Retinol: Benefits and Side Effects You Need to Know

woman with face cream on face

Many people who worry about the effects of aging are familiar with retinol. It’s often used as part of regular skincare or sometimes added as an ingredient in creams and lotions. If you’ve heard terms like “skin repair,” “anti-wrinkle,” or “age-defying” used in a product description, then it likely contains retinol.

But what do we know about this popular ingredient? Is it effective in combating many skin problems? How safe is it when used regularly? In this article, we will answer common questions about retinol and whether you should consider using it.

Where does retinol come from?

First of all, retinol is synthetic. It’s derived from vitamin A which is a nutrient found in carrots and eggs. What makes retinol ideal as a beauty product is how it naturally converts into retinoic acid. Once applied to the skin, enzymes react to the compound, thus resulting in the conversion. Some of the well-known benefits of skinceuticals retinol are:

  • Minimises the appearance of wrinkles, thus giving the skin surface an overall smooth texture.
  • Naturally exfoliates dead skin cells making the skin more bright and youthful.
  • It helps regulate sebum production, thus preventing pimples and acne.
  • Through regular use, it can help reduce dark spots, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation.

What’s most impressive about retinol is that it can alter the behavior of aging skin cells. Retinol encourages collagen production and also speeds up skin renewal.

Are there side effects to using retinol?

Although retinol isn’t harsh, it’s still powerful enough to cause some unwanted changes, especially as the skin starts to adjust. When you use it too often, you might experience redness and peeling. Dermatologists will often recommend using only a little at a time so that the skin gets accustomed to the new product. Using a retinol cream or serum twice a week at night should be sufficient at first. Over time, the application should be more frequent, but make sure you consult with a dermatologist first before making changes to your routine.

Another essential precaution when using retinol is always to wear sunscreen. For pregnant and lactating mothers, topical retinol products may be allowed. But, always ensure that your gyneacologist approves its use before applying to your skin.

Retinol is also a popular product used in treating acne. As such, some people tend to buy products without knowing the side effects. It’s recommended to consult a dermatologist first if you’re thinking about using retinol to treat acne. For teenagers, it’s especially risky to try using retinol and mix it with other products that contain anti-acne formulation. The counteracting effect of retinol and other ingredients may cause the skin more harm than good.

Who should use retinol?

Since retinol is an anti-aging product, the best time to start using it is when you reach 30 years old. At this age, retinol should be added to your skincare routine at least three times a week. Some serums and creams contain retinol, which may help keep wrinkles at bay. As you get older, however, applying retinol to your skin should be done daily. You may also want to buy a product that’s specially formulated for your age and current skin condition.

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