Breaking Down Retinol
Retinol is one of the most efficient over-the-counter products available in the market right now. It is a derivative of Vitamin A that plays an essential role in cell regeneration by going deep within the outer layer of the skin. Retinols are weaker versions of retinoids that are more potent, and hence, primarily available at prescription doses. The active ingredient present in retinol is retinoic acid that diffuses into the cell layers and promotes cell growth.
In the middle layer of the skin, retinol boosts essential proteins called collagen and elastin. These proteins are responsible for the elasticity of your skin, and consequently, retinol produces a “plumping effect.”
It reduces the indications of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and big pores. Moreover, retinoic acid prevents the production of collagenase enzymes that are responsible for the breakdown of collagen. An increase in collagen is equivalent to more elastic and youthful skin.
How Can Retinol Help Your Skin?
Retinol can benefit your skin in several ways. We have listed a few reasons why retinol creams can be a great addition to your skincare regimen.
● Reduces wrinkles: According to a study, using 0.1% retinol for 12 weeks lowers cheek wrinkles by 63.74% and eye wrinkles by 38.74%.
● Reduces acne and related scarring: Several doctors suggest retinol serums to teenagers to help them battle severe acne. Retinol helps to keep your pores unclogged and reduces the occurrence of acne. It normally takes up to six weeks for retinol to show its effects.
● Neutralizes free radicals: Retinol penetrates the top layer of the skin and neutralizes free radicals that cause damage to cells.
● Anti-aging effect: One of the primary benefits of retinol is its anti-aging effect. The production of collagen, which is responsible for skin elasticity, reduces with age. Retinol counters that by boosting the production of elastin and collagen. Hence, it helps in reducing fine lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a fuller and plumper appearance.
● Mildly exfoliates skin: Retinol balances the hydration levels of your skin by mildly exfoliating dead cells. It prevents moisture loss and helps oily skin by controlling excess sebum production.
What are the Side Effects of Retinol?
Although retinol can greatly benefit your skin, people may experience a few side effects when they start using retinol serums or creams.
● It is common to experience dry or irritated skin after using a new product that contains retinol.
● The sudden increase in cell turnover rate can lead to redness of the skin.
● Some people might also experience itching and scaling of the skin.
A high concentration of retinol in a product is more likely to cause side effects. However, your skin builds a tolerance to the side effects of retinol while still benefiting from it over time. People with sensitive skin should opt for a lower concentration of retinol to start with.
Using Retinol the Right Way
Retinol is a potent skin ingredient that should be used wisely. Therefore, many dermatologists recommend using it slowly over time. You can start by adding retinol to your skincare regimen every other night and then shift to using it every night. You might experience mild irritation at the start, but your skin will become resilient to the side effects of retinol gradually.
Using retinol 30 minutes after washing your face can help in minimizing irritation and using it during the evening can reduce the risk of sun sensitivity. You can also try moisturizing your skin while using retinol. Finally, it is advisable for you to consult a dermatologist once before including retinol in your skin care regimen.