Everything You Need to Know Before Using Retinol-Based Products
The word “retinol” is often thrown around by dermatologists and highlighted on boxes of skin care products. From these labels, consumers get a general idea of what retinol is: it reduces wrinkles, we learn, and Retin-A is used to treat acne.
But like all other beauty ingredients, we must understand what exactly retinol is, how it works, how to use it to maximize its potency, and how to avoid any problems it may cause with misuse.
What is retinol?
Topical derivatives of vitamin A, retinoid variants Retinol, Retinaldehyde, and Retinyl Retinoate are converted by the skin into an active ingredient, dermatologist Sam Bunting says on the Telegraph. Since retinoids are not naturally found in the skin, they are incorporated into skin care products for their many benefits. They've been known to boost cell turnover and stimulate collagen production. They also benefit the skin as antioxidants and neutralize free radicals. One can commonly find them in products that treat anti-aging.
How does it work?
Retin-A was the first retinoid to be used in drugs in the
Chicago-based dermatologist Carolyn Jacob explains that retinoids also “hamper the breakdown of collagen and thicken the deeper layer of skin where wrinkles get their start,” which is why retinoids have been known to thicken the skin.
How should one use retinoids?
Dermatologists prescribe retinoic acid (Retin-A) to their patients with aging skin. The retinaldehyde variant is highly efficient in reviving older skin. Since retinoids have been known to cause skin dryness and irritation, especially on sensitive skin, it’s recommended that Retin-A
Who should avoid retinoids?
For those plagued with eczema or other inflammatory skin conditions, it might be best to skip the retinoids, as it’s been reported to worsen the inflammation. Those with rosacea may gradually incorporate a retinoid into their skin regimen.
While retinoids are recommended to treat acne, they might only harm some types of acne-prone skin—those that typically swell and turn red, according to Byrdie’s retinol guide.
Bunting also advises against the use of retinol-based products on pregnant women.
Which products work?
For women looking at products that harness retinol’s many powers, Murad’s Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum and Retinol Youth Renewal Youth Cream both pack anti-aging properties. In a study commissioned by Murad, the retinol-infused eye serum saw a 93 percent reduction in line and