What is a retinol? The simple explanations is it’s a Vitamin A derivative. The prescription version is called Retina-A and there are other names for prescription creams or gels. Retinol can unclog pores, boost collagen, reduce fine lines, and speed up cell turnover. When retinol is used it can even out discoloration, fade age spots, clear up acne and smooth the skin. It usually takes four weeks to see results.
Retinol is a great product for anti-aging. Retinoids are one of the only topical products that can actually reverse the signs of aging. Using retinoids during the winter months is great because it can make you really sensitive to the sun’s harsh rays. Retinoids will make your skin photosensitive, so you have to be careful when you’re outdoors in the sun. In the winter you will still have to use a SPF 30+. The reason to use them in the winter is that retinol ends up making your skin thin because you are increasing your cell turnover very quickly. Therefore it is will make your skin more sensitive to getting burned.
Retinoids can cause dryness, redness, and flaking. This is normal. You will have to get a good thick moisturizer because your skin tends to be dryer in the winter and also a great exfoliator. Look for my post in the coming weeks, I will help you find brands that will help fight winter skin. If you are worried about your skin getting red and flakey start slowly with your retinol application. Start off with applying it every 3 nights until you can start doing it every other night then you can apply it every night. You might have to apply it every 3 nights for 2 weeks so that your skin can get use to the retinol.
The reason you apply it at night is that retinoids are sensitive to sunlight so that they will not work as well. So apply it before bed. After washing your face wait about 15 minutes before you apply a retinoid, and all you need is a pea-size amount for your entire face. If you feel like you need extra moisture in your skin after you apply the retinol apply a moisturizer but wait a couple of minutes so that the retinol is absorbed into your skin. Never use benzoyl peroxide and alpha hydroxy acids which could deactivate retinoids.
If you have other questions about retinols leave them in the comments and I will help answer them.