DermTV – Difference Between Retin A, Retinoids, Retinol and Renova [ Epi #408]
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DermTV – Difference Between Retin A, Retinoids, Retinol and Renova [ Epi #408]

Today I’m going to help you finally understand
the difference between Retinoids, Retin-A, Retinol and Renova! And
stay tuned until the end of this episode for the question
of the day; if you answer it correctly, you’ll have a
chance to win a free skincare product! Hello, I’m Dr. Neal Schultz [pause] And welcome to DermTV. Retinoids, Retin-A ,Retinol and Renova. We
all hear a lot about them, but what’s the difference? For all intents and purposes, they all began
with Retin-A, so that’s where we’ll start. Retin-A is the brand name of the original
skincare product containing the prescription-only active ingredient,
tretinoin. Tretinoin is the form of Vitamin A that has
been turned into an acid… So it’s also known as retinoic acid… And was originally developed to fight acne, which it has successfully done for the last
30 years. In the late 1990’s, it was discovered that
tretinoin could also help reduce fine lines, wrinkles and other signs
of photo-aging. Because this use was for a much older population
with much drier skin, they put the tretinoin in a much more emollient
and moisturizing vehicle, and called it Renova. So the main difference
between Retin A and Renova is its vehicle. Now for the fun part! Retinol. We now know that Retin-A is a product that
contains the acid derivative of Vitamin A. Retinol,
on the other hand, is a non-prescription active ingredient, and
a form of Vitamin A… But Retinol is not the acid form of Vitamin
A like tretinoin. Instead, it’s the actual form of Vitamin
A found in animals. Since Retinol is a fairly soluble compound,
if it’s put on the skin, it can be absorbed into the epidermis where under certain circumstances, in the presence of certain enzymes, a small
part of the Retinol… less that 10%… Can be converted into tretinoin… Which as you know is the active ingredient in Retin A and Renova… Voila! So this stuff really is all related and it’s
starting to make some sense. So non-prescription Retinol can convert into prescription tretinoin. But the operant
word is “can.” The conversion is not that predictable. So
just because a product contains retinol doesn’t mean it can or
will do what tretinoin can do in terms of acne or anti-aging treatments…
And probably won’t. Yet… many skincare companies tout their
products containing Retinol as working as if they contained
tretinoin… This is definitely a case of buyer beware. Now we get to the final term. Retinoids. Retinoids are a class of chemical compounds that are all related to Vitamin A. Retinol
and Tretinoin are called first generation Retinoids because their structure is closest to Vitamin A. Less related products
are second generation, third, and so on… Finally, connecting the dots, you now know
that all of the products I’ve mentioned today
are related to Vitamin A and therefore are collectively called Retinoids.
And at last, you now know their uses and differences. Now for today’s skincare trivia! Answer today’s
question correctly within three days of this episode’s airing
and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a free skincare product. Submit your answer at DermTV Dot Com Slash
Trivia. Today’s question is: Retin-A’s efficacy as an anti-acne and anti-aging
product is based on its exfoliating properties. Which
exfoliant do I believe is far superior and which I have often referred
to as the gold standard for chemical exfoliants? And don’t forget. You can find the answer
to this and all questions in past DermTV episodes.


  • (Jen)

    Do you still like Aromaleigh cosmetics? Do you use Paula's Choice line still, and if so, what line or products?

  • Joanna Farley

    hi doc ! i cleanse, tone, exfoliate with salacilic acid, and use sunscreen. I used to have lots of blackheads and spots but these have gone now with the products im using. I am left with a lot of red blotches on my face where the acne has been, is there any way of getting rid of this? i heard vitamin c helps? thanks i really love watching dermtv ! xxx

  • LindyLoo999

    Hi Dr. Schults – i use a product by Avene called Eluage – it contains retinaldehyde—can you explain where this falls into these categories? I believe that it is "stronger" than retinol and just wondered what you thought! thanks!

