For the past two weeks I’ve been reacquainting my skin with a dear friend named Retinol, one of my favorite skin care ingredients. Even though I’m currently in the peeling stage, I’m loving the results. My pores are clearer. My acne is healing. And my skin’s normally rough and bumpy texture is beginning to feel smoother.
Sounds like a miracle skin care treatment, doesn’t it? It’s definitely on my top ten list. So, let’s learn a little bit more about what this popular skin care ingredient is all about.
Retinol is a pure and stable form of vitamin A. It’s a skin exfoliant, which means it helps your skin to shed old, damaged cells. It also helps to boost collagen production, which means your skin will look fuller and smoother. With continued use, it reduces the appearance of hyperpgimentation and wrinkles (yes, crease between my eyebrows, I’m looking at you).
You’ve probably heard of vitamin A in skincare before, like in that familiar acne treatment from your teenage years, Retin-A (also known as tretinoin or retinoic acid). But retinol is a little different. It’s basically a milder vitamin A facial treatment that slowly absorbs into the skin and is eventually converted into retinoic acid.
Some anti aging creams with retinol aren’t very effective because the retinol oxidizes or degrades before it can even make into the skin. But lines like SkinMedica, which I’m currently using, has a highly concentrated retinol complex with three vitamin-A derivatives that are more effective at penetrating the skin to give you better results.
Basically, the reason for choosing retinol over a prescription tretinoin formula has everything to do with the sensitivity of your skin. If you are a chronic peeler, then you may want to start with retinol. Start slowly, every other day or even every two days to see how your skin reacts before making this a part of your daily skin care regimen. And don’t forget the sunscreen. Vitamin A makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.