A Complete Guide To Introducing Retinol Into Your Skincare
June 14, 2021
Apart from sunscreen, retinol is probably the only other thing that dermatologists around the world, unanimously, agree on. Chances are you’ve seen the word alongside buzzwords like ‘anti-wrinkle’ and ‘age-defying’ but haven’t delved deeper into what this fountain of youth and its many miracles are. Well, here’s a crash course on important questions like “what is retinol” and “what does it do”.
What is retinol?
As per the skin bible, retinol is a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A that helps boost collagen (the protein in your body that keeps the skin firm) and improve the rate of cell turnover. Commonly known as RoC, this active ingredient visibly takes years off your appearance, apart from a whole other laundry-list of stuff that’s good for your skin.
What does it do?
While the level of efficacy might differ depending on the form that you use, be sure that you’ll reap all the benefits of retinol to some degree.
The production of collagen, the element of your body that decides how plump your skin is, starts to diminish as you hit 25. Retinol is the only proven superstar that restarts collagen production and keeps all signs of ageing at bay.
Fine lines, crease lines and wrinkles in mature skin are a sign of lack of elastin. Retinol lends a hand in stimulating the elastin production of your skin.
Vitamin A is an undisputed antioxidant and protects your skin against external stress like sun damage, pollution and environmental damage.
Retinol does wonders on age spots, sun spots and hyperpigmentation by promoting the degradation of melanin. The result is an even complexion, the stuff of dreams.
Ladies with acne-prone skin, we haven’t forgotten you. The molecule clears and shrinks the appearance of large pores, thereby reducing skin breakouts.
An exfoliator at a cellular level, retinol effectively brightens dull skin for a smoother-looking, brighter complexion.
Are there any side effects?
Something as powerful and potent as retinol can pose problems for your skin, if not used correctly. Memorize these side effects of retinol so you know what you’re signing up for.
If incorporated into your skincare routine too quickly, retinol can trigger dryness, burning, stinging or skin peeling, especially during the first 2 – 4 weeks of usage. Take baby steps, allow your skin time to build tolerance to the ingredient. Limit initial use to 1 – 2 times a week and gradually increase, depending on how your skin reacts. In the initial stage, you can also apply your moisturiser first to lower the absorption rate of retinol.
Retinol breaks down in sunlight and increases photosensitivity within your skin, which is why it is imperative that you do not skip the sunscreen, even during the chilly or rainy season. That’s a great reason to introduce retinol into your night-time skincare routine.
Even judicious use of retinol can be quite drying so people with extremely sensitive skin can expect greater inflammation and redness. Those with eczema, rosacea or psoriasis should not touch the stuff!
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