What is Retinol and do I Need it?

what is retinolThere’s a good chance you’ve heard the term “retinol” before. You may be wondering what it is exactly and whether it’s something you need to include in your skincare routine. Read on to learn more about retinol, what it is, what it does, and who should use it.


What is Retinol

“Retinol” is a term used for an over-the-counter skincare product that contains retinol. It can come as a liquid, or in creams or overnight treatments. Retinol is a kind of retinoid. Retinol is widely used to fight signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.


Retinols vs Retinoids

You often hear the terms “retinol” and “retinoids” used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between them. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A, and they are used for anti-aging purposes.

Retinoids increase both elastin and collagen in the skin, making it appear smoother and more youthful. They also help with skin cell turnover. Usually, you need a prescription for stronger retinoids, such as tretinoin.

Retinol is one kind of retinoid. It is available over-the-counter. You can buy products with retinol at most drug stores.


Do I Need Retinol?

Retinol is not a necessary part of a basic skincare routine, but it is a great addition for those who can benefit from it. Retinol can help you have smoother, more youthful-looking skin by increasing levels of elastin and collagen.

If you would like to reduce signs of aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, and reduce hyperpigmentation, then you need retinol.


Are There any Side Effects?

Retinol is a great product that is effective at fighting signs of aging. However, it isn’t for everyone and it can have some side effects.

For those with reactive skin or hyper-sensitive skin, there are alternative products that may be a better fit. Some common side effects that can come with the use of retinol are irritation, redness, and flaking or peeling of the skin.

Retinol is generally considered safe to use, however, it’s always a good idea to ask a professional for advice if you have any concerns.


When do I use Retinol?

So where does retinol fit into your skincare routine? For prescription-strength retinols and retinoids, you will usually apply them onto dry skin before you moisturize.

For over-the-counter retinols, you will generally follow instructions for the product. Retinol comes in different forms, such as serums, moisturizers, and eye creams. You’ll want to use these products as they’re recommended on the package.

Retinols break down and stop working in the sunlight, so it is best to use them at night. Make them part of your nighttime routine gradually. Start with 1x per week, then work up to 3x per week. Do not use them on the same nights you use BHA/AHA, vitamin C, or benzoyl peroxide. These products used together can irritate your skin.


Final Thoughts

Retinol is a retinoid product that is derived from vitamin A. It is effective at reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. Retinol also increases cell overturn and your levels of collagen and elastin. Retinol can make your skin appear more even and young-looking.

You should consider adding retinol to your skincare routine if you need help fighting signs of aging. If your skin is very sensitive or reactive, you may want to ask a professional or seek alternative products.

For more information, or to book an appointment for a consultation, please contact Advanced Esthetics today.

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