There’s a reason dermatologists rave about this gold-standard skincare ingredient. But before you add a product with retinol to your routine, you must understand what you’re getting into.
Retinol works by encouraging cell turnover, which helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It also unclogs pores and clears acne blemishes.
It Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Retinol for scarring and post acne marks are a form of Vitamin A known for helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. This is because it increases skin cell turnover and, when used with Vitamin C (which helps fade dark spots), can help even out the tone and texture of your complexion. It also works to slow down the breakdown of collagen, which can cause thinning and loosening of the skin.
It’s also a great ingredient to help treat acne, as it can help prevent clogged pores by removing dead skin cells. It’s also been shown to decrease the activity of oil glands, which can lead to pimples. And it can also improve the effectiveness of other acne-fighting ingredients when combined with them.
While many people are afraid to try retinol because of the redness, peeling, and itchiness that often accompany it, these side effects are expected and usually only last for a few weeks. And, the more you use retinol, the better your skin will adapt to it.
The results can be impressive when a more potent prescription strength, retinol, is used regularly for a few months. That’s why it’s essential to start with the lowest concentration available, such as 0.25% for dry or sensitive skin, and slowly work your way up to higher strengths.
It Reduces Acne
Retinol decreases acne on the skin by unclogging pores and reducing oil production, which helps prevent breakouts. It also boosts the effectiveness of other acne-fighting ingredients, such as salicylic acid, so you can use it with other cleansers to achieve maximum results.
Retinoid topical treatments can reduce dark spots caused by sun damage, another sign of aging skin. They work by triggering skin cell turnover and slowing the breakdown of collagen, which helps brighten your complexion. In a small 2017 study, topical retinol at a strength of 0.4% improved dark spots and wrinkles after just eight weeks of use.
Over time, retinol works to even skin tone and reduce redness from acne scarring, a common symptom of acne and other conditions. It helps to exfoliate, which is also essential for healthy-looking skin.
When used as directed, retinoids are generally safe for most people. However, you should be careful when using over-the-counter (OTC) retinol and avoid prescription products like tretinoin or isotretinoin, which are only available with a doctor’s recommendation.
You may experience some redness and irritation when first starting, which is why many dermatologists recommend easing into the ingredient. Start by applying a pea-sized amount of OTC retinol every third night and gradually increase the frequency to once or twice per week, then once or twice each day, then eventually every night as your skin builds tolerance.
It Evens Skin Tone
We all start seeing discoloration and spots on our skin as we age due to unprotected sun exposure. Retinol works to even skin tone because it encourages cells to shed their outer layers, which helps fade hyperpigmentation and brown spots for a more even, clear complexion.
It also prevents the enzymes in our skin that break down collagen from going into hyperactive attack mode when exposed to UV rays, which can lead to fine lines and wrinkles. So it’s like a guardian angel for your beautiful collagen, keeping it safe from harm to keep looking youthful!
If you haven’t already, incorporate retinol into your skincare routine. An excellent place to start is with a serum, which you can use every other night while your skin gets used to it, and then switch to using it every night for maximum benefits. A hydrating moisturizer that contains ingredients like shea butter, hyaluronic acid, or ceramides is also essential to help reduce irritation caused by retinol.
While some terms will recommend a prescription-strength formula such as Altreno Lotion, many agree that over-the-counter retinol will work just as well and is safer (and less expensive) to use since it doesn’t have the same side effects. Just be sure to patch test before applying it to your face, and always wear sunscreen when you’re in the sun!
It Strengthens Skin
Retinol increases your skin’s thickness, making it look plumper and smoother. It also boosts collagen production, which slows the aging process and can reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It’s best to use retinol with other skincare products that increase hydration and promote healthy cells.
Another one of the many benefits of retinol is that it improves large pores, which are often clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Retinol causes the outermost layer of your skin to turn over more quickly, which helps thicken your pores and prevent them from clogging.
It can even help if you have psoriasis, a chronic condition that causes the skin to grow too rapidly and create thick patches of white or red skin. In a small 2017 study, topical application of retinol to the face helped to improve the appearance of psoriasis lesions by slowing skin cell growth.
When applying retinol, always wash your face before starting. Ensure your skin is completely dry, and then use a pea-sized amount of your chosen product on your face. It’s recommended that you wait 30 minutes after applying retinol before you put on your moisturizer. Applying sunscreen during the day’s also a good idea, as retinol can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. If your skin feels irritated, try using a less potent retinol formula or trying it every other day instead of daily.