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Everything You Need to Know About Retinol
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Everything You Need to Know About Retinol
Posted in: Skin Care
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We’re sure you’ve heard of Retinol. In the list of recommendations of your favourite skincare influencer, or what your friend with seemingly perfect skin claims her secret ingredient is, Retinol is hard to miss, especially with all the hype it has been receiving recently. But there is a lot of confusion as to what Retinol really is.

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This is an important question to know the answer to because Retinol, like most other active skincare products, is potent. So it is crucial to know what ingredients it is made up of , what skincare problems it targets and whether or not Retinol is suitable for your skin. In simple words , Retinol is one of the key forms of Vitamin A. Having said that, Retinol is -in an inaccurate sense- used as an umbrella term for all skincare ingredients that are procured from Vitamin A. A more accurate expression of Retinol would be defining it as a form of Retinoid.

Retinoids basically refer to all those compounds that have an effect on the body similar to that of Vitamin A and they can be natural or be synthetically produced. The retinoids most commonly used in skincare are retinoic acid, retinol, retinyl esters, and retinaldehyde. Here is a small guide to help you understand these different types of retinoids:

RETINOID USE POTENCY
RETINOIC ACID Available only in prescription form (commonly as Retin-A), it is readily available and acts quicker than the other retinoids.
Most active of all of the following retinoids since it does not need to convert.
RETINOL The comparatively lower potency makes Retinol a great option for beginners who want to start using retinol and slowly build strength in it.
It helps improve pigmentation, texture, fine lines and dryness.
Less potent than Retinoic Acid as it involves conversion to retinoic acid.
RETINOL ESTERS Need to be broken down into retinol first and then into retinoic acid.
Lesser potency than retinol.
RETINAL- DEHYDE Stable
Least potent of all

You will not need a dermatologist to understand the complicated scientific information of what tends to make retinol a really popular game changer, that’s always a good opportunity to know more about how components work, if you’re a good choice to use them, especially when there are as many myths as there are buzz surrounding them, as there is with retinol. Fortunately, dermatologists and beauty chemists are eager to share their expertise of retinol in a way that we can all comprehend and apply the next time we’re looking for a retinol serum, cream, oil, or even a prescription treatment.

What exactly is retinol?

Retinol, like many vitamins, has different names.   “Retinol is one of the most common types of vitamin A,” says Ron Robinson, creator of Beauty Stat and a cosmetic scientist. “It can aid in the stimulation of cell renewal as well as collagen formation.” But the name retinol is now a shorthand phrase for vitamin A-derived compounds in cosmetics that aren’t necessarily appropriate. More precisely, retinol is one of the numerous forms of retinoids. “All vitamin A derivatives, both natural and synthetic, are referred to as retinoids,” explains Caroline Chang, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Rhode Island Dermatology Institute. Retinol, retinol esters, and retinaldehyde are the most popular retinoids used in skincare.

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Retinoids help increase cell turnover and help stimulate the production of collagen. Retinoids are most commonly used to lessen signs of ageing like wrinkling, fine lines and loss of elasticity. Retinoids are also an established remedy for acne-prone skin. Since one of the main functions of retinoids is increasing cell turnover, this directly helps unclog pores thus eliminating the problem of the appearance of acne.

Additionally, it helps reduce post-acne scarring, skin inflammation that leads to acne as well as any hyperpigmentation. Usually, prescription-strength retinoids are used for acne and acne-related problems while over-the-counter products in the form of creams, oils and serums are used to combat signs of ageing.

The introduction of Retinol into one’s skincare routine may lead to irritation. The initial application of any Vitamin A derivative product should thus be gradual, meaning that one should start with very little product application so as to gauge the severity of the skin’s reaction to the said product. The amount of product applied can be then slowly increased. Any potential dryness or irritation following retinoid application can be combated through the application of a high-quality moisturiser afterwards. The best results of retinoids are achieved when it is used moderately and by building retinol strength.

What can retinol do?

You’ve undoubtedly noticed that retinol can help practically everybody, and that’s not exaggerated. Dr. Farhang explains that retinoids are keratolytic, which implies they accelerate skin cell renewal and are proven to boost collagen formation. It comes highly suggested by professionals if you want to reduce typical indicators of ageing. “It can help smooth, level out, and tighten skin, as well as lessen the appearance of wrinkle.

Despite softening wrinkles and increasing suppleness are two of retinol’s most well-known benefits, its process can also aid with pimples and the residue they left after. “In terms of acne, the increment renewal aids in the unclogging of pores,” Dr. Farhang adds. “It also aids collagen production for acne scars and reduces the look of dark or red post-acne patches”.

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According to Dr. Farhang, prescription-strength retinoids are used for acne, while over-the-counter versions are utilized for ageing indications. “Thankfully, several non-prescription retinoid medications have greatly improved their formulas by allowing the retinol to slowly release,” she explains.

She suggests Neutrogena’s retinol products, such as Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Oil, which has a sustained-action retinol composition, and Senté Bio Complete Serum, which is meant to be gentle for sensitive skin or skin that isn’t used to retinoids. Paula’s Choice Resist 1 Percent Retinol Booster, which uses a slow-release technique to provide its essential ingredient, is another favourite.

How should you get started using retinol?

If you’re unfamiliar with retinoids or sensitive to sensitivity, you could notice that your skin reacts when you add the vitamin A component to your skin-care regime. Drs. Chang and Farhang both advised starting with a little quantity of retinol almost every night. “I would use a gentler retinoid in a cream basis for the delicate regions beneath the eyes,” Dr. Chang suggests. The Inkey Retinol Eye Cream is one of our favourites because of its gentle, slow-release nature and reasonable price.

To fight any possible irritation or dryness, I choose a serum formula accompanied by a moisturizer on the face. RoC Retinol Correction Line Smoothing Night Serum Capsules are her favourite over-the-counter serum. Try the Best of Beauty Award-winning SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream if you want a cream formulation.

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