What is Retinal and Where Can I Get It?

Most women believe that “she was born with it” when it comes to the perfect complexion, one that is clear, radiant and free of wrinkles. Some think that it’s all due to lucky DNA or maybe that only models and actresses are blessed with flawless skin. It’s true that there are women who have tiny pores and less fine lines than others, but anyone at any decade can achieve a gorgeous complexion others would be wowed by.

When you work at having beautiful skin, there are products that will help reverse the signs of general aging, sun damage and any other types of common issues. One of the best skin care treatments you can apply is retinol.

What Is Retinol Used For?

First, let’s explain what retinol is, and then, you will be thrilled to find that it is available just about everywhere around the world at drugstores and high-end boutiques. Best of all, retinol can be purchased over-the-counter or through an online store. In other words, you do not need a doctor’s prescription for it.

Hallelujah to that because retinol is an affordable and wise skincare investment to make.

Dermatologists describe retinol as one of a handful of Vitamin A derivatives, says a report in Oprah.com. Retin-A is the strongest form and bought through a prescription.

Retinol usually comes in a cream base and is easier for various skin types to tolerate than Retin-A. It’s a gentler retinoid and, according to retinol.com, “wrinkle creams with this ingredient have shown in numerous clinical studies to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, even out skin tone, shrink pores and rebuild collagen.”

How Is Retinol Applied Properly?

To get the most effective results from retinol, skin care experts have a few simple recommendations to follow, says Self.com.

Always put retinol on a clean, dry face and neck after cleansing.

Retinol should be applied topically with a light hand. A little goes a long way, and it can be drying and irritating if too much is used. A pea-sized amount is enough for the entire face; massage it in circles.

Retinol can be worn both during the daytime and nighttime, but most dermatologists agree that the retinoid performs best while you are sleeping. In addition, sunlight can break down retinol, weaken its potency and cause sunburn. Nighttime offers the complete benefits of retinol, so you get the most bang for your buck to apply it then.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, skip using retinol or any kind of retinoid for the time being. There’s the possibility that too much vitamin A (orally) can injure the growing fetus or cause birth defects. Doctors believe it’s wise to err on the side of caution even though topical retinoids do not appear to pose a problem.

Am I A Retinol Candidate?

It might sound hard to believe, but as you enter your 20s, your skin is already beginning to show early signs of sun damage and general aging. Rachel Nazarian, M.D., at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City, tells Marie Claire magazine that women should be thinking about caring for their skin and addressing the matter sooner than later but be sensible about it. She advises waiting until your late 20s to start on retinol.

Singer Demi Lovato, 26, uses retinol for her gorgeous complexion, according to her celebrity esthetician, Renee Rouleau.

Women in their 40s and beyond are also excellent candidates for using retinol. Famous Hollywood beauties like Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lopez and Sandra Bullock are all retinol fans, and if it’s working for them, then, why not you?

Sensitive complexions can also benefit from the topical use of retinol, but skin care experts recommend proceeding with extra caution. The strength of retinol can disrupt the balance of the skin and cause acne eruptions for some people because it’s a very active ingredient.

Allow the skin to get used to the unique potency of retinol, and only apply it a couple of nights per week to see how your sensitive complexion handles the formula.

When Can I Notice Retinol Results?

Every individual’s skin will respond on its own unique timing, but generally speaking, retinol results will start appearing in about 12 weeks, say some of the leading dermatologists.

Women are accustomed to seeing TV commercials and magazine ads talking about miracle products that dramatically change the complexion in a few days, but skin care experts say there are no magic formulas. You need to commit to retinol consistently, and allow the product to do its thing below your skin’s surface as it encourages old skin cells to shrivel up and die, making way for new cell growth.

Retinol does not exfoliate like glycolic acid; it’s a more refined process that affects gene expression. Retinol slowly thickens the deeper layer of skin, and therefore, the product takes time.

Is Sunscreen Necessary After Retinol?

Yes, sunscreen should always be applied and not just after using retinol from the night before. SPF matters for every complexion, and you won’t find one dermatologist who would disagree.

Sunscreen is every person’s first line of defense against premature aging of the skin. It’s never too late to start using an SPF in your morning beauty routine, and you can still play out in the sun and achieve a healthy, smooth complexion.

Look at it this way; always use an SPF 30 if you’re applying any retinol-based face creams. Practicing sun safety is no joke when you’re using strong skin care creams and serums. Why “re-injure” your complexion with a nasty sunburn?

It is recommended that you continue putting retinol on at night during the summer months despite the abundance of outdoor activities and power of the rays during the season. It’s an all-year-round type of skin care product that delivers incredible results when topically applied two to five nights per week.

Should I Advance To Retin-A Later?

Retin-A is the most potent retinoid available and is dispensed via your dermatologist. Although it is impressive in turning back the signs of aging, it is also difficult for many women’s complexions to handle.

This prescription-based retinoid acts faster than over-the-counter retinol, but it can be a brutal cream to apply because its strength can cause inflammation, swelling, and even breakouts until your skin becomes accustomed to it. Retin-A can cause a leathery, red look to the complexion if overused and be sensitive to touch.

Both retinol and Retin-A create a more beautiful complexion, so the results are the same. Retinol happens to be tolerable for most, inexpensive and has an excellent track record.

We all desire healthy, radiant skin that looks youthful, natural and attractive. Watching your skin age is not always easy to accept, but in today’s beauty-advanced world, there are wonderful products to topically apply, and retinol happens to be one of the good ones.

This particular retinoid continues to create a buzz in the skin care industry; it’s not a fad product with inflated hype. It works slowly and surely and can easily be added to anyone’s skincare routine.

Best of all, you can jump on the retinol train at any point in your life and still achieve pretty incredible results you can be proud of.


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