Retinoids are not new to skincare aficionados. It is something that has been around for quite some time now- from earlier approval for the use in acne lesions (Adapalene) to Retinol benefits in anti-aging skin care too.
Aging is a biological reality, chronological aging depends on the passage of time per se and photoaging depends on the amount of sun exposure, environmental damage and skin pigment. These are pressing issues which need to be addressed in skin care routine.
Here, retinoids come to play- different types of retinoids (Retinol, Tretinoin, Retinyl palmitate and Retinoic acid) for varying aging skin concerns! Be it- natural or synthetic and as SCIENCY as it sounds, retinoids have been used ever since for improving the visible signs of aging.
Exploring Retinoids for skincare…
‘Modern history of retinoids began in the year 1909 when vitamin A was deemed significant for the viability of the embryo.’
Retinol is made from Vitamin A and is a mild version of retinoid with lesser chances of skin irritation and redness. There is no surprise that they work exceptionally well to make the skin healthy and smoothen the skin for even skin tone, treat mild acne and hyperpigmentation skin disorders (Yes! There are clinical evidences for the same).
Change the way you age, and start using retinoids as soon as you know… From treating teenage acne-prone skin to slowing down the signs of the skin aging process, there is no age limit to adding this ingredient to your skincare practice. It is highly suggested to start up with retinol products and broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more (mandatory!) to benefit your skin.
5 Age-defying benefits of Retinol for skin:
- 1) Makes more collagen and elastin
- 2) Improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
- 3) Encourages skin cell renewal
- 4) Repair sun damage and age spots on the skin
- 5) Improves dull and dehydrated skin
Let us dig deeper to gain better insights into these benefits:
1) Make more collagen and elastin:
Collagen is a protein that structures your skin, bones and muscles. Collagen is at its peak in young years (baby plump skin = maximum collagen) which slowly starts depleting with age making it thin, coarse and fragmented.
Retinol stimulates collagen and elastin production and prevents it from breakdown in the skin to restore its natural plumpness and youthful-looking.
2) Improve the appearance of enlarged open pores, wrinkles and fine lines:
Now that we have talked about amping up those collagen reserves, the use of retinol can lend a hand to “fill in” or lessen the appearance of existing wrinkles and help prevent new ones from developing.
As per a 2007 study, this vitamin A family member was effective for fine wrinkles due to chronological aging as they started to efface after 4 weeks and continued to improve through 24 weeks.
Retinol assist in pore-clearing and reduce pore size.
3) Encourages skin cell renewal:
Retinol has also been known to enhance skin turnover for more protection and a tougher foundation for the skin. It accelerates the proliferation of the upper layers of skin, which makes the skin smooth and even-looking.
It is one of the few ingredients that come with an out-and-out guarantee to speed up the ‘skin's cell cycle’.
This reminds me of one more miracle beauty ingredient that beautifies the 24-hour skin cycle, How? By balancing the skin circadian rhythm- nourishing and rejuvenating the skin at night and protecting it from urban pollution and dirt during the day.
4) Repairs sun damage and age spots on the skin:
Collage=check, elastin=check and now what to do for improving and repairing sun-damaged skin and age spots or dark spots on the skin?
These vitamins can have a multitude of benefits, i.e. a simple collagen boost by the use of retinol can have a transformative change in your skin. It can peel away and fade the hyperpigmented dark spots or patches with time.
‘Women with photodamaged skin had significant improvement in fine wrinkles, patchy skin colour and roughness after 4 weeks of use.’
5) Improves dull and dehydrated skin:
Age and environmental factors have a negative effect on hyaluronic acid levels too. As we age, hyaluronic acid starts to lessen as early as twenty years and is cut to half by the age of 50. SHOCKED! Untimely wrinkles, sagging and dehydration are all tell-tales of poor hyaluronic acid in the skin.
Coming to the positive part, Retinol have a role in lifting hyaluronic acid in the epidermis of photoaged skin. It also functions to limit transepidermal water loss. That explains the reason for making the skin smooth, radiant and an improved overall skin appearance.
Different Retinoid skincare products to choose from...
Unlike more powerful forms of retinoids, retinol is easily available over-the-counter and you can choose from an array of products (details in the end) - Retinol face serums, moisturizers, creams, gels, hand serums etc.
Type of product- Generally, gels are used for acne as they are stronger than creams, foams and liquids. Retinol serum and retinol face cream are worth giving a shot for aging skin signs.
Concentrations used- Concentrations of retinol actives are 0.025%, 0.05%, and 0.1%. Stronger formulas may be more useful but there are more chances of side effects and irritations. Patch test- Use a retinol based product on your wrist first to see if it irritates you or not.
How much retinol is to be used and when- After your product has passed the patch test, begin with a pea-sized amount or 4-5 drops of serum every other night. Use the retinoid product after a mild cleansing but before your moisturizer. Stick to a retinol skincare routine for effective results.
NOTE- Dermatologists suggest using these vitamin derivatives at night only as it may make the skin more sensitive to sunlight or UV rays exposure.
Also, retinol is extremely unstable and easily gets vitiated when exposed to light and air. That’s why they are ‘micro-encapsulated’ for easy penetration into deep skin layers, lower chances of skin irritation and increases its stability.
By now, you must know Retinol are a huge deal for transforming your skin. They stands tall as one of the most potent skin saviours to tackle day-to-day skin concerns, and HOW?
Repair the damaged skin barrier and sun damage by promoting collagen production
Refine the skin texture as it reduces the look and feel of fine lines and wrinkles
Restore new skin cells, and stimulate cell turnover for firmer and more resilient skin
Retain skin health with time, making it smooth and even-toned
Savour your anti-aging skin care with retinol and let me know how it worked for you.
Q. How does retinol affects your skin?
Ans. It increases collagen and exfoliates the skin layers, which can reduce fine lines and wrinkles for rejuvenated and plump skin.
Q. Is retinol and vitamin A different from each other?
Ans. Retinol is a milder derivative of vitamin A which is effective for acne and skin ageing-related concerns.
Q. Can I use different forms of vitamin- retinol along with vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)?
Ans. Retinol and vitamin C are a power-packed combo for improving signs of aging and provide anti-oxidant protection to the skin for dewy and glowing skin. Vitamin C in the morning to prevent free radical damage to the skin.
Q. Who should avoid using a retinol- any particular skin type or skin issues?
Ans. Although retinol can be used for almost all skin types. But, there’s a catch- If you have rosacea, psoriasis, or your skin is prone to eczema, then they are a big no for you.
Q. Are there any benefits of niacinamide retinol on your skin?
Ans. When using niacinamide and retinol together, it is advisable to wait for 5 minutes between the applications. They can be just as effective if you use them at different times of the day.