The word retinoid is an umbrella term for all vitamin A derivatives, including over-the-counter and prescription-grade products. Retinoids stimulate collagen production, increase cell turnover, and brighten the skin; because of these functions, retinoids are a great option for those looking to ease fine lines, fade dark spots, and even treat some forms of acne.
The trend in question specifically seems to focus on retinoids that you can only get with a prescription, most notably Tretinoin. In these videos, creators empty their entire Tretinoin tube into a tub of body lotion as a DIY retinoid-infused formula.
A few skin care experts, including board-certified dermatologists Angelo Landriscina,M.D., FAAD, and Lindsey Zubritsky, M.D., FAAD, have deemed the trend unnecessary and ineffective. Yes, you should always moisturize when using a retinoid, but this may not be the best way to do so. “When you’re doing this, you’re playing cosmetic chemist at home,” Zubritsky explains, which isn’t such a smart idea.