The 411 on Retinol

The anti-aging, collagen boosting, skin tone improving vitamin you need in your skincare routine ASAP.

Retinol has been a buzzword in the health and wellness world and there’s a good reason behind it. It has proven to help promote cell turnover, which improves wrinkles, fine lines, pores, blemishes and works to prevent skin problems. In addition to helping smooth fine lines, it can also improve skin pigmentation for a more even skin tone. The ultimate one-stop shop for an anti-aging product.  

What is retinol?

First off, retinoid is the overarching term for retinol products. Retinol, retinoic acid, and retinyl propionate are all derivatives of vitamin A. And when it comes to skin health, Vitamin A is one of three essential vitamins that should be in all our skincare routines. Retinol is known to be one of the gentler forms of the vitamin and is more widely used in anti-aging products. It can also be more effective because of the way it is absorbed into the skin.

Why is retinol essential to my skin care routine?

As we age our cellular metabolism slows down and our collagen eventually stops producing as well. Collagen, another big buzz word, is a protein in our connective tissue that keeps our skin plump, firm and will help prevent the skin from laxity that occurs as we age.

In our mid 20’s our bodies collagen production slows, and it decreases dramatically in our 30’s. As the collagen decreases, we lose the elasticity in our skin, which can cause signs of aging. And this is where retinol can help. Retinol helps the rejuvenate cells and assists in the renewal process. It essentially steps in to help stimulate collagen production.

What should I know when I start to use retinol?

Like with all skin care routines, sunscreen is necessary when you’re using retinol. Since you’re jumpstarting cell turnover, you want to make sure all those new skin cells are protected from the sun.

We love to incorporate it into our nightly routine. When starting, we suggest using it once or twice a week to let your skin adapt. Once your skin has become used to using retinol, you can start using it more frequently, like every other night.

Why are there different strengths of retinol?

 Within the retinol products, there are different strengths and formulas of the retinol. You might see 0.25, 0.5 and a 1,0 which all equal different percentages of pure retinol. The reason there are so many different strengths is for a few different reasons. First, when beginning to incorporate retinol into your skin care routine, your skin will need time to adjust to it. You can start off at a smaller percentage, and then work up to a higher strength. Second, there are different strengths for different skin types and skin concerns. The strength needed for your skin could depend on your age, what concerns you have and your skin type. 

Written by Alicia Ungaro, Medical Esthetician at the Med Spa at PRO Medical.

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