Already used in skin care for decades, retinol is far from a new discovery, yet it keeps us coming back for more. Why? Because it delivers results. This miracle ingredient is widely recognized as one of the best anti-agers that money can buy and is key for anyone 25 and over who wants to preserve youthful skin or fight signs of aging. Use this guide to learn everything you need to know about choosing and using retinol products; then reap the great rewards for yourself.
What is retinol?
Retinol is a retinoid, which is the umbrella term for all vitamin A derivatives that are used in skin care to target acne, wrinkles and texture concerns. When retinol is applied topically, the skin’s enzymes convert it to retinoic acid, which is biologically available to the body. Retinol is available without a prescription.
How does retinol compare to other forms of vitamin A?
You’ve probably heard a whole bunch of terms related to retinol, from Retin-A to retinoid. As mentioned above, retinoids are a group of vitamin A derivatives. Within that group, there are a few different ingredients that are common in skin care. The strongest is retinoic acid (also known as tretinoin or the brand names Retin-A and Renova). Retinol comes second, followed by pro-retinols such as retinyl palmitate. The problem with retinoic acid is that it’s the most irritating and can be difficult for many people to tolerate. That’s where gentler forms such as retinol and pro- retinol come into play.
What are the benefits of retinol?
So, what does retinol do when it comes to improving the skin? Here are the three most significant retinol benefits:
- It offers firmness and anti-wrinkle benefits: Retinol is known for the role it plays in anti-aging and in the production of collagen. More collagen means firmer, smoother skin. Bye-bye, wrinkles and fine lines!
- It creates a smoother texture: As we age, our cellular regeneration slows and skin begins to look dull, rough and uneven. Since retinol helps with the rate of turnover, dead cells slough off and fresh cells come to the surface. Your skin will feel soft to the touch.
- It targets pigmentation: If you’ve developed a smattering of brown spots due to days spent in the sun, retinol may help with the degradation and regulation of melanin, the pigment that causes the spots.
When and how should I use retinol?
If you’re new to the ingredient, start by applying a pro-retinol product to a dry face every other night until your skin becomes tolerant—meaning it doesn’t flake or feel dry or irritated. Once your skin has become accustomed to the pro-retinol, apply it every single night before bed. If you feel like your skin needs something a little stronger, you can slowly move into the world of and retinoic acid. Always wear sunscreen throughout the day when using retinol products.
Which retinol products should I try?
Fight the look of wrinkles and improve your skin’s appearance and texture, all while replenishing your moisture barrier, with L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Cicacream. It has Centella Asiatica (an herb traditionally used on wounds and to improve skin’s moisture retention) and the pro-retinol retinyl palmitate (which helps resist signs of aging). Your skin will feel smooth, hydrated and nourished every single day.
Integrate retinol into your beauty routine and expect to see visible results within six to 12 weeks. If this sounds too good to be true, track your results with photos and witness the slow and steady magic for yourself.