As far as anti-aging skincare goes, retinol is near the top of the list. Although most people have read or heard about it, they aren’t really sure what it does or if they should incorporate it into a skincare routine. To explain the basics, below are some answers to the most important questions about retinol.
What Is It?
Retinol is derived from Vitamin A, which is crucial for a healthy complexion. This antioxidant encourages healthy turnover of skin cells, protects against damaging free radicals, and generally delays the process of skin aging.
What Does It Do?
Retinol is so powerful because it resolves multiple skin problems at once. It has anti-aging properties because it stimulates cell turnover and encourages collagen production, which leads to diminished fine lines and increased elasticity. It also helps with acne because it loosens blackheads and reduces the skin’s oil level. A bonus: Retinol can make the pores look smaller because it removes dead skin cells while stripping away grime and dirt.
How to Choose the Right Formula?
It’s best for patients to ease into a retinol routine by trying out an OTC (over the counter) formulation first. Because these are milder than the creams available at a dermatologist near me, it’s an easy way to see how the skin will react. If a patient wants to target a specific skin concern, they should consult a dermatologist to get the type and grade that’s right for them.
How Often Should it be Used?
Patients should begin by using retinol twice per week just before bedtime. After several weeks of use, and as long as the skin responds well, usage can be increased. For the best anti-aging results, patients should try to work up to nightly applications.
Are Any Side Effects Possible?
When patients first begin to use retinol, it’s normal to see side effects such as drying and redness. If they persist after a few uses, dilute it with a favorite moisturizer. It’s important to remember that retinol may become unstable with sun exposure, so it’s best to use it with sunscreen or apply it at night to prevent irritation.
Are There Any Alternatives?
For those who see continued skin irritation, it’s best to stop using retinol. Rather, these patients should try an alternative product, such as one that contains peptides. These formulas still encourage collagen production and cell turnover, but it’s gentle enough for the most sensitive skin.