Retinol is a hot button word in the cosmetic world thanks to its reputation for healing and repairing aged and broken skin. A large proportion of skincare products now contain retinol, so what should you know about this ingredient? Should you consider it a welcome addition to your skin regimen?
What is Retinol?
To understand retinol, you must first understand vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that serves as a potent antioxidant to help the body in a number of ways, including fighting free radicals that cause signs of aging to impact the face. Vitamin A exists in active form and as beta carotene. Active vitamin A is call retinol, and the beta carotene version of vitamin A obtained from colorful veggies and fruits can be transformed to active vitamin A—or, retinol—for use by the body.
How Does Retinol Help the Skin?
Since retinol provides the body with so many antioxidants, it is a potent fighter of age. Its antioxidant properties can neutralize free radicals that would otherwise cause cellular and tissue damage. This makes it perfect to stimulate the skin to produce more collagen, heal wounds, and re-grow skin.
This collagen production is critical to young, healthy skin because collagen renews the skin to lighten dark spots, minimize fine lines, minimize pore size, and keep skin radiant.
How Should You Use Retinol?
Begin using small amounts of retinol to allow your skin to adjust to its presence and effects. Your skin will become a bit more sensitive and susceptible to burning and irritation, since your cell turnover is increasing and pushing out delicate fresh skin to the surface. This makes daily sunscreen a necessity, and it is a good idea to seek shade when possible.
Because of this, retinol is best used at night when your skin isn’t being bombarded by outside elements so that it can really and truly heal. This explains why retinol is so popular in night creams!