Everything You Should Know about Retinol: Uses, Benefits, Effects, and More

For those who are in their 30s, developing and establishing a proper skincare routine is a priority, especially if you want to make sure that your skin still looks young and fresh even as you age. But amongst the many products out there for the skin, retinol is certainly one ingredient that has gained a lot of attention. Many creams and products now contain retinol, and it is used in conjunction with such terms as ‘age-defying,’ ‘reparative,’ ‘anti-wrinkle,’ and more. So what exactly is retinol, and is it truly safe? Why should you use it? Here’s everything you should know about retinol: its uses, benefits, effects, and more.

Retinol: the basics

Retinol is a synthetic material, and it is known as a derivative of vitamin A. As you may already know, vitamin A is commonly found in carrots, sweet potatoes, eggs, and other food, and you can well imagine how beneficial the vitamin is to the skin. When you apply retinol topically, it will then convert into retinoic acid, and even though retinoic acid can also be topically applied, it is harsher compared to retinol serums or creams and doesn’t naturally convert over a certain period.

What it does

Essentially speaking, what retinol does is simple: it can alter the behaviour of ageing cells, helping them act more ‘youthfully,’ as it were. It can help refine and smoothen the texture of the skin, enhancing its radiance and feel, and it can treat the signs of ageing as well. When retinol is used for preventive ageing skincare routines, it can help accelerate the renewal of the skin and enhance the skin’s production of collagen, and it can also reduce the visible signs of ageing, including age spots and uneven skin texture.

The benefits and advantages

When you apply retinol cream to your skin such as SkinCeuticals HA intensifier retinol night cream, it can help you prevent the formation of wrinkles and smooth out any fine lines. Aside from this, retinol can brighten the appearance of dull and lacklustre skin as it exfoliates the skin on a cellular level. This then results in skin that looks smoother and brighter. Retinol can also help regulate skin oiliness, which minimises breakouts, and it can also help sun and age spots fade. It aids in hyperpigmentation and can help even out your complexion after some use.

The effects

Retinol is indeed an ingredient with a lot of powerful properties, and it can come with some side effects as well. For instance, when you first use it, your skin may peel or redden if you use the product too often or use it too fast. Experts recommend using it about twice a week or every other evening for the first time until your skin adjusts. Breakouts can also occur along with skin dryness and flakiness, but all it takes is time for your skin to get completely used to the product and accommodate it. If you experience visible peeling or redness, use the product once every week for about one month, and then increase your use to twice a week whilst monitoring your skin for any irritation prior to using it more often. When you are using retinol, it is also important for you to use sunscreen every day as your skin can become more sun-sensitive.