Skin Care

Retinal - Benefits For Skin Care, For Hyperpigmentation & More

Dr. Shireen Singh
Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Shireen Singh, MBBS.

Written by Our Editorial Team


By now most of us are aware of the benefits of Retinol, but what if we tell you that there is something better than retinol? Yes, you read that right! Not all retinoids are equal. They are derivatives of Vitamin A and have similar functions, but their efficacy may differ. Vitamin A derivatives work to stimulate collagen production to diminish signs of aging while improving skin tone and texture. Retinal or Retinaldehyde is an excellent anti-ageing ingredient that works better than most retinoids, to offer quicker and better results.

Out of all the Vitamin A derivatives, Retinoic Acid also known as tretinoin is the form that can be absorbed by the skin. However, Retinoic Acid is very potent and can cause skin purging and is only available by prescription. The other retinoids available over the counter like retinol or retinal have to undergo a conversion process to turn into retinoic acid when applied to the skin. This entire process of conversion decides the efficacy of the retinoid.

What is Retinaldehyde or Retinal?

Retinaldehyde or Retinal is a boon for those who have tried retinoic acid and faced the wrath of its purging properties. It is the stop before the hard stuff, and while it is very potent, it is also gentle on the skin. This precursor to retinoic acid works to diminish fine lines, wrinkles, acne, and hyperpigmentation on the skin. This multifaceted ingredient works wonders to show quicker results. As per a study, it is 11 times faster than retinol. It not only tightens the skin but smoothens it as well to ensure youthful, healthy skin.

Also Read : Can Wrinkles Be Reversed? Let's Find Out

Benefits of Retinal for skin

Retinal is a powerhouse ingredient with a variety of benefits, some of them are listed as follows:

1. It stimulates collagen production

Coming to skin care, Retinal or Retinaldehyde can delve deep into the layers of the skin and boost collagen synthesis that enhances the skin’s elasticity and offers anti-ageing benefits. It repairs the connective tissue to make the skin look taut.

2. It accelerates cell turnover

Kids have a faster cell turnover compared to adults, which is why their skin is smooth and supple. In most adults, the cells naturally turn over every 30 days and the process become slower with age. Improved cell turnover means that old, dead cells are replaced by newer ones, making the skin look youthful. Retinal for skin speeds up the cell turnover process to keep signs of aging at bay.

3. Retinal keeps the pores clear

Cell congestion is a major problem and the prime cause of blackheads, whiteheads, and acne. One of the best benefits of retinal is that it acts as an exfoliant and keeps the pores absolutely clear. Many anti-acne creams have retinal as an important ingredient.

4. Makes the skin luminous

Who doesn’t like a bright glowing countenance? With age, the skin starts to look drab and dull. The accelerated cell turnover helps in revealing a fresh, bright complexion which looks even and glowing.

5. It balances oil production

It helps in shrinking pore size, and thereby balances oil production. Those with oily skin will notice that retinal can help their greasy skin appear matte with prolonged use.

Retinal vs other forms of Retinol

As mentioned before, considering Retinal requires only one conversion step to get to Retinoic Acid, it works much faster than its other Vitamin A cousins like retinol. Those who have used retinol in the past and are no longer getting the desired result because their skin has gotten used to the ingredient can upgrade their retinol routine with Retinal.

Also Read : A Complete Guide To Retinol - Uses,Benefits And More

Side-effects of Retinal or Retinaldehyde

When it comes to skin care products, there are certain side effects too - Vitamin A derivatives are known for their side effects. They are infamous for causing skin purging. As explained above, retinol increases cell turnover, and that may temporarily slough off more dead skin than usual, especially on skin that is newly adjusting to retinol. The time lag between sloughing off the dead skin and new skin resurfacing can lead to purging. This way new skin is exposed to environmental and sun damage before it is ready and may become inflamed in the process.

Purging can last between two to four weeks when the skin becomes dry, irritated, and acne-prone before it starts healing. Retinoic acid or Tretinoin is known for causing the most amount of purging and sensitive skin may react to it. Retinal is known to be safer than other Vitamin A derivatives because it is very gentle and doesn’t irritate the skin. When combined with peptides and niacinamide it causes minimal purging.

