Retinol–you’ve heard the term floating around in the expanse of cosmetics, but you may not have realized how much it could do for you, and why you should begin adding retinol to your beauty regimen even in your 20s. Retinoids are basically the effective stuff of vitamin A that–in as little as four weeks–can wondrously smooth your skin, unclogs your pores, reduces the appearance of fine lines by boosting collagen and cell turnover while evening out any facial discoloration. Tretinoin was the first one to be approved by the FDA–now almost 40 years ago, going by the brand of Retin-A. At the time, it was used as an acne treatment and available only by prescription. Because many other amazing results began showing up with use, retinol became a mainstay of the dermatologic industry. The three prescription-strength retinoids sold today (in order of strength/effectiveness,) are tretinoin, tazarotene and adapalene. These are offered under a variety of brand names. The stronger the retinoid, the more effective, however also the more irritating it can be.
Don’t Wait or Hesitate–Use it Now!
While retinoids have been associated with aging skin, the fact is that its best use comes from being introduced into your beauty routine by your mid-20s. Because of what it does, the earlier start will be your best measure to ensure that you give your skin a strong foundation that will be far less inclined to fall into the typical signs of aging that occur with time. Retinoids stimulate the production of collagen and improves your skin’s elasticity and thickness.
Where to Start
Summertime’s the best time to start using retinoids, as the humidity can exacerbate the most drying effects. It’s advisable t0–even if you intend on going full tilt, with a prescription strength dose–begin using retinol with an OTC product. These contain retinoids, and go by the name of retinol. And they’re far less expensive, too. By acclimating your skin this way, you’ll be less likely to suffer any of the negatives associated with too much, too soon. The OTC versions improve lines and even out your skin color. Retinol develops into the same active ingredient in the prescription creams eventually, but it does take time–it’ll be somewhere after using for around 12 weeks before you can expect to see results.
Dispelling the Retinoid Myths
Ever since retinoids first hit the market there was all this concern generated over how people using it should subsequently forever remain out of the sun’s rays. This is incorrect and unfounded. Where this got its start was that the product itself–the active ingredient–is what’s sensitive to the sun’s light, which could cause the product to break down and become ineffective. Because of this, proper storage is mandated, and you should apply at night, before bedtime. You’ll still need to use your 30 SPF sunscreen, just as you would anyway.
- Retinoids and retinol products are to be avoided by pregnant women.
- Don’t layer with products containing benzoyl peroxide, which can deactivate the retinol.
- Don’t use retinol immediately following a waxing. This can cause excessive redness and irritation. Just wait a couple of days.
- If you have extra-sensitive skin or certain conditions, don’t begin a retinol regimen without first consulting your doctor.