Unveiling the Facts Behind 10 Retinol Myths

June 19, 2020

Unveiling the Facts Behind 10 Retinol Myths

How well do you know the ingredients that are in your beauty products? Let’s learn some facts about retinol - the most popular wrinkle-fighting ingredient on the market today!

Retinol is one of the most trendy and buzzed-about beauty ingredients today. It is highly regarded for its numerous transformative beauty benefits and in particular, its wrinkle-fighting abilities.

It is proven to stimulate cell renewal, boost collagen levels, treat pigmentation, acne, minimize pores, wrinkles and fine lines. It is known to gently exfoliate the skin to reveal a smoother, glowing and more youthful-looking complexion with continued use.

Needless to say, retinol can do quite a lot for the skin! However, there are still a lot of misconceptions that surround it. Read on to clarify facts from fiction about this beauty elixir!


Myth #1: Start using retinol after wrinkles show up

FACT: Many skin experts advise to start using retinol in your mid-twenties, especially those who begin showing signs of premature aging, such as pigmentation and wrinkles.

However, some dermatologists use retinol to treat teenagers who suffer from acne. In this case, they often advise teens to continue using it even after the acne is gone.

Retinol is an excellent addition to your skincare routine, regardless of your age. 

*It is advised that pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use retinol due to the unknown effects it has on the child. 


Myth #2: You should discontinue using retinol if your skin gets irritated

FACT: Over the counter retinol is formulated to be milder and more skin-friendly than prescription retinoids. 

For first time users, it is normal to experience peeling, dryness, scaling, redness and burning or a stinging sensation. These side effects mean that your skin is undergoing a process called retinization.

Retinization commonly happens at the start of using retinol. The side effects will reduce as your skin adjusts to using it.

It is not always necessary to stop using retinol if you notice retinization. It is advised to discontinue use only if you develop an allergic reaction.

Here are some tips to minimize the side effects of retinol.

  • To help reduce dryness, moisturize your skin before and after applying retinol
  • Instead of using retinol every night, try using it once every other night
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day


Myth #3: Retinol makes the skin thinner

FACT: Retinol makes the stratum corneum, the topmost layer of the skin thinner because it exfoliates the dead cells. The exfoliation of dead cells is good for your skin as it makes it appear brighter.

Meanwhile, the epidermis, which is the basal layer of the skin, starts to produce new skin cells while the production of elastin and collagen in the dermis is also boosted.

The bottom line is, while retinol exfoliates the outer layer of the skin, the living skin becomes thicker over time, making it stronger and healthier.


Myth #4: Retinol provides instant results

FACT: When using retinol, patience is the name of the game. Imagine yourself running a marathon, not a sprint.

If your primary concern is acne, roughness and uneven skin tone, it takes several weeks to see desirable changes.

It takes even longer to witness significant improvements when treating pigmentation and wrinkles.

Be patient in waiting for your skin to assimilate and adjust to retinol.

Myth #5: Retinol should only be applied to dry skin

FACT: For better absorption, retinol should be applied after cleansing and toning while the skin is still damp.

However, many experts recommend using the "sandwich method" to help alleviate the drying effect of retinol.

The sandwich method suggests layering retinol with a moisturizer that contains glycerin or hyaluronic acid as key ingredients. Apply a moisturizer after toning, then slather on your retinol. When absorbed, top it with another layer of moisturizer.

The sandwich method intensely hydrates your skin without affecting the potency of retinol.


Myth #6: Avoid using retinol in the eye area

FACT: The skin around the eye area is thinner than the rest of the face. It is typically the part of the face that begins to show signs of aging first, such as in the form of crow's feet and wrinkles.

Retinol can be extremely beneficial around this area of the face as it can effectively smooth fine lines and wrinkles. However, at the same time, you must be extra careful when using retinol around the eyes.

Only a small amount is recommended. Applying moisturizer before the retinol can minimize its drying effect.

Better yet, use retinol products that are specially formulated for the delicate skin around the eyes.


Myth #7: Retinol can cause skin cancer

FACT: It is no secret that the skin becomes sensitive when using retinol. First-time users may experience peeling, redness, dryness and even a burning sensation.

The truth is, retinol has anti-aging powers that help boost skin renewal. Retinoid products such as retinol can be used to correct precancerous skin, slow the growth of existing cancer, and decrease the risk of developing new skin cancer if used correctly.


Myth #8: Retinol should not be used daily

FACT: Retinol is a milder and more skin-friendly version of retinoid. For newbies, retinization is normal. Retinization is the slight peeling and irritation of the skin but gradually disappears over time as you continue using retinol.

When starting to incorporate retinol into your skincare routine, use it every other night to observe your skin's sensitivity.

After your skin undergoes retinization, you can use retinol every night.


Myth #9: Retinol is the same as retinoid 

FACT: Both have similar anti-aging powers but are quite different.

Retinoids are by-products of Vitamin A. They have numerous anti-aging benefits but are highly irritating and require the supervision of a dermatologist when used.

Retinol is a specific type of retinoid. It is available over the counter as a weaker and more skin-friendly version of retinoid. Although retinol is slow-acting, it has the same anti-aging powers of prescription retinoids.


Myth #10: Retinol can not be used alongside Vitamin C

FACT: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals, reduces photodamage and helps with the synthesis of collagen.

Retinol is also a miracle ingredient that boosts cell renewal and collagen production.

These two potent ingredients may seem to be a powerful tandem as studies show that combining retinol with vitamin C may help stabilize it.

Experts, however, do not advise layering retinol with vitamin C. They do not lose their potency when combined but may cause the skin to become more irritated.

It is suggested to use Vitamin C in your morning routine and retinol at night. Retinol is best absorbed at night when the body is at rest allowing cell renewal, while vitamin C works best during the day to protect new skin cells from the harsh environment.

Have you believed any of these myths? Now that you know about the facts, you can better reap the benefits of retinol. 

Try YEOUTH Retinol Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid, Ginseng and Green Tea!

YEOUTH Retinol Moisturizer provides intense hydration while smoothing and softening visible signs of aging for a more rested and youthful appearance.




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