As many of you know, I have a lot of favorite skin care products and ingredients. But if you asked me to pick the top product/ ingredient that produces the most instantaneous visible results, it would have to be retinol. I am turning 40 this weekend and the fine lines are definitely showing up and getting more defined. When I use a retinol before bed, I wake up in the morning and the lines on my forehead are smoother, lighter, and less defined. Somehow, having healthy, youthful skin makes me feel that way on the inside (if that makes sense). I accept that I am getting older and with that, so is my skin- so I don’t think my fine lines and wrinkles are necessarily a bad thing. But, if I do know that if I take care of myself and my skin and it’s reflecting, I feel even better. Ultimately, I want longevity for my overall health, including my skin health. So, when I find a product that works as well as retinol does, I’ll take it!
What is Retinol?
Retinol is vitamin A derivative that contains tiny molecules that can go deep into the skin, making its way to the dermis to neutralize free radicals that can lead to aging. Retinol also eliminates dead skin cells, signaling your body to produce new, healthy cells. This increases the rate of cellular turnover, so your skin is ridding itself of dead skin and producing new ones more quickly on a regular basis. It also increases the activity and number of fibroblasts in the skin which are responsible for synthesizing collagen and elastin. You can think of collagen and elastin as the bed frame of your skin. It is the structural foundation that lifts everything up and keeps it firm.
What does Retinol help with?
Retinol is referred to as a skin hero for its wide range of benefits such as:
· Treating acne
· Improving texture
· Minimizing pore size
· Decreasing fine lines and wrinkles
· Brightening dull skin
With continued use, retinol can also help minimize hyperpigmentation and produce new blood vessels which improve the overall tone of the skin.
Minimizing Sensitivity to Retinol
Retinol is a very effective product, but it can be known to cause sensitivity if you do not introduce it to your skin in a gentle way. When you first start using a retinol, we recommend that you start small. Apply the serum twice per week and only use at night. If you have particularly dry and/or sensitive skin, you can also sandwich the retinol between your moisturizer to start by applying the moisturizer, then retinol, and moisturizer once again.
How Often to use Retinol
Below is a recommendation for introducing your skin to retinol. Feel free to adjust according to how your skin is responding. You will be using retinol at night as it can cause photosensitivity during the day.
1st Week: 2 nights
2nd Week: 3 nights
3rd Week: 4 nights
4th Week: 5 nights
If you have additional skin care questions or would like some guidance choosing the best products for your skin, a facial with one of our estheticians will include their customized professional recommendations.