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Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and is found in topical skin care products. Prescription Retin-A is a more powerful alternative. Retinol enhances collagen production and evens out skin tone. Because it works below the skin’s surface, retinol can aid to reduce acne scars while it treats existing acne and helps prevent outbreaks.
How Does Retinol Work?
Retinol works by dissolving dead skin layers, allowing new skin layers to come through. While most exfoliants work by scrubbing away dead skin cells on the surface, retinol works on a deeper level. When pores are clean and open, acne is much less likely to develop. Regular use of retinol can make enlarged pores look smaller. Combine these elements together for a bright, radiant complexion.
Where Can You Find Retinol?
Retinol is found in many over-the-counter acne treatment and skin care products. Skin care products containing retinol begin at around $15.
Are There Any Precautions?
It is best to avoid using retinol during the day. Your skin needs more protection from the sun in the form of antioxidants and sunblock, otherwise, you risk making your skin much more sensitive, resulting in severe irritation or peeling. Environmental conditions can lead to sunburn and windburn, which can be made worse if your skin is already compromised by retinol use.
Be careful using retinol if you are fair-skinned or your skin is already sensitive by applying sunblock liberally and using retinol at night.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Burning and stinging are common problems with retinol use, especially in the beginning. Avoid daytime use and test skin first for sensitivity before using regularly.
Dry, flaking, or peeling skin can also result from retinol use. While your skin is undergoing a deep cleaning it may look worse before it looks better. Patience is a virtue with retinol.
Though not common, some retinol users have experienced photosensitivity, increasing chances for sunburn or windburn. If you're photosensitive, use retinol at night and sunblock liberally during daytime hours or anytime you might be outside.
What Else Should You Know About Retinol?
Since retinol is absorbed into the skin, pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant should not use retinol.
Can Retinol Help With Acne Scarring?
To a degree. Retinol stimulates new cell growth and gives your skin a more smooth and even texture. This can make superficial acne scars less obvious. For pitted or raised scars, retinol is less effective and you may need professional treatment.
Does Retinol Have Antiaging Benefits?
Absolutely. Retinol reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol also reduces the visibility of pores while treating acne to produce overall great skin.
When Can I Expect Results From Retinol?
If there's one thing you need when using retinol, it's time. In fact, your skin may look worse before it looks better. As with any skin care product, experimentation is your friend. Avoid using during the day and start with small amounts and work your way up. For best results, give your skin time to adjust and for retinol to do its work.
Does My Skin Have to Be Dry to Apply Retinol?
Not at all. There is no evidence to show that retinol is any more or less effective on dry or wet skin. Use it in a way that works best for you.
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