What is retinol?
If you have spent any time in the skincare aisle lately, you’ll probably recognize the name, but what exactly is retinol and what is behind all the hype that surrounds it? A type of retinoid and a form of vitamin A, retinols help to increase skin’s collagen production as well as stimulate cell regeneration when used over an extended period of time, but that is only the beginning of its long list of benefits.
Why should you use retinol?
By stimulating cell turnover, retinols exfoliate on a cellular level brightening dark spots, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars, while also smoothing textured skin. Ridding the skin of dead cells helps to unclog pores, resulting in fewer breakouts and smaller pores. The increase in collagen fades current fine lines and wrinkles, while also preventing new ones. Between its benefits for those wanting to ramp up their anti-aging routine and for those fighting acne, it’s no wonder that retinols have become so sought-after in the skincare industry.
What are the different types?
Retinol, like Retin-A, is a type of retinoid and while you can find the former over-the-counter at your local drugstore, you’ll need a prescription for the latter. Retin-A is the faster, more potent of the two, but both forms are conducive for promoting cell turnover and collagen production. Retinoids are powerful products that can cause redness and irritation in skin, so it’s good to start off with a gentler version before opting for a stronger one, especially for those with sensitive skin. Paying a visit to your dermatologist and having them help you decide on the best option for you is also a good idea. Please note that you should not use a retinoid when pregnant or breastfeeding.
How do you use it in your skin-care routine?
Retinoids are best when used at night, allowing for the regeneration process to happen while you sleep. Apply a pea-sized amount to both your face and neck after cleansing and then wait a few minutes before applying a moisturizer. Due to its potency, you won’t want to go overboard with using multiple products that feature retinol. One is enough. Also, be sure to alternate days of use in the beginning to minimize any redness or irritation and then work your way up to more consistent usage when your skin adjusts.
For best results, use a vitamin C serum in the morning and a retinol at night. Vitamin C helps to protect your skin from the everyday pollutants that speed up the aging process. When used in conjunction with a retinol in your skincare routine, they prove to be the anti-aging dream team.