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What is Retinol?

August 25, 2019

What is Retinol?

Ever heard of the word retinol? If you’ve seen your Dermatologist and have asked what product should you be using for anti-aging, one of the most common answers will be- anything with retinol. It is not without cause that this one ingredient can make all the difference in skin waiting to be rejuvenated. However it my leave you scratching your head wondering; what is retinol and how do I use it? In this article, we will dive in and discuss all you need to know about using a retinol based products.

Retinol is a potent antioxidant derived from Vitamin A. High amounts of Vitamin A can b​​e found in orange/yellow fruits and vegetables like carrot, squash and pumpkin, in the form of beta carotene.

You may see various names for it such as Retinol, Retinaldehyde, Retinoic Acid, Retinyl palmitate, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene and isotretinoin. These can vary from over the counter products all the way up to prescription products and even oral prescription forms. Prescription strength forms of Retinol may show results faster and are much stronger, however most people stray away from using them due to excessive amounts of dryness and irritation that may occur. This makes the nonprescription forms a bit gentler on the skin.

How does it work?

Collagen is a vital protein within the skin. As the skin ages collagen is not produced as much as when the skin was young and may have accelerated breakdown due to certain environmental factors. Retinol helps to increase cell turnover and stimulate cell generation. This will help to increase collagen production within the skin.

How can it help my skin?

These changes may help to improve fine lines and wrinkles, reduce blackheads, decrease acne, improve scarring, reduce pore size, and help improve the tone and texture of the skin. Because this helps exfoliation, dark spots may also be reduced or sloughed away. This sounds like a miracle in a bottle! But the tricky part can be in how you use the product.

What can I expect with using this?

With this increased cell turnover and exfoliation; one of the most common side effects someone would see is extra dryness of the skin and possibly some degree of irritation. Depending on the strength, quantity used and frequency used, this dryness or irritation may vary.

Once those dead skin cells are exfoliated away, you may experience some sensitivity to sunlight meaning you may burn or darken faster than you would have if you weren’t using it. Wearing sun protection during the day may help. Remembering to reapply is key; sunscreen is only effective for a certain amount of time.

As the skin is adjusting, you may also experience a few small breakouts that may happen within the first 2 weeks. Not to worry, these fade.

What do you do if you notice you are dry or irritated?

Using your retinoid frequently and applying too much may cause you to become dry and possibly irritated. Try using a small pea-sized amount at night and reducing the frequency of how many times you apply it.

For example: Applying it 2-3 times per week, every other day, to allow your skin to recoup prior to using it again. Eventually once your skin has adjusted to using it 2-3 times per week, try ramping it up a little more and use it 4-5 times per week. After your skin adjusts again try increasing it further and adding another day until you are using it everyday or close to it.

Applying a moisturizer afterwards is so important especially if your skin is prone to dryness from the beginning. Moisturize 2-3 minutes after the retinol is applied. Not only will this help improve dryness, but it may help prevent it as well. This will allow you to use your retinol more frequently. For excessive amounts of irritation and dryness, be sure to notify your dermatologist.

When can I see results?

Usually within 3-6 months, you can start to see improvement with fine lines and wrinkles. You can see start to see improvement with acne within 6-8 wks. Starting slowly with these tips may help ease your way through this process. In the long run, it will be so worth it!

What retinol product do you reccommend?

Re-Rhyt Nightly Resurfacing Serum offers instant gratification. Packed with Lactic Acid AKA AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid), it immediately removes devitalized skin cells from the surface leaving you with an instant glow. It allows for improved moisturization and deeper penetration of encapsulated retinol. Encapsulated retinol offers enhanced efficacy and reduced irritation that is traditionally seen with using a retinol based product due to its gradual release. Infused with Natural botanical Algae Extract and Olive Squalene, it provides nutrients and moisturizing benefits. This is truly a miracle in a bottle!




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