One of the most popular ingredients in skincare products that benefit your skin in multiple ways is retinol. If you have acne-prone skin or mature skin, retinol is truly your best friend. An easily available, over-the-counter version of retinoid, retinol is known to work wonders for your skin if used correctly. Some common retinol products include face creams, lotions, serums, gels and ointments. Looking forward to incorporating retinol into your skincare routine but are new to this ingredient? We have created this guide to help you understand retinol in detail as a skincare ingredient and how you can get the most out of using retinol creams and serums as part of your skincare routine. From how retinol works to whether or not you should use retinol, this article will cover every single point to help you get the benefits of retinol for your skin.
What is Retinol?
What is retinol and what is all the hype around this ingredient? Retinol is one of the derivatives of vitamin A and another form of retinoids which are only available on prescription and are more powerful. On the surface of the matter, retinol is beneficial for treating acne and reducing the visible signs of ageing on your skin. If you wish to understand the workings of retinol in-depth, here is what you need to know. The small molecules that make up retinol go deep beneath the top layer of your skin to the middle layer where they neutralize free radicles to increase skin cell production. Retinol also boosts the production of elastin and collagen. It exfoliates the skin and unclogs the pores. Increased collagen production reduces the signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles to give your skin a fresh appearance. Compared to other derivatives of vitamin A like Retin-A and tretinoin, retinol takes more time for you to see visible results on your skin.
Skin Benefits Of Using Retinol
While we know how retinol works and what it does, let us now take a look at the various skin benefits of using retinol as part of your regular skincare routine. Some advantages of using retinol include:
- Retinol boosts collagen production to reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
- The exfoliating effect of retinol helps improve the overall texture and tone of your skin leaving your skin feeling smoother.
- It helps unclog the pores and reduce enlarged pores which benefits in reducing acne.
- Retinol is beneficial for reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation that may be caused due to sun exposure.
- Retinol slows the breakdown of collagen which in turn makes your skin more elastic and firm. This also helps in reducing the visible signs of ageing.
Types Of Retinol
Retinol is an ingredient that you can find in a number of skincare products that are available without any prescription. Two of the most common retinol products are retinol face creams and retinol serums. Let us now understand what these two products are, how they work and how they are different from each other. This will also help you pick the right retinol skincare product to incorporate into your skincare routine.
Retinol Face Cream
If you have dry or sensitive skin and you wish to leverage the benefits of retinol, you must choose retinol face cream. Retinol face creams have a lower concentration of retinol and have added moisturizers to prevent excessive drying. The consistency of retinol creams is thicker than those of retinol serums. When choosing a retinol cream for your skin, make sure to consider your skin type, the concentration of retinol in a particular product, the skin concerns you wish to manage with retinol and your skin sensitivity.
Retinol serums are water-based and have a higher concentration of retinol. These are more suitable for oily and acne-prone skin. They have higher levels of active ingredients and there is no residue after use. Consider the sensitivity of your skin before you pick a product and ensure you use a pea-sized amount of retinol only.
Tips to add Retinol to Your Daily Skincare
Unless used the right way, you will not see the desired results after using retinol. Here are some tips that will help you incorporate retinol into your skincare routine for the best results.
Patch Test And Gradual Introduction
A patch test is one of the most important steps when you first start using retinol. Retinol might cause a reaction to your skin and hence it is important to use the product on a small patch of your skin before applying it to your overall skin. Introduce this ingredient gradually into your skincare routine to avoid potential side effects. In the beginning, use retinol only once every two days.
Dermatologists recommend using retinol at night. There are two reasons for the same. At night, cell division is at its peak and using retinol supports the cells efficiently. The second reason why you must use retinol at night is that during the daytime, sunlight is known to render retinol inactive.
The following is the right way to apply retinol:
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and ensure that you dry your skin well.
- Use only a pea-sized amount of retinol on your skin. Many dermatologists recommend applying retinol only to the target areas and not the entire skin.
- Follow up with an ultra-hydrating moisturizer to seal the goodness and avoid excessive drying of the skin.
Combining With Other Skincare Products
When using retinol, make sure that the other skincare products of your regime are compatible with retinol to avoid causing any allergic reactions to your skin. Some common ingredients compatible with retinol are niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. You must avoid alpha and beta hydroxy acids and vitamin C when using retinol products.
Side Effects of Using Retinol
If you have sensitive skin or your skin is prone to allergies, you must avoid using retinol. Common side effects of retinol also include itching, burning, redness, flakiness, peeling or scaling skin and dry or irritated skin. These side effects are usually temporary but if these problems persist, you must immediately seek professional help. Follow the instructions for usage and frequency of usage given on the pack of your retinol skincare product to avoid any major side effects of the same. In case you wish to use a stronger form of retinol like retinoids, you must get a prescription from the concerned healthcare professional.
Retinol is a wonderful skincare ingredient with almost no side effects and it helps fight the visible signs of ageing. While it is a slow warrior, it goes to the middle layer of your skin to neutralise free radicles to boost collagen production and unclog pores. As we conclude our guide on retinol skincare products, their benefits and usage, we hope that you might have identified whether retinol is a suitable ingredient for your skin concerns. You can simply add retinol to your existing skincare routine by ensuring that it works well with the other ingredients that are a part of your skincare products. Make sure to follow our tips on choosing the right products and using retinol the right way for the best results.