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The Benefits of Retinaldehyde in Skincare

11 Mar 2022

What if I told you we had a serum that smooths texture, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, firms the look and feel of skin, and rebalances skin tone?

You’ve probably heard about retinol. Maybe even retinal. Perhaps, you’ve also heard about retinoids, retinaldehyde, and retinoic acid. Are they the same thing? Are they different? (Worry not, and read here for a deep dive into the difference between each). When it comes to reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, one thing’s for sure:  incorporating retinalyhde into your skincare routine is key. Laura Cline, Youth to the People’s Senior Director of Product Development and Education, is here to clear up the confusion on the retinoid family and discuss the benefits of retinaldehyde in skincare. 

“Retinyl esters, retinol, retinal, retinaldehyde, and retinoic acid are a part of the family of retinoids that are derivatives of vitamin A,” Cline says. Each retinoid varies in strength (from over-the-counter use to prescription), from weakest to strongest: retinyl ester, retinol, retinaldehyde, retinoic acid, and that’s because retinoic acid is bioavailable to the skin—each one listed before it needs to through additional steps to be converted into retinoic acid on a cellular level, and therefore have the same effect on your skin. 

Retinol is often used as the umbrella term to refer to retinoids, which often leads to confusion or misinformation. Known for its anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, retinol is associated with decreasing fine lines and fighting acne. Retinol can be converted into retinaldehyde, which is designed to be more potent than retinol. Retinaldehyde (aka retinal, which is found in the new Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum) is the strongest form of over-the-counter retinoids. 

Retinoic acid (aka the prescription drug Tretinoin or Retin-A) is the most potent compound in the retinoid family, however you’ll need a prescription from your dermatologist to acquire it. Retinaldehyde is the closest you’ll get to this prescription strength retinoid. 

According to Cline, retinaldehyde works faster than retinol, helping reduce the appearance of firm lines and wrinkles without the typical irritation. This is especially ideal for people with sensitive skin who may find Tretinoin to be too irritating. 

“Over time, you'll see less visible signs of aging and a smoother texture,” Cline says. “It also helps diminish the look of UV damage. Personally, I’ve noticed pretty quickly that my pore size looks minimized.” Retinaldehyde is also known for rebalancing and improving your skin tone and overall appearance. More specifically, the Youth Serum smooths texture, reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, visibly firms the look and feel of skin, and rebanances skin tone. 

A great way to introduce your skin to retinaldehyde is by using Youth To The People’s Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum, which has a potent dose of 0.15% stabilized retinaldehyde. 

The Youth Serum has comforting ingredients such as ceramides and squalene, and adaptogens, and helps to help reduce the risk of irritation. 

“This formula has built-in adaptogen complexes that help with reactivity,” she says. “Your buffers are already built-in to help reduce any kind of irritation, so it took care of a lot of that for you in the formula.”

Cline recommends using the Youth Serum at night time for optimal results.

 “You can use our Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask with it because of its stabilized vitamin C or you can use our Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Oil,” Cline says. “As a user tip, I actually love using the Superberry Dream Eye Cream before the Youth Serum. It helps you know where you’ve applied your product so you don’t put the retinal close to your eye.” 

If you are currently using the Triple Peptide + Cactus Oasis Serum in your skincare routine, then you’re in luck. According to Cline, the Oasis Serum is also another wonderful product to use before applying the Youth Serum.  

“You're getting a boost of hydration with all this hyaluronic acid in it, plus a boost of peptides,” she says. “Along with the retinal, this helps reduce the appearance and signs of aging, which is really cool. 

If you’re feeling unsure about your skin type, or wondering what other products work best with your skin and can easily be paired with retinal, book a skin session to get personalized recommendations from expert Youth To The People skin experts.

Written by Jasely Molina for Youth To The People

In a consumer perception study, after one week of use*
91% said skin looked smoother
91% said skin looked clear
91% said skin was visibly transformed
After two weeks**
91% said skin looks and feels renewed
91% said skin is visibly firmer
*In a consumer perception study of 37 participants 
**In a consumer perception study of 34 participants
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