I’m sure you’ve seen retinol in a lot of skin care products. That’s a good thing, because retinol is loaded with skin protecting, skin enhancing, and skin restoring properties. But, how much do you really know about retinol? Here is a brief overview of what retinol is, what it does, how it is used, and what to avoid when incorporating it into your skin care regimen.
What Is Retinol?
Retinol is a vitamin A derivative. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and one of the best vitamins for healthy skin, hair, and eyes. Eating a diet rich in vitamin A—including carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and kale, among other items—will benefit your skin and vision. Faster, more effective results, however, are seen when vitamin A is applied directly to the skin in the form of retinol.
What Does Retinol Do?
As an antioxidant, retinol plays a vital role in the generation of new cells and the repair of damaged cells. This new cell growth results in the diminishment of brown age spots, pores, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Antioxidants also fight free radicals that, when formed in excess in the body, can harm healthy cells. Free radicals are often produced by such factors as sun damage, pollution, and poor eating habits. Antioxidants protect against these negative environmental factors.
Retinol also helps to improve collagen production, repairing skin cells and leading to firmer, younger-looking skin.
How Is Retinol Used?
Retinol is used in skin care products in varying concentrations. Finding the right balance of retinol with other ingredients that moisturize and protect the skin maximizes the benefits of retinol, while minimizing any unwanted side effects. When used in correctly balanced proportions, retinol can play a highly effective role in fighting the effects of aging through its ability to protect, preserve, and repair skin.
What to Avoid?
For some women, using retinol can lead to red, scaly, and painful skin due to the turnover of skin cells and exposure of new skin. For this reason, it is important to use a product that offers soothing elements in addition to retinol. Overexposure to the sun and overuse of retinol products should also be avoided for optimal benefits and minimal discomfort.