Why choose Retinal over other Vitamin A derivatives

Retinal aids skin recovery by renewing the skin by diminishing signs of aging like age spots, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. It also helps in evening out the skin tone. Since it is the closest form of the biologically active retinoic acid, it works faster than retinol. It is also the only direct antibacterial form of Vitamin A and therefore helps in keeping acne and blackheads at bay while causing minimal skin purging. It is a stabilized form of Vitamin A and is stronger, more potent than the other forms, and has a good tolerance profile. People with sensitive skin steer clear of Vitamin A derivatives for skin, but Retinal is known to suit them as well.

ThriveCo’s Youth Renewal Serum with Retinal or Retinaldehyde

ThriveCo’s Youth Renewal serum with is available in two variants- Starter and Pro. Enriched with Retinal, encapsulated retinol, peptide complex, and niacinamide it is a synergistic blend of ingredients that harmoniously work to reduce signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and acne. The serum gradually releases the formula to gently accelerate cell turnover without causing any purging. It also suppresses the skin’s inflammatory response to calm down irritation. The complex peptide improves the skin’s barrier function and improves elasticity for healthy, youthful skin. While the starter variant is suitable for retinol beginners and those with sensitive skin, the pro variant is for people who are looking for an upgrade in their existing retinol routine.

Buy ThriveCo Youth Renewal Serum 


How to use ThriveCo’s Youth Renewal Serum with Retinal

Consider retinal to be Retinol’s cooler, calmer, more efficient cousin. Incorporating Retinal in your beauty routine can be a little tricky. A good way to avoid retinol sensitivity is to start using retinal twice a week.

Beginners can start by using retinal twice a week and then increase the frequency according to the skin’s reaction. Those who have used retinol before and have better tolerance towards it can use it every night. Those with sensitive skin should try the sandwich method while using retinal. Start by applying a thin layer of your moisturizer on the skin; make sure the moisturizer doesn’t contain active ingredients like AHAs, BHAs or Vitamin C. In the second step apply a pea-sized amount of retinal and gently massage it in, till it is fully absorbed. Follow it up with another layer of moisturizer, or your favorite skin oil. The sandwich method prevents skin irritation and dryness and helps the skin adhere to the accelerated cell turnover process.

When is the best time to use Retinal?

Keep in mind, Retinal for skin must be incorporated only into your nighttime skincare routine as all Vitamin A derivatives make the skin susceptible to sun damage. Also, remember to use sunscreen in the mornings to add an extra layer of protection to your skin.

Ingredients that work with Retinal?

Retinaldehyde is a strong active and it needs to be layered correctly. Here are some ingredients that work harmoniously with retinal.

1. Hyaluronic acid: Vitamin A derivatives can dry out the skin, and cause trans epidermal water loss. A pairing of retinoids and humectants works well to combat dryness and keep irritation at bay. So hyaluronic acid, panthenol, Pentavitin, and glycerin work very well with Retinal.

2. Niacinamide: Niacinamide is an amazing skin-soothing ingredient that keeps the side effects of retinal away. Niacinamide calms the skin and stops skin purging.

3. Peptides: Retinal and peptides make an amazing anti-ageing duo. When layered together, they work wonders to reverse signs of ageing and give the skin a taut appearance. Peptides contain emollients and hydrating ingredients that help to counteract the irritating side effects of Vitamin A derivatives.

4. Ceramides: Ceramides work very well with Retinal. The skin repairing powers of ceramides, help to reveal healthy-looking smooth, dramatically younger-looking skin when used in conjunction with Retinal.

Also Read : Retinaldehyde Vs Retinol : Which Is Better?

About Doctor :

Dr. Shireen Singh

Dr. Shireen Singh, MBBS, MD Dermatology, is a trusted dermatologist with over 8 years of specialized experience. Passionate about empowering individuals to achieve their hair and skin care goals, she combines cutting-edge technologies with personalized treatment plans tailored to each individual's needs. She's dedicated to helping you achieve vibrant hair and glowing skin. Dr. Shireen loves research and is here to share her expertise for your health and happiness.




Disclaimer:All the content published on is solely for information purposes. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consider seeking the advice of your physician or a qualified healthcare provider. The information, suggestion, or remedies mentioned on this site are provided without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied.

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