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What is Retinal + 5 Amazing Retinaldehyde Products for Skincare

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Aging can hit hard to a point where wrinkles and fine lines can make us question our confidence. We clearly don’t want them on our skin, so we do everything in our power to diminish their appearance. Fortunately, now it is easier than ever to get wrinkle-free skin without too much hassle. We have lots of products, ingredients, and devices to make that possible. Today, probably the most popular anti-aging ingredient is retinol. It’s almost impossible not to have heard of this magnificent element because literally, everyone recommends it. But is retinol actually the best ingredient you can get in your skincare routine?

Over the years, an ingredient named “retinaldehyde” has been storming the skincare industry. This superpower compound has already stolen the gold-standard badge from retinol. Not only this, skincare products that are inclusive of retinaldehyde are becoming as utilitarian as sunscreen today. And that is why it is high time to know about this special ingredient before you can finally add it to your daily skincare regimen.

What is Retinaldehyde?

If you are fond of reading over-the-counter product labels, then you might have come across an ingredient named retinal. Retinal is another abbreviation for retinaldehyde – a vitamin A derivative, just like retinol, that can help you maintain an everlasting glow, clear and youthful skin. But that is not all! There’s a lot more this magic ingredient can do for you — it’s mostly present in products that promise to fix problems like photoaging, clogged pores, uneven skin tone, and imbalanced oil production. Let’s see how retinaldehyde actually works and how it is different from retinol. 


How does retinaldehyde work on aging skin?

As retinol and retinaldehyde are both retinoids, they work similarly. When they penetrate the skin’s outer layer, it sheds old skin cells and encourages new and healthier cells to develop. This will boost blood flow in the skin, improving its elasticity and make it less wrinkled. Research also found that retinoids can increase collagen production and hyaluronic acid levels, which can greatly impact aging skin (in a good way). 

Is retinaldehyde better than retinol?

So what’s the difference between retinol and retinal? Well, before retinol and retinal can affect your skin cells, they first need to be converted by special enzymes into the active form of vitamin A (retinoic acid). Basically, this conversion process affects the retinoids’ potency and efficacy: the more steps in the conversion process, the weaker the retinoid is. That makes everyone believes that retinal is more potent than retinol because it requires fewer conversion steps. Retinol is first oxidized to retinal and only after into retinoic acid. On the other hand, retinal needs to be converted just once before it gets into retinoic acid, so it works more effectively. Since retinaldehyde is the final stop before retinoic acid, it is considered the strongest retinoid you can get without going into the prescription-strength territory. Studies actually proved that retinaldehyde is efficient and well-tolerated to improve the signs of photoaging and other skin concerns.

Is retinaldehyde safe to use on my skin?

Retinaldehyde is considered a moderate-risk ingredient for skincare use. Studies indicate that topical retinal has biological activity and is well tolerated, thus will work quite effectively on people with delicate or sensitive skin — even if people with sensitive skin might undergo skin irritation and dryness issues initially. But as you progressively use the product, tolerability will start building accordingly. You will start noticing the benefits of using retinaldehyde inclusive skincare range within a 1-month time frame.

5 Best Retinaldehyde Products

People looking for OTC retinoids should definitely go for retinaldehyde. It is the most proximate substitute in terms of potency and efficacy. That’s why you need one of these retinal products in your skincare routine:

Osmosis Retinal Serum

Osmosis Retinal Serum

Does your skin feel dull? Is it oily and acne-prone? Osmosis Retinal Serum may be the solution. It’s formulated with mandelic and lactic acid and niacinamide to dissolve dead skin cells, helping reveal brighter and smoother skin. The retinal in it reaches deep down within your texture to promote cellular growth. Cucumber, grapefruit, rosemary, and other botanical extracts help condition, hydrate, soothe and soften your skin. Another secret? It also contains advanced peptides to aid in skin rejuvenation.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Retinal Serum

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Retinal Serum

Giving this advanced serum a shot might be the best decision for your skin, especially if you face hyperpigmentation, acne, or fine lines. With 1% retinal, ceramides, orange plant stem cells, and a healthy blend of oils and flower extracts, MyChelle Remarkable Serum promotes healthy skin renewal, helps diminish skin discoloration, and minimizes the appearance of fine lines. Dermatologist, allergy tested, and EWG-verified so that you stay at peace when using it.

 MyChelle Dermaceuticals Retinal Night Cream

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Retinal Night Cream

You can even pair the Remarkable serum with the Remarkable night cream; they have similar formulas and work well together. If you want to pick just one, the serum has a more concentrated formulation, while the night cream provides more moisturization, FYI. The addition of Monk pepper caught my eye in this formula — it helps reduce fine lines apparition, the cream addressing mature skin types.

Retinal Mask

1A Retinal Overnight Mask

Speed up cellular repair, nourish skin, lessen fine lines, and reduce inflammation with one product. Formulated with Ally-R™ (an encapsulated form of retinal), this vegan mask aids in smoothing wrinkles appearance and fade hyperpigmentation. It does that with 0.05% retinal, 13.5% peptide complex, nine antioxidants, and five brighteners. Allies of Skin call it the perfect antidote to taxing late nights for a reason: it works while you’re sleeping to boost the skin’s immunity, hydration and accelerate rejuvenation. 

DermaQuest Sensitized Retinaldehyde Cream

DermaQuest Sensitized Retinaldehyde Cream 

Get all the benefits of retinal without any risk of irritation. DermaQuest Cream was made up with 0.05% retinaldehyde, sepicalm extract to decrease pigmentation, green tea leaf extract as an antioxidant, antibacterial agent, and a mix of botanical extract to refine skin tone and texture. Besides, it imparts your skin with a luminous glow when you apply it. The cream was formulated for sensitive or acne-prone skin types, but anyone can use it.

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