The Benefits of Retinol and How To Use It
Retinol is a form of vitamin A that is commonly used to treat acne and reduce wrinkles. It is one of the many types of retinoids — an umbrella term used for all vitamin A derivatives.
Retinoids come in a variety of strengths and are known by different names, but Retinol is the most common type. Retinol is weaker than most retinoids and usually added to over-the-counter products. These are readily accessible and don't need a prescription for use, unlike more potent forms of retinoids.
Here's what you need to know about how retinol works and the benefits it can have for your skin.
How does retinol work?
Retinol works by triggering the skin cells of the outermost layer of the skin to turnover faster so that new skin cells can generate. This results in smoother and more even-looking skin.
It increases the production of natural chemicals like hyaluronic acid in the skin. These chemicals help to keep the skin moist and plump. Retinol also boosts collagen production and prevents the breakdown of collagen that already exists.
Improve the appearance of acne
According to research, clinical data from thousands of people shows that retinol is highly effective in treating both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne. It was proven to reduce the visibility of pimples on the skin and also stop the development of new pimples and acne blemishes.
One way retinol can improve the appearance of acne is by encouraging cell turnover. Acne develops when a combination of dead skin cells and oil collects inside hair follicles on your face. With retinol, those cells are shed and replaced more quickly.
It also decreases oil production in these cells by binding to the specific receptors for retinol within the cells of the skin. Decreased oil production prevents oil from blocking your pores and helps to prevent acne.
To make sure you clear up your acne and keep it clear, we usually recommend three months of use to get to your optimal results.
Retinol works as an anti-aging treatment in three major ways. It reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, helps with sun damage, and gets rid of dark spots.
Collagen is a protein made by our body that keeps our skin looking smooth. Wrinkles and fine lines are caused by a decrease in collagen production. Retinol works to reduce the appearance of these fine lines and wrinkles by boosting blood flow to the skin, which increases the production of collagen. This helps to improve the appearance of wrinkles, by thickening the inner layer of the skin.
It helps with sun damage and dark spots by encouraging skin cell turnover, allowing you to shed discolored skin cells. But retinol also makes you more susceptible to sun damage. This is why retinol products should only be used at night, alongside a broad-spectrum sunscreen each morning, even when you are indoors.
Brightens dull skin
Retinol also helps to brighten dull skin. Dull skin can be caused by several things including pregnancy, stress, sun damage, poor lifestyle habits like smoking, or environmental pollution.
Retinol works by calming down the skin cells that produce melanin, a dark pigment. These cells are responsible for skin conditions like melasma, which causes discoloration of the skin. Retinol causes the skin cells to turn over, so the skin becomes healthier and looks brighter.
How to use retinol
Here's how to add retinol to your daily skincare routine:
- Wash your face with Organic Regenerating Cleanser
- When your skin is dry, apply a pea-sized amount of Blue Tansy-Youth Preserve Night Cream (with Retinol + Blue Tansy Oil) on your face
- Use a light moisturizer after applying Blue Tansy to prevent dryness
- Only use retinol treatments at night and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen the morning after
Skin Deep’s takeaway
Retinol has many skincare benefits. However, it can be drying and irritating for people with sensitive skin. If this is you, start with a product that has a low concentration of retinol, and use it once or twice a week. As your skin grows more tolerant, you can up the frequency at which you use and try out products with a higher concentration of retinol.