What is retinol?
Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that is added to skincare creams and serums to help clear acne and provide anti-aging effects. Many retinol skincare products may be contained in oleosomes or emulsions (tiny micro droplets of a material that don’t dissolve into the other component). These tend to affect how quickly the retinol is absorbed by the skin, and also help to decrease irritation.
What are benefits of retinol?
Retinol is an ingredient used in various skincare creams and serums to minimize acne breakouts and reduce signs of aging. It increases skin cell turnover allowing it to clear clogged pores to treat present acne and prevent future breakouts. It also increases the skin's collagen production in order to improve firmness and elasticity for anti-aging results. Lastly, retinol can lessen dark spots by reducing the overproduction of melanin. Although retinol can have side effects, it provides powerful results.
What can you expect when getting started with a retinol cream or serum?
When first adding a retinol skincare product to your routine, you can expect redness, irritation, dry and peeling skin, burning and sometimes, itching. All of these side effects are normal, and called an anticipated reaction – meaning we anticipate that these things are going to happen! If you want to decrease these side effects, switch to a lower strength or decrease the frequency of application (you may only want to use retinol 2-3 times per week to begin with and increase as needed). Applying less product or using a hydration or calming products can also be beneficial in decreasing the reaction. It is important to remember, a decreased reaction means a slower repair, and sometimes may prolong these anticipated side effects. If you need to stop the skin reaction before an event, you will need to stop retinol usage at least 4 days prior to event.
We also know that the eyes, neck and chest are sensitive areas that are more prone to irritation, but retinol is safe to use here (and recommended). Peeling, irritated skin means healing skin and once your skin health is restored, the expected reaction will improve.
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