Retinol – The Holy Grail


Retinol is Vitamin A, and it is in the family of ingredients called retinoids. Retinoids applied to skin have been scientifically-proven to fight wrinkles, reduce free-radical damage, uneven hyperpigmentation and dull complexion tone and texture
Retinol fights skin aging and pigment problems because it:

Stops the break down of your skin collagen that happens after UV sun exposure;

Stimulates skin cells (fibroblasts) to make collagen to reverse wrinkles and skin thinning from sun damage;

Brightens skin appearance by exfoliating and improving the structure of the dead cell layer on the skin surface;

Improves epidermal layer thickness and structure in the top, living skin cell layer to improve crepey skin appearance; and

Normalizes pigment problems in the epidermis to fight uneven skin hyperpigmentation.

Reduces free- radical damage within the skin

 Retinol for Acne 

Retinol is amazing for acne. It helps prevent clogging pores through cell renewal

Preventing acne scars by preventing pimples that form from clogged pores.

Where does retinol come from
Vitamin A is found in different forms.

Preformed vitamin A occurs in meat, fish, and dairy produce.

Provitamin A is stored in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based products.

Retinol is the predominant, active form of vitamin A found in the blood. Retinyl palmitate is the storage form of the vitamin.

Retinol products

Look for a retinol product with:

Encapsulated retinol: this is less irritating on the skin because of its slow release action

High, professional Retinol concentration in a product, anything under .5% will not reduce lines only improve the appearance of the skin 

Packaging that protects ingredients from air and light;
Because vitamin A is prone to breaking down and losing potency, choose formulas labeled as “stabilized” or “encapsulated,” which won’t degrade in the presence of other ingredients. Packaging is also important. Retinoids are sensitive to light, heat, and oxygen, so look for an airtight system, such as a plastic or aluminum tube or an airless pump. Jars will not keep retinoids as fresh and effective.

Hypoallergenic base that does not contain unnecessary fragrance or other ingredients which can be absorbed excessively by retinol treated skin.

As a consumer, you need to pick a brand that you can trust.

Pharmaceutical grade Retinol Vs Medical Grade Vs Over the counter 

Pharmaceutical Grade
Retin-A is a prescription-only tretinoin cream. Tretinoin is another name for retinoic acid! Because it is a form of retinoic acid, Retin-A does not need to be broken down by the enzymes in your skin before it can be used.  This strength comes with amazing and speedy results—diminished blemishes, reduction in wrinkles, boosted skin elasticity—but also major side effects. Due to its strength, Retin-A can cause itching, scaling, burning, peeling, and extreme redness when you first begin using the medication. 

Medical Grade Retinol 
Retinol is a specific form of vitamin A that is naturally produced in your body. When it’s applied topically, enzymes in your skin convert retinol into retinaldehyde and then into retinoic acid. Because of the two-step conversion that it has to undergo before the skin can use it, retinol is a naturally gentle; this means that while its results are slower, it has fewer side effects. The conversion into retinoic acid can take at least a few weeks, which is why you should use retinol products consistently for a few months before expecting to see results.

OTC Retinol 
For first-timers, over-the-counter (OTC) formulations are the mildest and a good way to start especially on younger skin
Any over the counter can only help the appearance of skin. It is not legal for the product to change the structure of the skin. So for antiaging and pigmentation you will need to move up to at least Medical Grade 

How do you apply retinol to your face?

Retinol is most effective when applied as a night cream because it breaks down on contact with light.
Take a dime-size amount of your retinoid product (less is more) and smooth it onto your face, including around the eyes, as well as on your neck, hands, and décollete

Retinol can be applied alone or layered with other skin care products like moisturizers or glycolic acid AHA products.

I usually recommend starting twice a week and eventually working up to every night.

Sensitive complexions might need to avoid using retinol on sensitive areas of the face such as eyelid folds or around the nose creases.

For extra-sensitive skin, apply moisturizer before the retinoid to reduce tenderness. 

How long does it take to see results from Retinol Night Cream?

You can expect to see results in a week in terms of improved skin tone and texture. Skin will look brighter and healthier because of the rapid impact on the dead cell layer.

Fine lines and wrinkles will begin to look better in the first few weeks due to the changes on the dead cell layer.

Surface pigment problems will be reduced within the first month.

Pores will be less clogged within a month or two.

There will be a reduction in milia in a month or two.

It takes several months to reduce deeper pigment problems.

It takes a 3 to 6 months for dermal collagen production to build up to help reduce wrinkles

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