Everything you ever wanted to know about the benefits of a miracle ingredient called retinol.
Retinol is one of the most effective cosmetic ingredients that rightly deserves the title of a unique beauty ingredient that should be included in your standard skin care routine for all people who suffer from various aesthetic skin imperfections: blackheads, acne, pigmentations, wrinkles and large pores.
You read that right, one ingredient that can successfully cure a whole range of dermatological problems exists and that is vitamin A, better known as retinol. However, misinformation often comes with praise, so many women are afraid to start using retinol products. Should we really be afraid of this magical ingredient that has changed the face of the cosmetics industry and pushed the boundaries of the effectiveness of topical products? How long should we apply it and whether there is an age limit for anti-age care, as well as many other questions, we bring you below.
What is the difference between retinol, retinoids and retinoic acid?
Retinoids - a common name for all vitamin A derivatives
Retinol - a cosmetic ingredient in many skin care cosmetics. You do not need a prescription to use this form of vitamin A, which is very effective.
Retinoic acid - a more aggressive form of prescription vitamin A. Due to its shape and concentration, retinoic acid is extremely effective, but also much more aggressive than retinol. Although it provides faster results, it also has greater consequences, such as skin irritation and peeling.
Why is retinol good for my skin?
Whether over-the-counter or prescription, vitamin A in all its forms acts as a cellular communicator , meaning it can tell a skin cell to act and even look like a more normal, healthy and younger cell. When your skin is damaged by the sun, this communication is extremely beneficial because sun-damaged skin creates unhealthy, abnormal and inflexible skin cells.
Retinol is an ingredient that fights problems such as wrinkles, uneven complexion and acne. The decision as to which form of vitamin A to use should be based on medical recommendations and, to some extent, on one's own preferences. Retinol anti-wrinkle cream has a effect on reducing fine lines and wrinkles on the face , especially in the area around the forehead and lips, increases skin firmness and skin tone, and occurs it also neutralizes stains because retinol prevents the production of melanin, softens the skin and makes it more pleasant to the touch. It is retinol creams that accelerate cell replacement, open pores and thus affect the reduction and disappearance of acne , because impurities and fats will not accumulate inside them.
Is prescription retinol or "plain" retinol better for me?
Retinol in all its forms, over-the-counter or prescription only, is great for preventing and reducing the signs of aging . When choosing the form of retinol to include in your skin care, keep in mind the following facts that can help you determine which form is best for your needs:
- Prescription retinol has more potency and works faster. Cosmetic retinol, on the other hand, takes longer to take effect, but in the long run it has the same effect as prescription retinol.
- Retinoic acid, or prescription retinol, has a higher risk of skin irritation, and for some people the irritation never stops and they can't use it. Cosmetic retinol has a far lower risk of causing irritation, but because it breaks down in the skin to become active, this form of vitamin A can also be irritating to the skin.
- It takes experimentation to see which application frequency is best for you. Many find that using retinol 2-3 times a week works great, while others can use it every day.
Can I use AHA or BHA acids if I use retinol?
A common misconception about retinol is that it peels the skin. Vitamin A or retinol in any of its forms does not do the same things as AHA or BHA acids. AHA and BHA acids form exfoliation on the surface layers of dead skin, repairing sun-damaged or genetically thickened skin cells. On the other hand, whether in over-the-counter or prescription form, retinol is a cellular communicator that tells skin cells to create healthier, younger cells and can improve the production of new skin cells. Retinol is not an exfoliant , but there is often confusion because retinol in both types of products - over-the-counter and prescription - can cause flaking. Because of this side effect, people assume that it also does exfoliation on the skin, but peeling the skin is not an exfoliation. AHA and BHA acids help the skin do what it would naturally do, and it is not natural to see healthy skin flake off. Instead, you see a smooth, renewed skin surface and a healthy glow. For the best anti-aging benefits, an ideal combination is an exfoliant (AHA and BHA acid) and a vitamin A / retinol product .
Is there an age limit when it is recommended to start using retinol and anti-aging care?
Can retinol also affect oily skin problems such as acne, blackheads and enlarged pores?
Does retinol work on dark spots on the skin?
Dark spots on the face, if they are located deep in the skin, which is very often the case, are very difficult to solve with the help of local preparations for home use. Retinoic acid rapidly exfoliates the surface layer of the skin, and the basal layer stimulates regeneration, which is a way to act on dark spots on the skin. Although it takes a long time to fade, retinol plays an important role in removing dark spots.
How to use a product with retinol?
Retinol can appear in skin care as an ingredient in various products, so there are retinol cream, retinol serum and retinol drops , and here is the order of how to use the product with retinol as part of your daily skin care routine:
Skin cleansing, skin toning, AHA or BHA acid exfoliation is the beginning of your skin care routine.
Then apply a product containing the active ingredient retinol to the skin.
If one of the steps in your care is to use a skin lightening product, apply it after retinol.
Continue applying the cream and / or serum, which can also be applied to the eye area.
- At the end of a skin care routine, good skin hydration is a must.
To help your skin get used to the power of retinol, apply it every other day, but always in the evening because sunlight deactivates the active ingredients. If your skin tolerates it, you can gradually increase the frequency of application to once a day, but always in the evening. Keep in mind that more is no better, just a pea-sized amount of retinol is enough for your whole face!
Good to know!
- Retinol products can be applied under the eyes, but not on the eyelids or under the eyebrows.
- If you are using a product that contains benzoyl peroxide, please note that it cannot be used in combination with retinol. For this reason, use benzoyl peroxide in the morning and retinol in the evening.
- It's okay to use an over-the-counter retinol product along with a prescription retinol. Which one you apply first is up to you.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use retinol!
- Important Note: Whatever form of retinol you choose, daily use of a well-formulated sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher is mandatory! Even the most effective anti-age ingredients will not work as you would like if you are not consistent when it comes to sun protection. In the end, sun damage has created most of the problems that cause you to use anti-age products, i.e. to repair them!
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