Do Retinoids Help With Acne? Treatment for Clearer Skin

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Retinoids are one of skincare’s finest ingredients. They treat a lot of skin irritations including rashes, skin inflammations, psoriasis, and other skin breakouts, but, do you think these include acne? do retinoids help with acne?

In all sense, knowing the specific ingredients to use for different skin breakouts can prove challenging because there is a wide array of skincare ingredients. Not to worry, with this article you will have one less skincare ingredient to be unsure about.

Read on, to know about the effectiveness of retinoids, using them as a treatment for skin breakouts like acne.

Do Retinoids Help With Acne?

Retinoids are a host of compounds that are derived from vitamin A, which is a great source of nutrients for your skin cells.

Over time, retinoids have proved potent in treating different skin break-outs including acne. They help to clear out your skin, improve its texture, and overall health.

In terms of skin condition treatments, retinoids are very active ingredients. This is why you find them in many skincare products. You’ll find them in creams, skin gels, serums, and other skin moisturizing products.

You can also get retinoids in oral form; tablets and capsules. This helps to treat extreme skin conditions like wrinkles, hormonal acne, psoriasis, and skin cancer.

Nonetheless, both the oral and topical forms of retinoids are good for treating skin conditions and breakouts. Using either tablet or liquid form of retinoids clears your skin of acne and other skin irritation.

More so, retinoids serve as an anti-aging agent for your skin, making it smooth, soft, and free from fine lines.

Basically, all types of retinoids including retinol help treats skin conditions and irritations.

How Do Retinoids Help With Acne?

There are two forms of Retinoids- topical and oral form. Both forms are ideal to use for treating acne although this happens differently.

However, applying retinoids in liquid form on your skin or ingesting it combats acne-causing agents in your skin. They do this by helping your skin to maintain the renewal of your skin cells. This unclogs your skin pores, reduces excess oil production, and helps it to retain water and essential oils, giving you acne-free and smooth skin.

To better explain the different ways topical and oral forms of retinoids work in treating acne, here’s a breakdown:

When applied to your skin, topical retinoids help with acne by reducing the formation of dead skin cells in the outermost layer of your skin. They unclog your skin pores, reducing excess oil damage and skin irritations like acne.

When ingested into your body, retinoids help with acne by attacking the bacteria inside your skin causing you to have acne breakouts. It reduces oil production in your skin, which is also a major cause of acne.

Do Retinoids Treat Acne Scars?

Dealing with Acne is different from acne scars. Acne scars are those dents and blemish your skin develops from having acne. Acne scars tend to deepen as you get older. So, a skincare product that works for acne breakouts may not work for acne scars.

Well, this fact does not apply to retinoids. Apart from treating acne, retinoids also treat acne scars on your skin.

When you apply or swallow retinoids, it gets into the middle layer of your skin and plumps it with more collagen. This helps to repair the internal torn skin tissues, fading out the dents on your skin.

In addition, retinoids reduce the black spots that form on your skin due to acne. it does this, by freeing your skin pores of clogs, allowing your skin to breathe and retain more nutrients from products that work for brightening your skin.

Nevertheless, you should note that acne blemishes aren’t really acne scars. Even though they form from acne, they are not internal like the marks that form on your face resulting from acne.

Most times, acne blemishes such as skin redness, and black spots vanish when your acne is treated. You do not necessarily need a skin brightening product to fade out acne spots on your skin.

Do Retinoids Make Acne Worse?

Using retinoids can worsen the appearance of acne on your skin, although this is for a good cause.

Stay calm and keep using your retinoid because as your acne peels more, more clogs rise to the surface of your skin. This dries out the acne on your skin and purges your skin of the elements causing acne.

Actually, It is not unusual to see acne get worse before it gets better, as retinoids can cause a mass purge. Basically, all you can do is keep using it, the reactions will wear off and, you will get your skin free from acne. Again, do not discontinue use.

However, to reduce the side peeling effects, you can use serum and other moisturizing products. This will provide your skin with moisture, reducing the drying effect of retinoids.

Topical Retinoids vs Oral Retinoids- Which Works Better for Acne Treatment?

Topical and oral retinoids both work well for treating acne. However, one works better than the other and vice versa, based on the type of acne you have.

If you have acne breakouts that are few and not too painful, topical retinoids such as creams, serums, and skin gels are a great relief. They are easy to use and give quick results, although they offer short-term relief from acne and acne scars.

If you have severe acne breakouts, or multiple acne on your skin, which are quite painful, oral retinoids which are in tablet form are best to use.

You get to see results slowly, and swallowing them may prove difficult because tablets don’t taste so great. However, they offer long-term relief from acne and acne scars.

How to Use Retinoids in Your Skincare Routine to Treat Acne

How you go about your skincare routine matters a lot in keeping your skin healthy. Skincare routine is not just about using the right products, it is more about using good products rightly.

To use a retinoid product effectively, apply a small amount to your skin 20 minutes (minimum) – 30 minutes (max) after washing with soap and water.

Afterward, you apply your face toner, and finish up with serum or moisturizer to help hydrate your skin and reduce possible skin irritations


Are retinoids moisturizers?

No, they are not.

Retinoids are merely compounds made into liquid and tablet form to help treat skin conditions. They are not moisturizing ingredients. Using retinoids makes your skin dry, which is why it is ideal to use retinoids alongside a serum or moisturizer.

Can retinoids brighten acne blemishes?

No, they cannot. Using retinoids cannot brighten skin blemishes resulting from acne because retinoids do not contain any brightening compound in them.

They only aid the brightening of acne blackheads by unclogging your pores, allowing brightening skin products to penetrate your skin easily and work better for you.

Do retinoids have side effects?

Yes, they do.

Although retinoids are healthy to use on your skin, the first stage of using them causes skin irritations. These include; skin redness, dryness, and peeling. These irritations are normal, they cease when your body adjusts to the use of retinoids over time.

Subsequently, the continuous use of retinoids helps your body to adjust to them quickly. However, if your skin irritation is prolonged, it is best to stop using retinoids and go see your dermatologist.


Retinoids are great for treating both simple and severe skin conditions of acne, acne scars, and many more.

Essentially, they provide your skin with essential vitamins that prevent your skin from developing dead skin cells which can clog your skin pores, leading to acne breakouts and the scaring of your skin tissues.

Using retinoids is one of the best acne treatments, it gives you smooth skin free from acne and its blemishes.

Thanks for reading.

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