Hello, Wild Pretty Things!
Lately I have been getting tons of questions about how to correct skin conditions. Among the requests, the two biggest concerns are fighting acne and anti-aging products. Being a teenager with terrible acne, I tried about everything there is for acne prone skin. One of the things that worked best for me was a high quality retinol. Retinol just happens to be amazing to diminish signs of aging as well. Continue reading to see what I found out about retinol and how it can fight acne and aging.
What is Retinol?
Retinol is a member of the retinoid family which means that it is a vitamin A derivative. When applied onto the skin retinol has the ability to promote the production of collagen and to help stimulate cell turnover. This reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, evens out complexion and unclogs pores.
According to Allure, The difference between the retinoid a dermatologist prescribes and the over the counter kind, is the presence of retonic acid. Your dermatologist can prescribe you retonic acid, which is the magic ingredient that fights signs of aging. However, any good over the counter retinoid will contain retinol. While retinol is slightly weaker, it does the same job as retonic acid. Keep in mind that it make take a few extra weeks to see results.
When Should You Start Using A Retinoid?
It is best to start your retinoid regime in your early thirties to ensure your skin remains youthful with age. However, starting in your 20’s would be even better! When starting a retinoid product, take the process slowly and start with a very small amount and a very low concentrate. Skin irritation is very common so it’s better to start off with something lighter and work your way up.It is also best to limit your use to twice a week, then slowly build on the amount used, frequency, or strength.
DermStore.com recommends the below schedule:
- First one to two weeks: Apply just two nights in the evenings each week.
- Next two weeks: Apply it every 2nd night.
- After 4 to 6 weeks of use: You should have a good idea of how your skin is tolerating it. If it’s tolerating well, increase usage to nightly application.
- After 8 to 12 weeks: Once skin’s tolerance is built up after about 8 to 12 weeks, it is fairly easy to use nightly. Decrease usage any time you need to.
Retinol for Anti-Aging
Retinoids are a derivative of Vitamin A, which a key ingredient needed for our body to turn cells. Also, retinoids encourage your body to create more collagen which leads to fuller more youthful skin. According to New York City dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, “It also functions like an antioxidant to help address free radical damage, which leads to visible signs of aging.”(Vogue). This is why Retinoids are so important, they flip the cells to get to new healthier skin. Then they also help produce more collagen to fill in all the signs of aging.
Retinol for Acne Prone Skin
To learn a little more about why Retinoids are so good for healing acne, I headed to WebMD. According to their website, “retinoids can unclog pores, allowing other medicated creams and gels to work better. “(WebMD). By unplugging the pores, your body is able to properly kill the bacteria that create the outbreak. This also means that it will help with future breakouts. Since the bacteria has nowhere to hide, you end up with clearer skin.
Best Retinoids for Beginners:
My top three picks are below. You can find more options at the bottom of the post!
Works Beauty Retinol Complex is a product that I was gifted. However, my opinion on this item is all my own. I really loved how this product made my face look + feel! It was strong enough to see results, but with minimal dryness or discomfort. My skin felt tightened, while still feeling moisturized. Click the image above to purchase the Works Beauty Retinol Complex from Amazon or click HERE!
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer SPF 30 is great because its super affordable and you can pick it up at your local drugstore. It is also amazing because it is integrated into a daily moisturizer. I love when products are combined like this because it helps your am routine go quicker and makes your life so much easier. Click the image above to purchase the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer SPF 30 from Amazon or click HERE!
CosMedix Serum 16 is a higher prices point, but it contains CosMedix Serum 16 which helps fight against skin irritation. I also liked this one because it should be part of your night time routine. I prefer applying retinoids at night because I feel like the penetrate and last better. During the day I have foundation, moisturizer, and sunscreen on. That is already so much on the skin that I prefer to apply retinoids when my face is practically naked. Click on the image above to purchase the CosMedix Serum 16 from Amazon or click HERE!
Tips When Using Retinol
- WEAR SUNSCREEN! This is so important! Because your skin is flipping cells faster, newer skin is being pushed to the surface. You want to make sure that this new skin is protected with sunscreen to prevent further damage.
- Over the counter retinoids are not as strong as retonic acid prescriptions from a dermatologist. Because of that, it may take a little longer for you to see results. Be patient and stick with the routine to see the full results. Otherwise, you may want to see your dermatologist to get the stronger cream.
- Creams are better then gels because gels contain alcohol. Retinoids are already dry out the skin so you don’t want to dry it out further with alcohol.
- You might notice that your skin is very dry while using a retinoid. This is a very common side effect. Make sure to moisturize your skin and keep applying the retinoid.
- Retinoids can be made inactive if worn in too much sunlight. For best results, apply your retinoid at night to get the full benefit.
- It can take a while to see results. According to Gary Fisher, a professor of dermatology at the University of Michigan Medical School. “Many over-the-counter formulas claim you’ll see results within weeks,” says Fisher. “But in my experience, it takes an average of 12 weeks for retinoic acid to produce noticeable changes in the skin. So stick with it for at least that long to see the benefits. (Allure)
- It is best to start with a weaker retinoid and allow you skin to build up to the stronger ones.
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