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A Beginner's Guide to Retinol

June 12, 2020

A Beginner's Guide to Retinol

Are you a retinol newbie? Read this week’s blog to learn why retinol is considered the golden ingredient when it comes to anti-aging and wrinkle-fighting! 

Before jumping on the anti-aging bandwagon, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with retinol and learn why it is regarded as a superstar anti-aging ingredient. 


WHAT IS RETINOL?

Retinol is a type of retinoid. It is a skin-friendly type of vitamin A that is typically used in skincare products. Vitamin A is a primary nutrient for boosting cell turn over.

Retinol is said to be an active form of vitamin A and the most potent anti-aging ingredient available. It has even been awarded as the fountain of youth by many skin critics! 

As you age, your cellular turnover slows down. Retinol comes to the rescue by accelerating cell turnover to reveal fresher, smoother skin.

It stimulates blood flow, boosts the production of collagen and stops skin cells from breaking  down. This results in a firmer, plumper appearance with less visible pores, fine lines and wrinkles.

For a more luminous skin tone, retinol helps prevent pigmentation, minimizes the appearance of dark spots and redness and helps even skin texture.


IS RETINOID THE SAME AS RETINOL?

We often hear the words retinoid and retinol when talking about the holy grail ingredient of skincare routines. These two are related but are not the same.

Both retinoids and retinol are forms of vitamin A. Retinoid is the general term for over the counter retinol and prescription retinoids.

There are three prescription strengths of retinoids: tretinoin, tazarotene and adapalene. 

Tazarotene is the strongest, so it may have a higher risk of irritating the skin. Adapalene is the gentlest but may be less effective.

The most common prescription retinoid is tretinoin, which comes in the form of retinoic acid.

It is stronger and much more fast-acting than retinol.

Over the counter retinol is slower acting compared to prescription retinoids because your body needs to convert the vitamin A of retinol into retinoic acid.

Although retinol works slowly, there are two reasons why a retinol beginner might prefer it over tretinoin. First, you don't need to see a dermatologist for a prescription. Second, retinol is more skin-friendly and less drying than pharmacy grade retinoids.



WHEN SHOULD I START USING RETINOL?

Most skin experts recommend using retinol in your mid-twenties, especially if you notice early signs of aging such as sunspots and crow's feet or if you suffer from breakouts.

Other skin experts use retinoids for teens with acne and continue to use it even after the acne is cleared.

 

CAN ALL SKIN TYPES USE RETINOL?

Any skin type can use retinol. However, retinol newbies with fair or sensitive skin should be extra careful as you may experience irritations. It may take more time for your skin to adjust to this powerful ingredient.

 

HOW DO I START USING RETINOL?

It is not uncommon for beginners to initially experience a slight irritation or a few breakouts. To lessen or avoid this from happening, you should start with less frequent application. 

When first using retinol, apply it every other day to start, so no more than two or three times a week. You can gradually increase usage to daily if your skin does not become irritated.

If you have sensitive skin, you can try a retinol routine hack called the "sandwich method.” After cleansing, toning and putting on your serum, apply some moisturizer, then layer a pea-sized amount of retinol and top it with another layer of moisturizer.

According to studies, moisturizers do not decrease the efficacy of retinol but make it more tolerable for sensitive skin.

Another easy method for beginners who find the sandwich method a bit complicated is to skip the first layer of moisturizer. After putting on the retinol, promptly follow it up with a moisturizer containing glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and antioxidants to relieve dryness.

Regardless of your skin type, the main rule for a retinol routine is to incorporate something hydrating and nourishing on top in order to avoid dryness and irritation.

When applying retinol, do not forget your neck and chest. Like the face, these areas are also prone to visible signs of aging.

Be patient in allowing your skin to assimilate and adjust to retinol as you may see the result after some weeks or months. Your skin will feel and look smoother, radiant, and glowing with a better tone and texture.

 

 

HOW CAN I USE RETINOL EFFECTIVELY?

Retinol works best during the night for several reasons. At night, the body temperature is lower, but there is an increase of evaporation from the skin. Cell repair of skin damaged from the sun is significantly boosted. The skin’s pH level is minimal and has higher permeability.

Retinol makes the skin age faster if used during the day because it makes it more sensitive to the sun.

Sunlight also slacks down the efficacy of retinol, so it should not even be used during seasons when you will be spending more time in the sun.

During the day, the skin is exposed not only to UV rays, but to other harmful elements such as dust, smoke and other pollutants.  

When using retinol at night, your skin needs extra protection during the day. Besides sunscreen, a high-quality vitamin C serum will help protect your skin, fight free radicals and not have adverse reactions when in contact with sunlight. 




WHAT TO AVOID WHEN USING RETINOL

  • Do not apply retinol before scrubbing, facial peel, threading or waxing to avoid irritating your skin. Start using retinol again after one or two days.
  • Avoid using retinol one day before and one day after having laser hair removal sessions.
  • Do not apply retinol right after exercise to avoid stinging sensation or irritation.
  • Avoid retinol while traveling. Concentrate on maximum sun protection and moisturization while traveling. Resume your retinol routine after two to three days upon arriving home.
  • Do not layer retinol with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids as they may deactivate retinol’s effects. 
  • The skin on your lips is also thin and highly sensitive, so avoid retinol on your lips.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not use retinol.

KNOW WHEN TO SEE A DERMATOLOGIST

Don’t be alarmed when you see dry patches and mild peeling on your face. Aside from moisturizers, some experts recommend applying aloe gel or hydrocortisone cream during the day to relieve the irritation.

If you develop a rash, you have an allergic reaction, or your skin starts to crack with an open wound, you should immediately stop using retinol and visit your dermatologist.


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GET IT NOW AT 40% OFF INTRODUCTORY DISCOUNT WHEN YOU USE CODE: RETINOL40 ON AMAZON!
HAVE YOU EVER TRIED USING RETINOL? DID YOU WITNESS SOME AMAZING RESULTS?LET’S TALK IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.





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