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  • Writer's pictureThalia Polk

The Safe(r) Side of Retinoids

There are four types of retinoids commonly used in skincare. Retinol is just one of them! The other three are retinoic acid, retinaldehyde, and retinyl palmitate.

Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives. While they have similar benefits, there are some striking differences between them. Specifically, how well each individual person’s skin tolerates or reacts to, each of them.

Side-note... retinoids are notorious for their rankling side effects.

Enter... Retinyl Palmitate!

On the spectrum of the four retinoids, retinal palmitate is the least active, BUT, it is also the least irritating, making it more comfortable to use consistently and continuously!

Benefits of Retinyl Palmitate:

💫 Speeds epidermal cell turnover

💫 Stimulates collagen production

💫 Keeps pores clear

💫 Reduces fine lines & wrinkles

💫 Evens out skin tone

How To Use Retinyl Palmitate:

Slow and steady is the best way to use any retinoid. Start with a spot test. To do this, place a small amount on a quarter-sized spot of your cheek every other night for a week. If you have no reaction, apply to your entire face once a week for two weeks, then, slowly build to daily use in order to let your skin gradually acclimate to the ingredient.

Only use it at night, on freshly cleansed skin and follow up with a mild moisturizer.

Retinal palmitate has a synergistic effect the used in combination with antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and ferric acid. Think of the baking soda volcano experiment you performed in science class… Used individually, each ingredient is effective, but not nearly as active as they are when combined.

Do NOT use retinal palmitate with other chemical exfoliants. For example, glycolic and salicylic acids, or rough textured mechanical exfoliants, especially if you have sensitive skin. Since retinal palmitate can cause dryness, you might also want to lay off of toners and astringents.

Side Effects of Retinyl Palmitate:

Because retinal palmitate is so gentle, side effects are rare. However, the more sensitive your skin is, the more likely you are to experience an adverse reaction which could be along the lines of itching, peeling, burning, and overall skin sensitivity.

Another thing to be aware of is that ALL RETINOIDS CAUSE SUN SENSITIVITY. So, a broad spectrum SPF of 30 or higher is a must. Every. Single. Day.

Treatments I Offer with Retinyl Palmitate:

Tissue Oxygenating Treatment

Customized Facial for mature skin

Products I Offer with Retinyl Palmitate:

The Rescue line is formulated specifically for mature skin. This amazing line stimulates cell production, hydrates, nourishes, and firms. Other ingredients in this line include Coenzyme Q10, rosewood, and carrot seed to generate cells, condition and stimulate collagen and elastin; algae to firm and tighten, and green tea, vitamin C and avocado to fight free radicals and promote circulation.

Do you need assistance getting your skin in shape? Visit my website to view my entire menu of services, email me at, or DM me via Instagram or Facebook! I'll get you set up with a comprehensive consultation and skin analysis, and we'll sail off on your skin transformation journey together!




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