The Truth about Retinol: 5 Things You Need to Know
A common complaint about retinol is that it makes your face red, dry and flaky. You may think it is from having sensitive skin, but really all that is normal! Retinol became a buzz word in the skin care community because of its amazing results with anti-aging and acne control. Of course, if all you hear about are the positives and your face reacts negatively when you use it, that can throw up some red flags. It will make you feel like your skin is rejecting what you are trying to do, and that the product is bad for you. We are supposed to listen to our bodies, but a brief education might just change your mind when it comes to retinol!
Your skin is supposed to peel!
When you start using a product with retinol, your skin will be red, flaky, and tight. This is 100% normal, do not be afraid! Retinols increase cell turnover which is your skin’s ability to build collagen and produce new skin. Therefore, when you first start using it, your dead skin is pushed off and becomes flaky until your skin is caught up and consistently shedding the old and producing the new! Your skin will look worse before it gets better and the adjustment period is at least 6 weeks. Those 6 weeks may be rough, but we think the results are worth it.
It can fight acne!
Acne is just one of those frustrating things that many people deal with and everyone seems to have an opinion on which diet works best, or drink more water, or use Proactiv. Sometimes, an in-depth analysis of what you use on your face can help a lot! Retinoids promote healthy skin and in turn, keeps your face free from dead skin cells clogging pores. Young kids do not have acne, but why? Part of it is because their cell turnover is so high and also that their bodies have not started producing pore clogging sebum.
It reduces fine lines and wrinkles!
With consistent usage of retinol, you will see a visible reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and can help slow down the creation of them. Retinol is a great product for all ages with different benefits for every age group.
It improves skin tone and pigmentation!
You guessed it! Cell turnover will also minimize pigmentation. Skin tone will improve from the production of new collagen and blood vessels which brings your skin back to life. Your face is the most exposed area of skin, which is why protection and a good skincare routine will make the aging process slower and smoother.
It should be used at night!
Retinol will make your skin sensitive to the sun, but it also does break down in the sun. Use it at night so it can soak in and do all the work you want it to! It is important to know when and in what order to apply skincare products, so that they work like they are supposed to. Otherwise, you could just be washing your money away. Apply a retinol product after cleansing and toning your skin at night for best results. And ALWAYS use a sunscreen with an SPF of 35 or greater when adding retinol to your routine.
Moral of the story is, understand your skincare routine and all the ingredients in it, so that you know what to expect. Contacting an aesthetician will help you understand the appropriate method on how to incorporate retinol into your routine. It will also help you understand the expected reactions and how to handle them. Do not be afraid of retinol!
Here are a couple of our favorite retinol products:
– Retinol Skin Brightener – Non hydroquinone by ZO (Dr. Zein Obagi’s Skin Care), comes in .25, .5 or 1.0% retinol, core ingredients include vitamins A, C and E.
– Wrinkle and Texture Repair by ZO that comes in .5% Retinol