Retinol: it’s the best of the best when it comes to anti-ageing skincare ingredients, and for good reason. This special little ingredient is a firm favourite of estheticians, beauty gurus and dermatologists alike for all the benefits it brings to the skin in one package - trust me on this one, the hype is real when it comes to retinol benefits for your skin!
The reason why retinol skincare is at the top of pretty much everyone’s faves list is that it just works so well. This super-charged skincare ingredient can smooth out bumpy skin texture, fight wrinkles, brighten uneven skin tones and in some cases, could help you on your journey to clearer skin.
It almost sounds too good to be true, but the truth is, pure retinol is probably the gold standard skincare ingredient because of everything it can do for the skin! Retinol - and other Vitamin A derivatives - are incredibly well studied for their beneficial effects on skin.
But first, what is retinol, exactly? Why use retinol skincare products and why do people love them? Here’s our explanation for why you need to start retinol ASAP and a list of our favourite retinol benefits.
What is Retinol?
So what is retinol, anyway? When people refer to retinol skincare products, they’re usually referring to one of two things - skincare products that specifically contain retinol, or they’re using ‘retinol’ as an umbrella term for skincare from the entire retinoid family - which include prescription strength retinoids.
That’s right - retinol is just one in a group of ingredients that, in essence, work super similarly on your skin - just at different strengths. To really cut down into the chemistry of it, they’re all derivatives of Vitamin A that have slight structural differences! However, they are all a specific form of Vitamin A - plain Vitamin A won't have the same effect.
OTC retinoids that you might come across include: Retinol, Retinal, Retinaldehyde, Retinyl Palmitate, while ones that are considered medications and prescription or pharmacist only include Tretinoin, Apalane, and Trifarotene. Tretinoin is also called Retinoic Acid - using Retinoic Acid right on skin can be much more irritating than regular Retinol.
The main reason they're split into two groups is because of strength and how they work on the skin - the prescription stuff tends to be the strongest, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get the anti-ageing results that you’re looking for if you opt for over the counter versions!
In fact, the extra step that Retinol needs to take on skin to convert to Retinoic Acid is what makes OTC Retinol so gentle - yet so effective over time.
I know what you’re thinking - why use retinol when there are stronger versions out there? Well, all that means in the real world is that it’ll take a little longer to see the same results with retinol as the prescription strength stuff with less irritation - not a bad trade-off!
Innovative capsule technology preserves potency in every drop of this retinol ceramide serum from Elizabeth Arden.
Why Use Retinol Skincare?
Retinol (and other members of the retinoid family) are among the most well-researched and proven skincare ingredients, especially when it comes to their effect on improving how skin looks, acts, and feels. Retinol benefits are well documented for almost every single skincare concern out there - here are our favourites!
When it comes to retinol benefits, this is the first that many of us think of! People love using this skincare ingredient for anti-ageing, and specifically, to reduce the appearance of visible fine lines and wrinkles and hopefully prevent more from appearing. How? Retinol and other retinoids stimulate fibroblasts - a special type of skin cell - to produce more collagen, ultimately firming up the skin and naturally plumping out wrinkles from within.
GA-DE Retiage Multi-Rejuvenate Serum
A potent anti-ageing serum formulated with Retinol to firm skin and fade away imperfections.
Improves Skin Radiance
Another way that retinol cream and other retinol skincare products give your skin a boost is by speeding up skin cell turnover. This natural process involves your skin shedding dead skin cells, aka keratinocytes. When retinol presses the fast-forward button on this process, it helps your skin shed these dullness causing excess dead skin cells a little bit faster, revealing clear, radiant skin underneath for a signature retinol glow - and yes, that’s actually a thing!
Fades Hyperpigmentation & Dark Spots
Another well-loved benefit of retinol cream and retinol serum is their power to fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation - the kind caused by acne and the kind caused by sun damage, so if this is a concern you have for your skin, don’t worry - retinol can help! Retinol products have the power to even out any dark spots for an even-toned glow by speeding up skin cell turnover and regulating how your skin produces any extra melanin - the natural pigment in our skin and hair that’s responsible for skin colour.
GA-DE Retiage Multi-Rejuvenate Cream
This velvety, nourishing night cream from GA-DE uses the power of Retinol alongside antioxidants to ward off premature signs of ageing.
When Can I Use Retinol Products?
Now that the “why use retinol” question has been answered, here’s the next question: When can I use retinol? It’s never too late to start using retinol skincare - however if it’s something that you haven't added to your beauty routine yet and you’re in your twenties, it’s definitely something you should consider!
An anti-ageing skincare ingredient like retinol helps to fortify your skin against premature signs of ageing - and a little bit of prevention now means you might have a little bit less to worry about in the future. Boost collagen production and ward off early wrinkles with the right retinol product for your skin type!
Starting this powerful skincare ingredient now pays off in the long run - especially if you follow our best tips for adding retinol products to your skincare routine.
Our top tip to apply retinol is to only ever use your OTC retinols at night - but read the post for more of our best tips for adding retinol to your routine and how to prepare yourself for side effects (if you experience any) like dry skin and temporary irritation. Psst - hyaluronic acid helps!
Still looking for your best skincare routine? Try our skin analysis to get a detailed report of your skin type and concerns, plus a unique skincare routine created just for your skin.
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