WHICH IS BETTER: RETINOIDS OR PEPTIDES?

Submitted via the FutureDerm.com Facebook page:

Philosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-aging Retinoid Pads and Solution contain retinol. (Photo credit: L’Adamant Fille)

Would you recommend Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Remover [retinol] over Hydroxatone [peptides]? Please advise!

-Maria

Dear Maria,

Research supports retinoids over peptides right now.  Here’s the lowdown

Retinol is still the gold standard for anti-aging, recommended second most by dermatologists, bested by only sunscreen.  As Dr. Ranella Hirsch, former president-elect of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons, once said: “We have beautiful, profound data that shows if you use [retinoids] for 20 years, you’re going to look a lot better than someone who doesn’t.”

Retinoids work in three different ways:

  • Preventing collagen loss by inhibiting matrix metalloproteinases, enzymes that degrade collagen (Archives of Dermatology, 2002);    
  • Treating fine lines, wrinkles, and mottled skin by increasing cell turnover (Archives of Dermatology, 2002, amongst many others);
  • Acting as an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals (Methods in Enzymology, 1992, amongst many others)