  • BethanyBugable

    Glycolic acid! And I also have a question! Does that mean that Retinol does not really help wrinkles?!

  • Anna Vasilieva

    It's Glycolic Acid, I started using it regularly – after I watched your videos- and it made my skin look younger (I am 40) – definitely less pigmentation! Thank YOU!

  • Sophie Dibou

    its impossible to watch these videos on your site as the ads are too long! ridiculous! that's why i had to quit your site coming over to the tube….

  • Smash Adams

    Sorry if this isn't entirely relevant, but they say retinoids are great for anti-aging (especially since they are derived from Vitamin A), but do you know if the medication isotretinoin (accutane) also can help? Accutane dries out the skin, which is the opposite of anti-aging I thought.

  • Studenticity

    No offense but obviously the doctor is going to be biased. For example: he made it clear that "buyer should beware" with retinoids opposed to the prescription grade renova, retin-A. I for one have had great results using TxSystems Afirm which is a non-prescription retinol product. I have fairly sensitive combination skin and I'm 27 years old. Maybe if your skin is similar to mine you will like it too 🙂

  • Studenticity

    Good job with the research! Are you sure you don't mean 0.15% though? I know prescription are stronger but I don't think they get as high as 15%. The 3 OTC ones I experimented with were 0.15%, 0.3% and 0.6% respectively. I put the stronger one on my blackhead areas (nose chin) and the easier ones on the rest of my face/neck. At first I would peel even from the weakest one if I used it every night (with spf 60 in the day).
    I'm going to check out those videos you mentioned soon! Thanks so much 😀

  • Nevra Akgül

    Can i do vitamin a on my own to apply on my skin? Can you do ä do it yourself video on Vitamin a like you did it on Vitamin c? Sry for my bad english.

  • Haley Williams

    retinol can barely even be used by the skin. its just a marketing scheme. it was probably the products you were using not the retinol.

  • crimsonbride

    ive only just stumbled upon your channel! you are awesome! many thanks from bonny Scotland!! 😀
    (i literally just bought some retinol night cream i wish i had seen your video beforehand ! what a waste of money! 🙁 )

  • Morganna lefay

    Normally I would agree but in this case and also because most people need a Doctor for retin A , what he says is true, and there is no evidence of retinols doing anything for skin whatsoever.

  • John Frederick Udtujan

    Can I combine retin A, adapelene, benzoyl peroxide, Salicylic acid, Glycolic acid, and Hydroquinone in treating acne? How about microdermabrasion, TCA peel, Spanish Peel, and laser for acne? Or even drinking supplements containing lactoferrin for acne?

  • immandrew

    NO THAT IS WAY TOO HARSH ON THE SKIN! When using retin a you CANNOT use any BHA AHA acids ESPICIALLY hyroquinone. Stick to one at a time & give at least 2 week break after finishing retin a before starting something else! TCA is only for extremely severe cases and is not a permanent solution, microermabraison can help but again it is only an exfoliation treatment. Stick to 0.025% retin-a and in 1-3 months youll have perfect results

  • Vanessa W

    oh my god. i have been trying to figure out the difference between all these "products" (names really) for the past month or so and not finding any answers! i'm glad that my youtube channel "suggested" this video to me based on my searches! thank you for this informative video 🙂

  • Sandra L

    i've been trying to figure it out too………I just purchased La Roche Posey Redermic R professional grade retinol this weekend………..should I return it, La roche posey is such a trustworthy company thats why I purchased it……..I was going to buy the Obagi Refissa which I read such great reviews on and sold at cosmetic dermatologists offices all the time……………..?…………..

  • 11:11

    My Dermatologist prescribed Retinol A when I had acne as a teen.(Early 1980's) It worked for me! I didn't need to use it long though. Through the years I continued to exfoliate once a week and moisturize. I am 46 years old and don't have a wrinkle on my face anywhere! Not even around my eyes. People never can guess my age. They think I'm in my late 20's early 30's. My Mom thinks the Retinol had a lot to do with it.   😉

  • Miguel Ángel

    Hello @dermTVdotcom  my name is miguel from Venezuela and am writing to thank you for your great video.. It helped me to calm down a lot because   I began a month ago with my treatment with tretinoin. in venezuela it's called Betarretin 0.0025% but is the same tretinoin formula.

