with scientifically proven effects without fearing unwanted effects in the future.

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