The human skin is remarkably strong and elastic; well, until it isn’t. Intrinsic factors like aging and genetics gradually start to impact the integrity, moisture, and elasticity of the skin. And as much inescapable as it is, our environment is also full of contaminants that adversely affect our skin. Incidentally, the effects of aging can set in as soon as we approach our mid 20’s. In fact, collagen production starts to slow down in our body after the age of 25. And while the ‘cosmetics shelf’ is full of anti-aging skin care products and treatments, Retinol is at the center of most of them.
Over the past few years, Retinol has garnered immense popularity among patients and skin experts alike. The dermatologists have even gone on to describe it as the magic ingredient to unlocking newer and healthier skin.
But what exactly is Retinol? And does it really live up to the hype? Let’s find out.
What is Retinol?
Retinol is a compound that falls under the collective category known as ‘Retinoid’. In essence, the term retinoid defines any synthetically derived chemical variation of Vitamin A. These compounds possess a healing property which makes them very useful for application on our skin.
Another common retinoid compound is Retinoic Acid. It’s a chemical derivative that’s much more concentrated in nature and is only available through prescription.
On the contrary, Retinol is softer but ensures the same level of results and effectiveness. In reality, retinol is an ingredient found in most skin care products and is immensely useful for all skin types. It’s much less harsh and works just well with sensitive skin. Rather than addressing a specific skin condition, retinol products address the broader issues of aging conditions and environmental effects on the skin. It’s the versatility of this phenomenal compound that’s earned Retinol the title of ‘essential skincare ingredient’.
Dissecting The Details And Benefits
Retinol has been in the aesthetics industry for well over 5 decades now. It was originally approved as an anti-acne treatment during the 1970s. Since then, various studies and researches have gone on to reveal its exceptional properties and applications in combating the signs of aging.
When applied over time, Retinol has the potential to reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the face as well as even out the dark spots. More importantly, it works with a different approach to most other anti-aging products/treatments. Rather than simply removing the dead skin cells, retinol goes deep beneath the epidermis, the outer layer of skin, to your dermis. Resultantly, it helps neutralize free radicals to boost the production of elastin and collagen, thereby making your skin softer, smoother, and more radiant. Altogether, these benefits converge to make your skin healthier and giving it a glowing appearance. Here are some of the Retinol benefits in detail:
1. Improved Collagen Production
Retinol fends off the signs of aging by promoting the growth of new collagen in your body, thereby hydrating your skin and enhancing its elasticity. Consequently, this newly stimulated collagen diminishes the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles on your facial skin and gives it a tighter, younger look.
2. Color Correction
Retinol is also highly advantageous in combating hyperpigmentation. In addition to collagen production, Retinol stimulates the production of blood vessels which helps in decreasing the frequency of patching on your skin. As a result, the coloring and tone of your skin improve drastically.
3. Acne Prevention
As mentioned earlier, Retinol was first approved as an effective treatment for acne patients. That’s because it works to refine the overall health of facial skin and in the process, averts the accumulation of impurities that cause acne and other similar conditions. Retinol’s effects also defend your skin against blemishes and complement all the other skin care products that you use.
4. Skin Cell Turnover
Perhaps the most peculiar feature of retinol is its ability to stimulate skin cell turnover. Interestingly enough, this allows retinol to carry out sort of an exfoliation process wherein the dry and dull skin is replaced by new, brighter, and more even-toned skin. With increased levels of collagen and elastin fibers, the new skin is thicker, stronger, and devoid of any imperfections.
All in all, retinol can be used to treat:
– fine lines
– age/sunspots, freckles, and other signs of sun damage
– uneven skin texture
– melasma and other types of hyperpigmentation
– enlarged pores caused by acne, oily skin, or collagen loss
The Right Age To Start Using Retinol
It is never too early or too late to start caring for your skin. Retinols can be inculcated in the daily skin care routine regardless of age. Individuals in their twenties should start using retinol-based cream or serum as that is when the spot damage starts to occur. While patients developing fine lines and wrinkles should use retinol of higher concentration for better results. You must note that retinol is best applied during the nighttime. Also, using an ideal sunscreen is a must when starting a new retinol regime, leading to further boosting the output of retinol.
Retinol has been around for years and there have been a plethora of upgrades in it. Both cream-based and serum-based products are available in the market. Even though serums can be applied daily, it is strongly advised to start off with smaller amounts. Begin by applying small doses several times a week and give your skin some time to acclimate.
Consulting a skin care specialist and evaluating the skin before starting retinol is essential to deliver fruitful and finest results. At Musk Clinic, our skin care specialists can draw out an extensive retinol treatment map for you and help you choose the right products for your skin.
- Skin Care