Ah, retinol. This powerful ingredient reigns supreme when it comes to defense against aging skin. You've probably seen it on countless product labels and wondered: "What is it and how does it work?" Lucky you, you've come to the right place.
What exactly is retinol?
Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and a part of family called retinoids. Several studies found this anti-aging superstar can increase amount of collagen that your body produces. Therefore, it reverses and prevents the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pigmentation. Because of its potent nature, it is often found in anti-aging products. While you can score the benefits of Vitamin A by consuming foods such as carrots, spinach, and tomato, applying it topically onto your skin will create far more benefits as the ingredient is able to soak completely.
How does it work? In case you missed it, collagen is the skin's youthful protein. Collagen is responsible for skin firmness and suppleness. However, the bodys natural production of this protein begins to slow down during your twenties and they further lose their ability to regenerate over your life span. This is where retinol comes into the picture. This miracle ingredient is small enough to penetrate the outer layers of the skin and work its way down to deeper layers where collagen resides. It supports these fibers in your skin and keeps them from breaking down so you can achieve and maintain younger-looking skin. It also normalizes hyperpigmentation problems, leading to brighter skin tone. As if those benefits are not impressive enough, retinol also facilitates communication between cells, encouraging aging cells to turnover. This forces the skin to replace damaged skin cells with fresh new ones. It is important to note, however, that this powerful anti-aging ingredient would not do wonders in your skin overnight. You will start to see the difference after 4 weeks, but significant skin changes could take up to three months when used regularly.
When should you start using retinol?
There is no specific timeline as to when is the best time to start using retinol. But most experts recommend to add it in your beauty routine in your mid-20s as the premature signs of aging start to set in at this age. The goal is to prevent signs of aging to appear rather than trying to reverse them later on.
No doubt, retinol is the best anti-aging ingredient. However, it can cause skin sensitivity in the first few weeks of use. Your skin may peel, turn red, flaky and dry. Have no fear! Just follow our tips to prevent undesirable skin reactions and achieve the amazing results of retinol. Read on!
1) Start off with a low strength formula
Retinols are available at different concentration levels ranging from 0.01% to 2%. When introducing retinol in your routine, it's best to opt for a low dose between 0.3% and 0.5% to avoid your skin from freaking out. You can eventually work your way up to 2% if you want to treat deeper lines and wrinkles.
In terms of time of the day they would best sit in your skin care regime, save them for bedtime. The sun's harmful UV rays break most retinol down, rendering them ineffective.
And finally...which retinol products are worth paying for?
With hundreds (or even thousands) of retinol products out there, it is nearly impossible to know which one actually delivers on their promises. Below, we rounded up the best options to stock up on.
1) Sanitas Retinol Resurfacer
Be a literal sleeping beauty with this intensive night treatment that works its age-fighting magic while you slumber. It helps revive collagen levels and renew skin all through the night. Expect to see brighter, smoother and glowing skin when used regularly.
2) SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0
Long-time retinol users can take anti-aging treatment to the next level with this 1% formula. This anti-aging cream is proven to diminish fine lines, wrinkles and skin discoloration while minimizing breakouts and the appearance of pores. It is formulated to minimize irritation commonly associated with the use of retinol products.
3) Institut Esthederm Intensive Retinol Oil Serum
This serum contains a whopping total of 11 ingredients to ward off unwanted signs of aging on top of retinol. Together, they stimulate cellular renewal and strengthen the epidermis to smooth line and attenuate irregularities.
Would you consider adding retinol products in your skin care routine? Why or why not? Share your thoughts on the comment section below!