20/01/2015 07:17 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Do Retinoids Really Get Rid Of Spots?

Thanks to their skin smoothing properties, retinoids are commonly found in luxury creams and prescription acne treatment - but when it comes to clearing up spots, do ingredients like retinol and retinaldehyde really work?


The answer is yes - but don't expect to see results overnight.

In fact, it can take up to 12 weeks for this vitamin A derivative to bring about a noticeable change in the complexion.

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The NHS acne advice page explains how topical retinoids like tretinoin and adapalene work by reducing the production of sebum while preventing dead skin cells plugging hair follicles - but it also warns they can take three months to clear up severe skin conditions.

The same warning applies when using retinoids to reduce signs of ageing. Dermatologist Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas told The New York Times' The Cut that while they will increase the rate of collagen production to effectively minimise wrinkles, you'll need to wait a month before you see this happening.

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"It's like taking an Advil and expecting it to work in a minute," New York dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank added to The Cut.

The secret to beating blemishes? Try using a retinoid - but be patient.

MORE: Get rid of spots overnight - this model's tips

Skincare treatments aside, you can also eat your way to a clear complexion...