What Is Retinol And What Does It Do?
Retinol is a form of retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A. It’s commonly used to give your skin a healthy boost by minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, smoothing texture, and diminishing hyperpigmentation and dark spots. “Unfortunately, as you age, the skin cells stop maturing and they tend to pile up.” It works on a molecular level to normalize cell turnover.” Basically, it tells your cells to renew themselves regularly again.
Retinoids are also added to some acne products. Because they work to unclog blocked pores and prevent further build-up, retinoids open the way for acne-fighting ingredients, helping eliminate the roots of the breakout.
Prescription Vs. Over The Counter
Not all retinoids are created equal. Retin-A (a prescribed retinoid also known as Tretinoin) is much stronger than retinol, which is often found in smaller doses in drugstore beauty creams. These make your skin work an extra step to convert retinol to retinoic acid, the active ingredient in prescription retinoids.
Although the prescribed Retin-A is stronger, it is also more irritating to the skin, and studies have shown that the OTC Retinol is equally effective compared to the stronger Retin-A products for the cosmetic effect in decreasing wrinkles.
Knowing Your Limits
Retin-A and retinol can leave you looking radiant when applied properly, but make sure to keep these factors in mind to avoid skin-harming outcomes.
- After cleansing or exfoliating.
- In the sun.
- When your skin gets angry.
- If you’re using acne meds.
- Before a wax.
While you should be careful when using it, retinol is truly an anti-aging powerhouse. There are really lots of formulations, but the physician recommends sticking to the reputable and well-known brands, such as Retinal by SkinCeuticals, offered in the .5% and the 1% forumlas.