When it comes to the most searched skincare ingredients on Google, nothing trumps retinol. It’s buzzy, and it’s recommended by dermatologists and with good reason: It’s a veritable anti-aging powerhouse. But it helps to know the ins and outs of it, given how many skincare products contain the ingredient and the sheer amount of information on the internet about it. So, let’s break it down.
What is retinol?
Retinol is one of the main forms of vitamin A and one of several types of retinoids, which is a general term that refers to vitamin A derivatives that are natural as well as synthetic. It’s the version typically used in skincare products.
What are the benefits of retinol, and who is it best for?
Where to even begin? Not only does retinol help stimulate cell turnover as well as collagen production but it’s capable of improving tone and texture, deep wrinkles and fine lines. While smoothing out wrinkles and increasing elasticity are its initial benefits, retinol can also help improve breakouts and the damage they leave in their wake. The increase in cell turnover helps to unclog pores, which in turn helps with those brown, hyperpigmentation, post-inflammation red marks, and the collagen synthesis can help with deep scarring. In essence, retinol is great for anyone, whether it’s signs of aging that need to be improved or acne.
How to use it in a skincare routine
Even if you don’t have reactive skin, it’s best to ease into using retinol as it can be irritating. Start with a small amount every other night, which is the best time to apply it; sunlight can decrease the efficacy of the product. Use a retinol eye cream, such as La Roche-Posay Redermic Retinol Anti-Aging Eye Cream, for the thin area around your eyes. On the rest of the face, use a retinol serum, like Retinol B3 Anti-Aging Serum; you can follow up with a moisturizer to mitigate dryness and irritation. If you want to go straight for a retinol cream, there’s Redermic Retinol Intensive Anti-Aging Treatment Cream, which gradually releases retinol. And remember to use it sparingly. Using more won’t expedite results; it will simply aggravate your skin.
SPF every day
Above all, the one thing to be diligent about is sunscreen. Use it every single day, especially when retinol is part of your skincare routine. A great daily option is Anthelios Ultra Fluid SPF 50 Facial Sunscreen; it’s oil-free and leaves a matte finish on the skin. It also comes in a tinted mineral sunscreen version called Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Fluid SPF 50 Facial Sunscreen. If you’re looking for a creamier textured SPF with plenty of tint options, try Anthelios Mineral One SPF 50 Tinted Facial Sunscreen.