While few basic skincare ingredients have become household names, one is constantly part of the conversation: retinol. We’ve all heard of it, but after discussions both in and outside the office, it’s clear that many of us still aren’t exactly sure about what it is—or how it works. Some of us are under the impression that retinol is an anti-aging skin care ingredient, while others have heard it described as an acne treatment.
RETINOL FAST FACTS
TYPE OF INGREDIENT: Antioxidant
MAIN BENEFITS: Increases cell turnover, boosts collagen production, and regulates oil production.
WHO SHOULD USE IT: In general, anyone looking to reduce the signs of skin aging. Retinol is not recommended for women who are pregnant, planning to be, or nursing. Those with eczema or rosacea that’s flaring should not use retinol.
HOW OFTEN CAN YOU USE IT: Start with twice a week to prevent irritation. Because sunlight deactivates retinol, apply it at night, followed by a moisturizer.
WORKS WELL WITH: Hydrating cleansers, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides.
DON’T USE WITH: Heavy scrubs, astringents, toners, alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide, and vitamin C, as doing so may irritate the skin.
Using a well-formulated and stable product, such as RoC Retinol products, it will visibly reduce the appearance of sun damage, brown spots, lines, wrinkles, and large pores. It can stimulate the metabolism of skin cells and encourage collagen production. Its magic is in its ability to resurface the skin’s texture for a smoother, more even-toned look.
Reduces signs of aging: Because retinol enhances skin cell turnover, you’ll notice a more youthful quality to your skin.
Improves the texture of your skin: By boosting collagen production, your skin will have more turgidly, structure, and strength. Plus, the cells on the surface of your skin will be replaced more quickly, helping smooth your skin and reduce the dull, dry look of dead skin.
Evens skin tone: Retinol can not only smooth the texture of your skin but the tone as well. “With continued use, retinol works to fade hyperpigmentation (brown spots and patches) and give the look of smoother skin in a gentler, non-drying way than a prescription form,” explains Rouleau.
Clears acne: Retinol decreases the function of overactive oil glands and unclogs pores. Mikhail says this clears skin, makes pores look smaller, and prevents breakouts. Plus, it boosts the potency of active ingredients in other acne-fighting medications, so if you use it in conjunction with other cleansers, you may see amplified results.
Boosts collagen production: This helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity. “At the same time, it prevents the loss of the collagen and elastin we already have by slowing the enzyme that breaks them down,” says Mikhail.
Reverses the effects of sun damage: The antioxidants in retinol can help repair sun-damaged skin, such as lightening dark spots.
It takes around six weeks to start seeing results from retinol, so be patient. Our experts shared lots of advice on how to best use retinol. Start by incorporating it into your skincare routine to experience the transformative benefits of this ingedients.
Still unsure about retinol? Do not fret! Get in touch with our Beauty Advisors via email or LIVE CHAT and we’ll guide you through.