Retinol – What’s That About?

Retinol is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it can solve all your beauty woes but it can come at a very expensive price. Here is what you should know before adding the fix-it-all Retinol or prescription Retin-A in your skincare routine. 

What is Retinol?

It’s a well-researched and well-proven anti-ageing powerhouse, as well as a known anti-acne treatment. Consisting of vitamin A,  which is a type of retinoid. When retinol is applied to the skin, it undergoes a process that converts it to retinoic acid, which is the only type of retinoid our skin recognises. There are retinol products which you can get over-the-counter and Retin- A which is retinol “on steroids”. 

With retinols  found in over-the-counter skincare, our skin might have to do three or four different conversions to get that ingredient to make retinoic acid, while Retin-A has like two steps. This difference is why drugstore retinol products are way more gentle to use, but the trick is you have to use them consistently over months to finally see results. On the other hand, Retin-A is 100 times stronger, so it works faster, but there are some pretty bad side effects, like extreme dryness, peeling, redness, an increase in acne, sensitivity to the sun (hello spf 50). But after that’s over, you have rejuvenated back to baby skin so… yay?!

Why Should I Use It?

Retinol encourages cell turnover, helps increase collagen production, fades acne marks, and keeps your skin glowing and bright. It’s also an anti-ageing genius. Retinol actually visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles and helps keep the skin plump and tight. So basically everything you need from all the products you use-in one. 

How Do I Add It Into My Routine?

First, ask your dermatologist if you need to introduce retinol to your skin. Dr. Sara Qaldas at  Zo Clinic, in New Cairo will give you the honest truth. The one thing you want to make sure of is to introduce retinol products into your routine slowly. Initially, use maybe once a week, then twice, etc. until you are not having any of the ill effects from the product. Remember, retinol products CAN and WILL cause some skin discomfort initially, so don’t be alarmed! If you do start incorporating this jackpot of skincare then we recommend you use it at night and always use sunblock like SPF 50 during the day (even if you can’t see the sun behind the clouds, the rays see you.)


Image Credit: Pinterest

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