The skincare industry has a multitude of products that promise more glowing, youthful skin. Among the throngs of products, one ingredient stands out in particular: retinol.
Retinol is a popular retinoid that has been adored for decades and approved by dermatologists thanks to its many skin remedies. Before we get into its benefits, let’s alleviate any confusion you may have by describing what it is.
Retinoids vs Retinol
There is a little confusion about retinol, as some people think retinoids are just another term for retinol – as if the two are one and the same. This isn’t exactly true.
Retinol falls under the umbrella of retinoids, which are vitamin A derivatives, and is merely a type of retinoid. In other words, not all retinoids are retinol.
For example, another type of retinoid is Tretinoin, the strongest prescription-level retinoid frequently used to treat acne. With so many different vitamin A derivatives – from prescription strength to OTC, natural to synthetic – you’re guaranteed to find one that fits your skin type.
Now that you know what it is, let’s explain the main benefits of retinol.
It Can Reduce the Signs of Aging
This well-known ingredient is among the most thoroughly-studied anti-aging ingredients for skin remedies. One such remedy is its remarkable anti-aging effects, treating everything from fine lines to crepey skin, to age spots. You don’t need to be middle-aged to use it. In fact, dermatologists recommend using retinol products as early as your mid-twenties – 25, to be exact. Retinol is for crow's feet, and fine lines around the delicate under-eye area, which is why you'll find this ingredient in many Routine 10 eye serums.
It Clears up Acne
Tretinoin may be the strongest and most used retinoid to treat acne, but retinol can fight acne, too. First, it clears skin and unclogs pores, which can lead to acne. You may also know that certain products work synergistically. Vitamin C has that effect on some ingredients, increasing their potency to work more effectively. You can expect the ingredients in the Retinol Youth Renewal Serum by Routine 10 to work harder combined with vitamin C.
It Can Improve Your Skin Tone
Retinol can generate skin cell turnover, the process of replacing old skin cells with new ones. In turn, this mild form of exfoliation creates smoother, more even-toned skin. Younger skin is healthier and stronger. Fortified with the anti-aging effects of vitamin C (increased elastin and collagen), it can drastically improve the appearance of your skin tone, evening out signs of discoloration, while making it smoother and more radiant.
Retinol is Good for Most Skin Types
It does take some adjustment to wear retinol and it’s advised to gradually use such products before fully incorporating them into your skincare routine. Nevertheless, you can wear retinol no matter what your skin type. We always recommend performing a patch test initially, particularly if you have fair or sensitive skin.
Beware of Some Side Effects
Now that you know the main benefits of retinol, it’s important to know its main side effects. All retinoids are potent ingredients, even the mildest types. As a result, if you have an extremely sensitive skin condition, such as rosacea, eczema, or other inflammatory conditions, you may want to speak with a dermatologist before using any retinol skincare products, as they may be too abrasive. If you notice redness, skin peeling, or your skin feels irritated, discontinue use.
We also recommend wearing SPF when using retinol – no matter what your skin type. Retinol can increase photosensitivity, which can cause damage during the day. Applying broad-spectrum SPF every morning should do the trick and protect your skin.