You may have heard the word “retinol” bandied about, but do you really know what it is?
Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that is essential for a number of cells to function at their best, but it is most commonly referred to for its use in anti-aging ingredient in skin care products. It can also be used to treat acne and keratosis pilaris. Like all retenoids, it works by promoting skin cells to turn over more rapidly to allow fresh cells to come forward. This minimizes the appearance of lines and wrinkles, dark spots, and damaged skin.
One common myth is that retinol thins the skin, but the opposite is true. Though there may be some flaking or peeling with a product that is too strong (easily avoided with a less potent, though equally effective product like the SkinMedica 0.25 Retinol complex, part of our BOGO special offer this month), retinol actually works to thicken skin. It slows the breakdown of collagen, which keeps skin elastic, firm, and youthfully full.
Most over-the-counter retinol products simply don’t deliver enough of the ingredient to be effective. You will see some results eventually, but it could take several months to see even very little changes. Products obtained through a medical spa or dermatologist are a much better option for anti-aging concerns and can often be individually recommended to ensure you get the skin you want in the quickest amount of time. For best results, most skin care specialists recommend introducing a retinol product into your skin care regimen early in life (in your mid to late twenties), as part of a night time routine. With consistent use and proper sun care, your skin will be glowing with health in no time!