Retinoic Acid aka Retinoid aka Retinol

Our Retinol Products

You can get buried in the science of retinoic acid and in discussions of its history and many variations. Search for it on Google and you’ll see. In this post, we’re aiming to skim the surface and provide you with info on just the…

Our Retinol Products


Retinoic acid is able to connect to most skin cell receptors and “direct” the cell to be younger and healthier – not just behave that way, but to actually be that way. It has also been shown to increase collagen, build new elastin, and interrupt free-radical damage.

Retinol and retinoid are essentially the same thing — they differ in strength, allowing for options in customizing a regimen for each of our clients. Over-the-counter retinol products work by converting into retinoid at the skin’s cellular level. Potency is reduced during this conversion, making retinol around 100 times gentler than retinoid prescription products.

There’s an option for all skin types and any age may benefit.


Smoother, luminous, and overall healthier skin!

• Prevents and treats acne
• Speeds turnover of surface skin cells
• Evens pigmentation
• Fades scaly spots or patches on top of skin (actinic keratosis)
• Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
• Increases collagen production
• Fades age spots
• More beautiful skin texture and tone
• Plumps skin
• Exfoliates dead skin cells
• Reverses sun damage

Prescription products may also treat psoriasis and scars.


One size does not fit all – that’s why we carry a variety of options.

Obagi Medical

• Tretinoin Cream and Gel uses tretinoin, a derivative of Vitamin A, and sodium hyaluronate, which is similar to hyaluronic acid but is more easily absorbed, allowing for incredible hydration. Prescription only.

Hayes Valley Medical SkinCare

• All-trans-Retinol Treatment Pads are available in four different strengths and contain green tea complex to soothe skin.

• Enriched Retinol Eye Cream is intensely hydrating.

• Retinol Smoothing Body Lotion with all-trans-retinol at the maximum level appropriate for the skin on the body.

(We also recommend our Restorative Moisturizer as an enhancement to any retinoid therapy.)


• Age Defense Retinol Complex is available in three strengths and contains algae extract for hydration.


It can require patience to use retinols – improvements are not usually seen for several months, and the best results begin to show at six to twelve months of use.

Generally you’ll experience minimal side-effects while using retinols.

They may irritate or dry the skin during the first few weeks of use. It’s essential that you consult with a skin care expert who can provide a regimen which usually starts with lower dosages and alternate days for application, building to a product that works best for you and may be applied nightly.

Essential is the consistent use of sunscreens as skin will be more sensitive to sunlight.

You’ll also want to use a moisturizer. Your skincare expert will be able to advise on whether to apply it under or over your retinol.

A tiny bit goes a long way – think of the size of a lentil as one face application.

Retinol is safe and effective for the skin around the eyes.


There’s a reason skin care professionals and their clients describe retinol products as being the gold-standard and the holy grail of skin care, and, along with sunscreen, the product they cannot do without. Consultations are always complimentary and no-obligation — please do make an appointment with us to learn more about retinols.


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