The main difference between retinol and alpha hydroxy acid is that retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, while alpha hydroxy acid is a water-soluble acid derived from fruits and milk.
Retinol and alpha hydroxy acids are both common skincare ingredients that offer different benefits for the skin.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Retinol
– Definition, Features, Function
2. What is Alpha Hydroxy Acid
– Definition, Features, Function
3. Similarities – Retinol and Alpha Hydroxy Acid
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Retinol and Alpha Hydroxy Acid
– Comparison of Key Differences
Alpha Hydroxy Acid, Retinol
What is Retinol
Retinol is a type of retinoid that is derived from vitamin A. It is available mostly in animal-based food sources such as liver, fish, and eggs. It also can be obtained from dietary supplements.
Retinol, when applied to the skin, is converted to retinoic acid, which is the active form of vitamin A. It binds to specific receptors in the skin cells, which in turn triggers the occurrence of a series of biochemical reactions that improve skin health. Retinoic acid also stimulates the production of new collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans, which help to firm and plump the skin and reduce wrinkles and dark spots.
Retinol also helps to increase the turnover in the skin, which means that it shreds old dead skin cells, revealing a fresher and brighter skin underneath. In addition, retinol helps to treat hyperpigmentation. It also helps to unclog pores and reduce inflammation, making it an effective treatment for acne. Moreover, it enhances skin hydration by increasing the production of hyaluronic acid, which is a molecule that helps to keep the skin hydrated.
Although there are benefits of retinol for the skin, it also has some side effects. Such side effects of using retinol are redness, irritation, burning, itching, dry skin, skin cancer, increased sensitivity to the sun, and flaking and peeling of the skin.
What is Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is a group of organic compounds that are found in skincare products. They have exfoliating properties. They are derived from natural sources such as fruit, milk, and sugar cane. The most commonly used AHAs in skin care products are glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid.
Glycolic acid is the most popular AHA. This is derived from sugar cane. It is effective at exfoliating the skin and improving its textures, reducing the appearance of fine lines, and smoothing out rough, uneven skin. It is also helpful in treating acne and reducing the appearance of acne scars. On the other hand, lactic acid has the ability to hydrate the skin, improve its texture, and even out the skin tone. It also helps in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improving the skin’s overall appearance. Moreover, mandelic acid is useful in treating acne-prone skin and reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. It also has antibacterial properties that prevent the formation of new acne blemishes.
Though alpha hydroxy acids have benefits, they also have side effects. Some of the side effects include redness, dryness, and flakiness.
Similarities Between Retinol and Alpha Hydroxy Acid
- Retinol and AHA are common skincare ingredients effective at reducing the signs of aging and improving skin texture.
- They help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots.
- Both have the potential to cause skin irritation and sensitivity.
Difference Between Retinol and Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, while alpha hydroxy acid is a water-soluble acid derived from fruits and milk.
On the Skin
While retinol penetrates deep into the skin, alpha hydroxy acid works on the surface of the skin.
Retinol helps to boost collagen production, increase skin cell turnover, stimulate the production of new skin cells, and improve skin texture and tone. Alpha hydroxy acids act as exfoliants, breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells and helping to remove them from the surface of the skin. This process helps to reveal brighter, smoother, and more even-toned skin.
The Intensity of Side Effects
While both have side effects, retinol tends to have more intense side effects than alpha hydroxy acid.
Retinol and alpha hydroxy acid are both common skincare ingredients that offer different benefits for the skin. The main difference between retinol and alpha hydroxy acid is that retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, while alpha hydroxy acid is a water-soluble acid derived from fruits and milk.
1. “How Does Retinol Work on the Skin?” HealthLine.
2. “Everything You Need to Know About Using Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs).” HealthLine.