Once retinol was only restricted to the four walls of a dermatologist’s office, but nowadays, you can get retinol cream in almost all skincare stores and pharmacies. Retinol is available in different forms such as gel, lotion, serum, and pills. But due to a lot of nuances in formulation, finding the right type of retinol for you isn’t always easy. This article will cover the basic retinol rules and reveal the most efficacious formulas available on the market now.
What is retinol?
Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, and many skincare experts consider it to be the final word in effective skincare. It acts by increasing the rate of cell turnover in the skin. Various studies on retinol have shown it responsible for treating all types of skin concerns, including fine lines, pigmentation, wrinkles, and even acne.
How does retinol work?
Dr. Anita Sturnham, a skin health specialist, believes that retinoids act at a deep cellular level, and they can enhance collagen and elastin production, reduce cellular aging and, regulate sebum production, along with having pigment stabilizing and anti-inflammatory qualities. Studies have shown that vitamin A is not produced by the body and, therefore, it should be supplied through our diet and skincare.
What are the benefits of using retinol?
Cellular regeneration due to using retinol products can result in various benefits for many skin types and concerns. Various studies have investigated retinol’s role in reducing the common signs of skin ageing. Many have found that retinol can reduce the roughness, hyperpigmentation and wrinkling caused by sun damage.
Researchers have shown that retinol is effective for people with acne-prone skin. They have also noted that the products of the retinoid family can reduce active breakouts and inhibit the formation of new ones. Applying retinol to the skin can also improve skin texture by reducing scarring and pigmentation.
The retinoid family
It is important to note that retinol is an umbrella term used to refer to a host of vitamin A forms, so you need to be more than careful in choosing your retinol cream or serum. The retinoid family includes retinol and its natural derivatives like retinaldehyde and retinyl esters.
All types of retinoids should be broken down into retinoic acid before being used by the skin to regenerate skin cells and stimulate collagen production. Although pure retinoic acid is available in different prescription products such as Accutane, the retinoids found in non-prescription products must be converted several times to retinoic acid. Hence, it is necessary to be patient during the period of using retinoid products.
What are the retinol side effects?
Dermatologists agree that there are several potential problems with a lot of retinol-based skincare. Some brands use retinol in very low amounts with no skin benefits, whereas others have such punchy retinoid-based formulations that can put your skin health in danger.
Some of the side effects of overusing retinol-based products include dry, flaking skin and moderate irritation. Most of the products containing retinol on drugstore shelves today use advanced formulations and slow-release delivery systems to avoid the irritation caused by increased cell turnover.
How do you use retinol?
Just like other active skincare methods, consistent application is necessary for reaping retinol benefits. Dermatologists advise applying retinol only at night, after your cleanser and toner and before your night cream. Retinol creams are quickly absorbed, and you need to apply a moisturizer after using retinol creams.
You shouldn’t overuse retinol creams. If you are new to using a retinol cream, you should start by applying once a week and gradually increasing the frequency to every other night. Retinol overuse can cause skin irritations.
Furthermore, it’s necessary to apply a good, broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen (30 or above) every day when using any retinol because retinol can make your skin more photosensitive.