Ah, retinol. When it comes to defending against fine lines and maintaining a healthy glow, there’s no more lauded skincare ingredient. Irony ? Even though this revolutionary youth-enhancing active is a mainstay of pharmacies, department store counters and dermatologists’ offices, it remains a mystery. And so, it is often underused or misused.
What is retinol?
Getting back to basics, retinol – along with other retinoids, like retinoic acid and retinol palmitate – is essentially a derivative of vitamin A, one of the body’s essential nutrients for boosting cell renewal. It is added to topical skincare products to promote skin renewal, brighten skin tone, reduce acne, and increase collagen production. It also works as an antioxidant to help fight free radical damage, which leads to visible signs of aging. It is the ingredient that does everything in dermatology, both cosmetically and medically. I consider it the gold standard in skin care and often explain it to my patients as a product that removes dead skin cells, clogged pores and dull skin.
Start in your mid-twenties or early thirties:
Your thirties have long been the peak year for introducing retinol into your routine. Yet many women start earlier, motivated by early signs of aging, such as sunspots or crow’s feet, or simply wanting to get ahead and use the latest technology, under the watchful eye from their dermatologist. Your mid-twenties are the perfect time to start using retinol. Balance is essential; retinol can be irritating if used too frequently or if its formula is too strong for your skin. She recommends starting with a pea-sized amount of a low-percentage (0.01% to 0.03%) over-the-counter formula and using it twice a week, slowly increasing the amount. use to give skin a chance to acclimate.
In addition, it is advisable not to use any retinol-based product the day before the exfoliation. exfoliation is abrasive and irritating; you don’t want to make the skin irritation worse by increasing your skin’s sensitivity. If you receive specific in-office treatments, such as laser, micro-needling, and microdermabrasion, you will need to take a break from retinol. Not to overdo it, there are a host of new time-release formulas for skin prone to redness or breakouts. They are a good option for people who have sensitive skin. They release the active ingredient over time and may offer less irritation. As for prescription retinol versus an over-the-counter product, the former is much more potent with a higher percentage of retinol, and it can get used to over time.
Watch out for serious side effects:
While specific side effects, such as mild irritation, dryness and sun sensitivity are expected as your skin adapts to the active ingredient, intense flaking, redness and burning they’re not — and those with sensitive skin, or who struggle with conditions like rosacea or eczema, should be wary of retinol or avoid it altogether. If you can’t tolerate retinol, don’t worry, it’s not the only anti-aging! Many anti-aging ingredients unique, like wild indigo, work perfectly without irritation or sun sensitivity.
Use retinol only at night and wear SPF daily:
Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays, and sunlight decreases the effectiveness of the product. Only use retinoids at night and be sure to apply daily a broad spectrum SPF of 30 or more during the day. In addition, when using retinoids, one should always pay attention to the weather forecast and travel to hot places. It should not be used during seasons or holidays when people spend a lot of time in direct sunlight.
Don’t stop at your face:
When applying a retinol-infused elixir, don’t overlook your neck or décolletage, which are areas notorious for showing the signs of aging, but often overlooked. If these areas seem too sensitive for your current formula, add a touch of ceramide-enriched moisturizer before applying, or purchase a separate retinoid designed specifically for the area in question. These products usually contain a lower dose of vitamin A, no fragrance and many soothing substances.
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