Anyone interested in conscious skin care, and more specifically anti-aging treatments, will have heard of retinol, one of the most popular and potent “skin rejuvenating” ingredients. However, like everything else, using retinol is an acquired skill, because the only way to give your skin the right care is to know what, when and how to use. So in today’s post, we answer the most common questions about retinol.
What is retinol?
Retinol belongs to the family of retinoids, i.e. Vitamin A derivatives. It is closely “related” to retinoic acid, retinal and HPR. Of these, retinoic acid has the strongest effect, and therefore it is a prescription-only pharmaceutical active ingredient. Retinol itself means the pure Vitamin A and is now used in many cosmetics.
How does retinol affect the skin?
The reason retinol is such a popular active ingredient is because there are a vast number of studies showing its positive effects on the skin. Once absorbed into the skin, it is converted into retinoic acid, an active molecule that reduces wrinkles, keeps the skin smooth and firm, and boosts collagen production.
It also hydrates the skin, helps to combat acne, pigment spots and enlarged pores, and thanks to its antioxidant properties, it can slow down the breakdown of the existing collagen. In short, it’s an active ingredient that can solve almost any skin problem, so really, retinol is recommended for everyone.
What strength retinol should I use?
Retinol products come in various strengths; if you’ve never tried one before, you may want to start with a weak or medium strength product, while those who are more experienced can try more concentrated products.
Of course, the individual characteristics of the skin should be also taken into account, but in general, weaker retinol cosmetics can be used every day, while stronger ones can be used 3-4 times a week at most. If used too often it can cause irritation!
Retinol use – in what form?
In addition to the aforementioned serum, retinol can also be found in anti-wrinkle cosmetics, such as the Cell Concept 55+ face creams – in smaller amounts, of course, so that everyday use is not a problem.
How long do I have to wait to see a change?
As with other active ingredients, retinol should not be expected to work miracles straight away. Skin needs more than a few days or even a few weeks to renew itself visibly. In any case, even with the weaker retinol products, after 3-6 months you will see a change, your skin will become smoother and firmer, wrinkles will fade and acne will disappear. Patience and perseverance are therefore key.
When and what should I use retinol with?
As retinol is an unstable active ingredient whose effectiveness is significantly reduced by exposure to light, it must be used in the evening. As it increases the skin’s sensitivity to light, sunscreen should also not be forgotten during the day.
It can be used in combination with a face wash, toner or moisturizer without any problems, but in the case of chemical exfoliating product, it is best to wait a little between applications or you should follow the principle of exfoliation in the morning and retinol in the evening.