Retinol - What Is It and How Can It Help My Skin?
Retinol is the one skincare ingredient that stands above all others. No other compound is so widely studied or backed by as much scientific research.
This powerful anti-ager was first introduced as a prescription formula under the brand name Tretinoin in the 1970s. However, as skincare technology has improved and other forms of retinol have been developed, it has become a prominent over-the-counter skincare ingredient.
What is Retinol?
Vitamin A for Your Skin
To put it in simple terms, retinol is vitamin A designed for topical use. In other words, that means in skin care formulations, it’s typically in its most natural state.
There are many types of retinoids out there. Similarly, two of the more common types include retinol and Retin-A. These are retinoids in their purest or most basic forms.
In addition, there are other types, such as retinyl palmitate. Each type of retinol varies in strength. Retin-A is the strongest, available only through a dermatologist’s prescription. Other retinoids are gentler on the skin while still featuring beneficial effects. For example, our Retinol Night Cream. These are available over the counter.
How Does it Help Skin?
Reprogramming Skin Cells
Among its many benefits, one of the best is the way retinol stimulates skin cells. As we age, cell turnover in our skin slows down. Fewer fresh skin cells lead to the dry, dulled look of aged skin.
Retinol works by encouraging cells to behave like younger cells. This increases the cell turnover rate in our skin, and all that new cell turnover is what gives us a healthy, youthful glow.
As an added benefit, these revitalized cells produce more collagen and elastin. This means that retinol not only improves skin’s elasticity but gives it a plumper, firmer texture, which reduces the look of wrinkles.
Retinol First Used to Fight Acne
When Retin-A first became available, doctors regarded it as an effective treatment for acne, and even now, retinoids are one of the best treatments available. That’s because they work by helping to unclog and minimize pores, which reduces the emergence of acne.
More than that, the increased cell turnover rate that comes with retinoid use means that these products help fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and they help prevent acne scars, too.
Adding Retinol to Your Skincare Routine
How to Use Retinol
This ingredient works best when added to nightly skincare routines. It can be used during the day, but UV rays cause oxidation, and that lessens retinol’s effectiveness. That’s why we recommend our Retinol Night Cream, which works well when applied beneath a moisturizer.
One word of caution, though: If you’ve never used a retinoid before, then be sure to start slow because this ingredient can be irritating. In the beginning, one night per week should be sufficient, but as your skin grows accustomed to the retinol, you can work your way up to nightly applications.
Years of research and amazing results are why we recommend adding retinol to your skincare routine! It won’t take long before you’ll be enjoying all the benefits this ingredient has to offer.
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