Why Don’t We Formulate with Retinoids?

At Maison Wolfberry, we really place an emphasis on gold-standard, scientifically proven skincare ingredients, such as the Vitamin C, Niacinamide, and Hyaluronic Acid in our Green Tea Gel Cream. So, skincare enthusiasts may wonder: why don’t we include retinoids in our formulas? Find out below!

What are retinoids in the first place?

Retinoids refer to a family of Vitamin A molecules used in skincare. Topical over-the-counter forms include Retinyl Esters, Retinaldehyde, and Retinol, whereas Retinoic Acid (the most effective and bioactive form) is available by prescription as Tretinoin or Retin-A.

Retinoids have been rigorously studied for decades by scientists and doctors, and have been proven to be one of the most effective treatments for reversing photo-aging, mainly by stimulating collagen production on a cellular level. 

Sounds great! So why doesn’t Maison Wolfberry formulate with retinoids?

1. Retinoids are NOT safe for everyone

When we were creating our formulas, our top priority was ensuring that our products were safe, gentle, and effective for everyone’s daily skincare needs.

Retinoids are not recommended for people who are pregnant or trying to conceive, due to the risks it poses to the health of unborn children. For more information on the safety of skincare products during pregnancy, we recommend this article.

For others, introducing Retinoids into your regimen most often results in significant irritation while your skin adapts to this new molecule. Symptoms include dry skin, inflammation, redness, and peeling that can persist for weeks and sometimes months. Because of this, it is best to use a separate Retinoid product that you can apply at your own pace (usually starting with once or twice a week), instead of incorporating Retinoids into a formula that’s intended for twice-daily use (like our Gel Cream!).

...which brings us to our next point!

2. You don’t need to use retinoids daily to benefit your skin

Studies have shown that Retinoids can be used just every few days, or even once a week, and still produce great results! All the more reason to focus on gentle, daily skincare with an occasional boost from a stand-alone retinoid. 


3. Prescription retinoids are more effective and less expensive than over-the-counter products

Prescription Retinoids (such as Tretinoin and Retin-A) are formulated as Retinoic Acid, which directly enters and influences the nucleus of skin cells. In contrast, over-the-counter Retinoids are precursor molecules: your skin needs to go through several steps to convert them into usable Retinoic Acid. This conversion process isn’t necessarily efficient, and can vary over time and between individuals.For this reason, over-the-counter Retinoids are less irritating for most people, but also much less bioavailable and effective. Many over-the-counter Retinoid users also notice that they stop seeing improvements after a while, whereas prescription Retinoic Acid continues to perform well.

At Maison Wolfberry, we are committed to formulating with only the most effective ingredients that maximize your skincare value, which is something we cannot truly accomplish with over-the-counter retinoids. That's why we recommend seeking a prescription Retinoic Acid if you are interested in adding Retinoids to your regimen.

On top of this, prescription Retinoids are much less expensive, especially if you have health insurance or a drug plan. For example, most Canadians can get a tube of Tretinoin for just $5... compare that with the cost of an average Retinol product at Sephora!


In conclusion 

Retinoids are a great ingredient to consider for your skincare regimen, but we highly recommend going for a prescription version through your Family Physician or Dermatologist. Prescription Retinoids are more effective and much less expensive than over-the-counter products, so you can maximize your skincare benefits! 

In the meantime, Maison Wolfberry is here for your everyday skincare routine, packed full of effective natural and active ingredients that are safe for everyone’s daily use! 


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