    At first: it was very scary because my cheeks looks very irritated and red! it was very difficult mentally and psychologically to  see my face so burn and red it was so painful but  I know thanks to my dermatologist and you this is normal. anyway I have a lot of anxiety because I'm not used to seeing my face so red.

     my skin is black so for this I must take care of it little extra to avoid staining myskin. I went to my dermatologist to see if this treatment can help with acne scars. hope it works because I wish I could look that I'm still young.

    also I wanted to ask you.  I'm experiencing some post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation because of the cream. I'm afraid it gets worse. I'm not exposing to the sun and use sunscreen even indoors. I do not see my dermatologist until next Wednesday I'm a little afraid that my face staining. is this normal? the hyperpigmentation get worse before improving or ? :/

  • Jomar Uy

    tretinoin is the only thing that works for me. i've tried paula's choice exfoliants both her bhas and glycolic and seems to irritate my skin and makes it dryer.

    is tretinoin safe long term use? I've been using it for multiple years now but only when my skin acts up.

  • Laura Kneissl

    Según la Academia Estadounidense de Dermatología, las formas oxidadas de vitamina A (es decir, el Retin-A) son más efectivas para lograr la renovación de las células de la piel que el retinol. Este rejuvenecimiento celular es el responsable de mejorar la calidad y la apariencia de la piel.

  • Robert Nevoa

    yeah glycolic acids are a good exfoliation, my grandmother is a dermatologist, and over the counter Retinol cream is a very good product and when applied properly on the skin it will convert to the same properties as retin A prescription, and will pretty much do the very same thing except will take longer, but grants said that in the long run using over the counter Retinol cream will give same results.
    But one detailed, the packaging of the over the counter Retinol cream is very important, the product should not be exposed to light nor to air, so when purchasing over the counter Retinol in your pharmacy look for those details, and at home keep your retinol cream in a dark air tight container, I love my grandmother and she is a amazing graceful dermatologist, and she is also a Christian who loves the Lord God with all the heart mind strength and soul, (sorry – had to share that) Oh yeah also one other important detailed "keep Sun exposure to the minimum with the use of any vitamin A cream or gel and even if you don't use any kind of retinol prescription or none prescription- but don't forget to take vitamin D each day or D3!. thanks for sharing and reading this iF you did. 🙂 love,hope, peace for ALL!

  • Sahara Banu

    Guys. clear your acne naturally does not need to be hard (I used to feel it did). I'll give you some advice right now. Look for a popular acne remedy called Fopobiacne Secrets (google search it). Thanks to it I have get rid of my acne problem. I probably should not even be speaking about it cause I do not really want lots of other guys out there running the same game but whatever. I am just in a excellent mood right now and so I'll share the wealth haha.

  • Nusrat jahani

    Do anybody know about Fopobiacne Secrets? Does it work? I hear many people break free from their acne with this popular acne treatment.

  • Banderuola66-Szonja

    Can you please tell me what A313 pommade is. I know it is vitamin A, but is it good for fighting fine lines and wrinkles or is it just like retinol, which "can" do and not. Thanks for the video !

  • Aashish Hamal

    Is Fopobiacne Secrets useful to clear your acne naturally? I've read a lot of good stuff about this popular natural acne treatment.

  • santhosh kumar

    Is Fopobiacne Secrets helpful to cure your acne naturally? I've learn a lot of good stuff about this popular acne treatment.

  • Jeewantha kodikara

    What are some ways to clear your acne naturally? I read plenty of good opinions on the net about how Fopobiacne Secrets will help you clear your acne naturally. Has anyone tested out this popular natural acne remedy?

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