If you have any kind of skincare routine, then you've definitely seen the word "retinol" thrown around quite a lot, but when it comes to what retinol actually is... would you know what to say? Herbalist Jessica Walliser says that "retinol is a vitamin A derivative which has been proven to help with aging skin." If you're curious about how to get started with this ingredient for your skin care routine, keep reading below for all the important things you need to know.
What is retinol?
Retinol is a type of vitamin A that can be found in over-the-counter skincare products. It is an ingredient that has been proven to help with the signs of aging, in the form of fine lines, more apparent wrinkles, and even dark spots on skin.
It is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Retinol can also help to stimulate collagen production, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Retinol can also help to improve skin texture and tone with regular and consistent use. If you are looking for an anti-aging skincare ingredient that really works (and we mean REALLY WORKS), retinol is the option to consider.
How does retinol work?
When applied topically, retinol penetrates deep into the skin to help repair damage and improve its overall appearance. Damage can vary from smaller fine lines, aging skin and wrinkles and even dull looking skin. It can take several weeks of regular use before you see any noticeable results, but with consistent use, you can expect to see firmer, smoother, and more youthful-looking skin. Since retinol in skincare products can also stimulate collagen production, it will help to keep the skin looking firm and elastic over time.
When can retinol help with aging skin?
Retinol is a type of vitamin A that can help with aging skin. It can help to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, as well as improve overall skin texture. Retinol can be used in both topical and oral forms, and is often found in skincare products such as serums, creams, and even masks. When used topically, retinol can help to stimulate collagen production and cell turnover, which can lead to younger-looking skin. Not only will your skin have a healthier look, but you will notice a "youthful glow" with regular use.
However, it's important to note that retinol can also cause skin irritation when it comes to sun exposure or overuse. It's important to start with a lower concentration and work up as your skin becomes more tolerant. When you know you will be going out into the sun for longer periods of time, you will definitely want to consider adding a protective layer of SPF as your last application before venturing outside. If you're looking for a way to help improve the appearance of aging skin, find some natural skincare products with retinol in them to start. Look at the concentration in the products before purchasing. Over the counter products should have no more than 1% retinol in them for safe regular use. You don't need more than that when it comes to a regular skincare routine (unless if directed otherwise by your dermatologist).
What are the different types of retinoids?
There are many different types of retinoids, but the most common ones are retinol, retinoic acid, and tretinoin. Retinol is the least potent form of retinoids and is found in over-the-counter products. Retinoic acid is more potent than retinol and is only available by prescription. Tretinoin is the most potent form of retinoids and is also only available by prescription.
Retinoids work by increasing cell turnover, which helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They can also help to diminish the appearance of dark spots and improve skin tone. Retinoids can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne, melasma, and photoaging.
If you're considering using stronger or more potent retinoids to improve the appearance of your skin, it's important to consult with a dermatologist first. This is because retinoids can cause side effects, such as dryness, redness, and irritation. A dermatologist can help you determine if retinoids are right for you and can also provide guidance on how to use them safely and effectively.
Differences between retinols + retinoids
There's a lot of confusion out there about retinols and retinoids. What are they? Do they work? Are they safe? Let's break it down quickly.
Retinoids are a class of compounds that includes retinoic acid and other chemically similar substances. Retinoic acid is the active ingredient in tretinoin, which is the most commonly prescribed retinoid for treating harsher cases of acne and wrinkles.
Retinols are a less potent form of retinoid that can be found in over-the-counter products. They're not as effective as prescription retinoids, but they're less likely to cause irritation. We think a good consistent routine of these less potent products can be extremely beneficial for those looking to keep their skin healthy over long periods of time.
Both retinoids and retinols can help improve the appearance of aging skin by increasing collagen production, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and improving skin tone and texture. But because they can cause irritation, it's important to start with a lower strength product and increase gradually as your skin adjusts.
If you're not sure whether a retinoid or retinol is right for you, once again a quick talk with a doctor or dermatologist could be a good idea.
Who can benefit from a retinol treatment?
If you're concerned about the signs of aging skin, you may be considering using retinoids or more specifically retinol. We like to say that as long as your skin doesn't have any extreme sensitivities or more severe underlying issues, you would be safe in testing out retinol.
It's always important as a first timer to test out skincare products with retinol in them on smaller (maybe even less visible) places on the skin to see how you react. Depending on the make up of a skincare product, the ingredients mixed with the retinol can help to soothe sensitive skin or improve dry skin.
Check the entire ingredient list of a product you are interested in to see if it will work well with your skin. We like to go with skincare products that hydrate the skin and even soothe sensitive skin.
Overall, retinols are a safe and effective way to treat many common signs of aging and should definitely be a key component in your routine.