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If you work in the skin care industry, or you work with skincare products, or just know about skincare then you know about retinol. Retinol is a very well-known vitamin that is added to skincare products as it helps cater to many skincare concerns. It contains many benefits for the skin that we will go into further detail about. 

Retinol is also known as vitamin A, and vitamin A is an essential vitamin that our skin requires, and it carries many benefits. When retinol comes in contact with the skin, enzymes in the body convert the retinol into retinoic acid, which is an active form of vitamin A. It is also important to note that when you’re treating your skin with retinol using sunscreen is a must. Now, let’s take a look at some of the benefits that retinol contains for the skin. 

The benefits of retinol 

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  • Smooths and refines the surface of the skin
  • Stimulates collagen production 
  • Provides brighter and more vibrant skin
  • Increases cell turnover
  • Minimizes and unclogs pores
  • Reduces acne and acne scarring 
  • Reduces the appearance of sunspots and hyperpigmentation
  • Improves elasticity, strength, and firmness
  • It improves fine lines and wrinkles. 
  • It also improves skin tone and color and reduces mottled patches.

What is retinol used to treat?

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Retinol is most commonly used to treat: 

  • Acne
  • Fine lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Sunspots, freckles, and other signs of sun damage, sometimes called photoaging,
  • Uneven skin tone and texture
  • Types of hyperpigmentation such as melasma. 
  • Big pores caused by acne, oily skin, or collagen loss

How it works?

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Retinol is a type of retinoid that is made from vitamin A. Evidently, retinol doesn’t remove dead skin cells as many other anti-aging and acne products do. In fact, the tiny molecules that construct retinol go deep underneath the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) and then directly to your dermis.

In addition, retinol assists with neutralizing free radicals in order to boost the creation of elastin and collagen. This process constructs a “plumping” effect that decreases the look of wrinkles, fine lines, and enlarged pores. Simultaneously, retinol contains an exfoliating effect that can also refine both the texture and tone of the skin. 

Finally, retinol has also been proven to balance your skin hydration levels. Mild exfoliating effects help to remove dead skin cells that may lead to moisture loss. This may even benefit oily skin by controlling excess production of sebum in your pores.

Some myths about retinol/retinoids

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You should stop applying retinol if your skin gets irritated

Irritation that appears after adding vitamin A to your skincare routine is all part of the process. After two or three weeks the skin cells will start to adapt to the retinoic acid and begin to come adjusted to the ingredient. If the discomfort continues and is hard to tolerate, use it only once a week. 

You shouldn’t put retinoids around your eyes as the skin there is too sensitive

Not only are you able to apply retinol around your eyes, applying it there is very effective as that’s where most of the damage shows up. Research has shown that people who apply retinoids near the eye area get premium results. As well, the skin in that area is not likely to get more red or flaky than other areas on the face.

Retinol for acne 

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Retinol contains strong cell renewal effects, which means retinol can be very effective for people who are prone to getting acne and breakouts. It assists in terms of regulating cell turnover, and it contains an exfoliating effect that eliminates pores from clogging and pimples, blackheads, and cysts from appearing. 

For younger people experiencing severe acne, it’s important to consult with a skincare expert first so that you can be sure to not combine retinol with other ingredients that could interfere with the benefits it provides. 

Keep in mind that if you are doing an acne routine that consists of benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid, it may already contain some type of retinoid in it. This means that it can be more powerful than over-the-counter skincare. So, putting more retinol on your skin could bother your skin. It is essential that you don’t have too much retinol on your skin.