Have you heard about retinol? We hope so. Retinol is considered to be a miracle worker when it comes to your skin. And it’s available over the counter! Let’s go over what retinol is, its benefits, how to use it, and possible side effects. Then, we’re sure you’ll want to add it to your skincare routine tout suite!
What is Retinol?
Retinol is a form of vitamin A. It can be found in creams, serums (like our favorite, the SkinMedica Retinol Complex), gels, lotions, ointments, masks, cosmetics, etc. Retinol is topical, which means you apply it to the top layer of the skin.
Retinol and retinoids are the same things, only retinoids are more highly concentrated and typically require a prescription.
Benefits of Retinol
As we age, our skin’s ability to rejuvenate slows. Retinol works by boosting the turnover of your skin cells. It also increases collagen and new blood vessel production and exfoliates your skin. As a result, your skin regains some of the bloom of youth. New skin cells bring an even and smooth skin texture. More collagen plumps and softens lines and wrinkles. More blood vessels even skin tone. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Retinol increases the thickness and elasticity of your skin, slows the production of melanin, reduces inflammation and prevents clogged pores.”
It really is a “miracle ingredient”!
Retinols help to treat the inevitable signs of aging, acne, acne scars, stretch marks, enlarged pores, and other skin issues. This treatment takes time to work because it soaks into your dermis and affects your skin at a cellular level. When added into your skincare routine and used consistently over time, you’ll see:
- Smoothed fine lines and wrinkles, with prevention of new ones
- Brighter, newer, smoother skin
- Fewer breakouts
- Faded instances of hyperpigmentation and age/sun spots
In addition to reversing the ravages of time, retinol also helps with-
Acne arises when the pores of your skin are blocked by dead cells, dirt, oils, etc. Retinol and retinoids “increase skin cell turnover resulting in resurfacing and unclogging of pores,” according to Elle.
Retinol can help reduce swelling and inflammation of scars caused by acne or stretch marks. However, it isn’t as effective on raised or sunken severe scars.
Enlarged pores are caused when the pore has been clogged over a long period of time. Retinol helps with skin cell turnover, clearing out those clogged pores so they don’t have a chance to become enlarged.
Other Skin Issues
Retinol can also be used to treat melasma, psoriasis, and Kaposi sarcoma. Talk to your doctor if you suffer from any of these.
How Do I Use Retinol?
We recommend working retinol into your skincare routine by the time you’re in your 30s. Scientific American informs, “After the age of 20, a person produces about 1 percent less collagen in the skin each year. As a result, the skin becomes thinner and more fragile with age.” Starting to use retinol early on is a preventative measure.
Start your retinol routine slowly. There might be some skin irritation when you first start using retinol and retinoids. Your skin will need to adjust. Begin by applying your retinol product once or twice a week and build up to twice a day. It is always good to consult your dermatologist when starting a routine involving retinol. Additionally, consider doing a patch test before adding it to your regimen to see how your skin reacts.
Though retinol gets to work immediately, the positive effects won’t be seen for several weeks. That’s why it is so important to start implementing your skincare program as soon as possible. Then, stick with it for the long haul.
You can find retinol in many different forms. To start, it might be best to use a rich moisturizer with retinol at bedtime. This will help you ease it into your routine and the moisturizer might contain ingredients to lessen the side effects of retinol. See below.
In whatever form you are applying it, make sure to avoid your eyes, mouth, and nose. Allow a retinol cream or serum to absorb into your skin for 20–30 minutes before applying any other product. Additionally, retinol creates sun sensitivity, so it is important to always wear sunscreen and avoid the sun when using a product with retinoids.
While your skin is adjusting to retinol, you may suffer some of the side effects, including-
- Dry skin
- Flaking/scaly skin
- Itching or burning
These side effects should gradually go away as your skin gets used to the new treatment, and over time, you will start to see results that slowly refresh your skin’s texture and tone.
If you have a history of sensitive skin and allergic reactions, retinol might not be the right treatment for you.
Don’t use retinol or retinoids if you are pregnant.
A New You!
We hope we’ve provided the information you need to begin integrating retinol into your regular beauty regimen. With transformative results, retinol and retinoids give your collagen and skin cell turnover a boost, resulting in smoother, brighter, clearer, more even-toned skin. Don’t expect to see these changes overnight. The process takes your commitment, but eventually you will be proud that you chose to take the first step toward amazing skin.
…we care about you and how you feel, inside and out! We would love to meet with you for a Free Consultation with a licensed esthetician to discuss your skin care needs. Contact us today to learn more and to get started on a rejuvenating and replenishing skincare routine!
If you’re ready to start or you’re looking for recommendations, we love the SkinMedica Retinol products. Click here to order yours!
And to continue those healthy skin habits, sign up for our Facial Membership for a facial, add-on, and tinting each month. We also have a number of products from SkinCeuticals®, Colorscience®, and SkinMedica® that we love and recommend, especially when it comes to defying the aging process. And if those aren’t enough, consider radiofrequency skin tightening to refresh tired skin or Botox® or Xeomin® for fine lines and wrinkles!
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