Everyone is talking about Retinol – the magic ingredient which will help you fight against wrinkles, fine lines, and a dull look we all fear to get. But what exactly is this helpful ingredient, and what is all the fuss about? Find out in my review below!
What exactly is Retinol and what are its benefits?
Retinol is actually a form of vitamin A, and we use it both food supplements and cosmetics. Its main benefits are that it promotes the renewal of your skin and enhances collagen production, leading to firmer skin. For this reason, it is often a key ingredient in anti-aging products, however, the list of benefits is long. Retinol not only reduces wrinkles and fine lines, but it can also reverse some side effects of sun damage and helps to brighten dull skin. It reduces hyperpigmentation and creates a bright, even skin tone, and helps fade dark spots. It can as well speed up the regeneration cycle of skin cells by stimulating the cellular renewal, encouraging a smoother, more even, skin complexion. Finally, it is great for both acne and oily skin, as it keeps pores from clogging, resulting in fewer blackheads, cysts, and pimples. When using the product, you can start noticing differences after 4 weeks, but significant skin changes take up to 3 months.
When should you start using it?
Although it has a label as an anti-aging product and it is popular amongst women over 30, you can start using products with this ingredient when you are younger.
Before the beginning of your 30s, your skin cells change every 28 days, and they create a fresh layer of untouched skin every month. However, once you hit your mid-30s, the regeneration of skin cells slows down, taking up to 50, 60, or even 70 days for the skin to regenerate. The slow regeneration is the main cause of the dry, wrinkled, and dull look. Although you might now have reached your 30s, why would you wait to get wrinkles and try to cure them, if you can also take some preventive measures? For this reason, cosmetologists suggest adopting the use of Retinol while you are still young. You will not see such an obvious effect on your skin as if you were older, however, the collagen boost will prevent the formation of future wrinkles and lines.
How often should you apply it?
This really depends on the exact type of product you are using, and the level of vitamin A it has. Still, it is crucial to apply products with Retinol at nighttime, as the sunlight could diminish their effects. Most products which contain Retinol come in the form of a serum, and if this is the case, apply the latter immediately after cleansing your face to get the most benefits out of it. Furthermore, you can add a layer of moisturizer over the top if you feel like you need more hydration. If you want to have more control over the level of the collagen, try to limit your use to only one product containing vitamin A.
For what skin type is it?
Normally, all skin types can benefit from retinol products. It clears out clogged pores which can cause blemishes to promote a clear complexion which is good for oily skin. It further creates a clearer complexion and tone of the skin. Every skin type will see benefits of adding vitamin A to their nighttime routine, except pregnant or breastfeeding women, or those on medication which clashes with vitamin A.
Do’s and don’ts of using Retinol
To get the most out of a product containing Retinol and avoid skin irritation, it is crucial for you to follow these four steps:
1. Choose the right strength✅
There are different types of Retinol a product can contain, and they are of different strengths. Look for the following types:
Sensitive Skin: Retinyl Palmitate
Normal Skin: Retinol or Retinaldehyde
Oily and Acne-prone Skin: Adapalene
2. Don’t use too much at once❌
When incorporating a product which has Retinol, the key step is to do it gradually. Use a pea-size drop of the product once a week for a week, then two drops for two weeks, three drops for three weeks, and then every other night indefinitely.
3. Don’t use alternate harsh products❌
If you have acne, avoid skin irritation and risk of burning your skin by limiting the use of acids and peels. When using Retinol, avoid other products containing vitamin A. Since Retinol can make your skin extra sensitive to sunlight, using sun protection is highly recommended.
Best product recommendations
Here are four products that I would recommend checking out:
This eye gel will help lower the appearance of dark circles while restoring the elasticity and tone of the skin. It does not contain fragrance and can be used on the most sensitive skin. Products by Retinol are environmentally friendly, and they offer necessary moisture to improve texture, clarity, and appearance of the skin.
How to use it?
With your fingertip, apply small dots around the eye area. Gently smooth into your skin until it is fully absorbed. It has the best effect when combined with Retinol Facial Serum. This product absorbs quickly, and it is non-greasy, and for this reason, it is one of my favorite eye gel products. It is easy to apply as it goes on smoothly on your skin and it really improves skin texture. Furthermore, it has a lightweight texture and is long-lasting, and it is totally worth the investment!
The Retinol Day Cream is a rich cream with a SPF 20, which helps protect against harmful sun rays. It moisturizes your skin and reduces the look of fine lines, helping improve the texture, clarity, and radiance of the skin. Vitamin A helps exfoliate, smooth, and revitalize the skin. It softens your skin but also makes it easier to apply your makeup afterward.
How to use it?
Containing SPF, the day cream is suitable for application in the morning, after which it is necessary to apply it every two hours if exposed to the strong sun. For the product to make a difference, it is necessary to use it daily.
I love products from the Ordinary for multiple reasons: they are vegan, cruelty-free, and very affordable. For this reason, I also wanted to try this Retinol Serum 1% in Squalane, and I was very happy with it. The product helps refine pores, it reduces the appearance of dark spots and improves the texture of the skin. Retinol creates the firming effect on the complexion, and it also has Squalane, which is an antioxidant ingredient that prevents UV damage while fighting harmful bacteria. The product does not contain alcohol or water and has a thin and lightweight texture.
How to use it?
You can use this serum on a daily basis as part of your nighttime skin routine. Combine it with a moisturizer to give further care to your skin. If you have acne, consult your dermatologist as this product could irritate the skin, and you should not use it as a treatment for acne.
If you have never used creams containing retinol, I would suggest starting with this La Roche-Posay Redermic R, as it has only 0.3% of retinol, and it is ideal for first time vitamin A users. The product does not contain fragrance, parabens, preservatives, nor colorants, causing no skin irritations. It is suitable for sensitive skin and it helps fade dark spots and fine lines, giving a more even tone to your skin.
How to use it?
Apply the product on your face and neck as part of your nighttime routine. Combine it with a moisturizer and avoid the eye contour area. During the day, do not expose your skin to UV light and apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Do not combine with any other retinoids.
This was it! By now, you know exactly what Retinol is, its benefits, downsides, and ways of usage. Keep in mind that you should use products with Retinol carefully. To avoid any side effects, make sure to follow the precise instructions, or consult your dermatologist. I hope I provided you with useful information, and if you have any questions, leave them in the box below!
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