Retinol's various benefits make it a favourite amongst its users as well as most dermatologists. However, there is a wide variety of retinol products available in the market - creams, serums, under-eye creams - so it may be confusing, and many people may use the wrong product. Although they all contain retinol as their base ingredient, these products differ in several ways.
So how do you know which product you should go for? Simple! We are here to answer all your questions about retinol and retinol use.
What is Retinol?
Retinol is the scientific term for Vitamin A. It is primarily used as an anti-aging product to prevent the signs of early ageing. Considered highly effective for all skin types, a retinol anti ageing cream stimulates the production of new collagen fibres that have anti ageing effects. This is why the use of retinol is growing tremendously in the skincare industry. With all of its properties, it is (literally) a holy grail for your skin. Retinol is available in the form of liquids, gel, serums, cream, and emollient in the market.
5 major benefits of retinol for ageing skin
While the use of retinol is highly prevalent in the skincare industry, many people are not well-versed with how retinol helps with ageing skin? Retinol possesses anti-aging properties that offer a lot of benefits. Here's a list of the 5 major benefits of retinol for ageing skin.
1. Thickens epidermis to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
The vitamin-A derivative, retinol, works to thicken the epidermis. The epidermis is a layer of the skin that loosen over time, which results in fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol helps catalyse the production of collagen in the skin. Thus, the blood vessel production rises, which in turn enhances the skin texture and colour.
Besides, dermatologists recommend retinol anti-aging cream to the ones with age spots and apparent wrinkles.
2. Promotes cell turnover to resurface the skin and refine enlarged pores
Retinol promotes cell turnover, skin resurfacing and pore refining. Pores are minute openings that cover the entire body. They release sebum (natural oil produced by the sweat gland) that helps moisturise the skin. However, it does make the skin appear oily and clogged. While you cannot get rid of these pores completely, you can lessen their appearance.
Research proves that Retinol is an antioxidant that boosts collagen production. This protects the skin against photodamage, which results in enlarged, clogged pores.
What's more, Retinol promotes cell turnover. Its small particles embed themselves deep into the dermis of the skin. This helps neutralise free radicals, which boosts the production of new and healthy cells. Thus, it removes the dead skin layer, rejuvenating the skin.
3. Boost collagen production for skin firmness and elasticity
Retinol promotes collagen synthesis by triggering fibroblast cells.
It also boosts the production of elastin fibre (along with collagen fibre). With more collagen in the body, the skin gets tighter and more elastic. That's because collagen fibre increases the number of red blood cells, which helps improve skin colour and texture.
It also removes the dead skin layer, resurfacing and rejuvenating the skin. Dermatologists suggest anti-aging creams with retinol to replenish skin elasticity. You can also use retinol anti-aging night creams for firmer and tighter skin.
4. Reverse sun damage and photoaging due to its antioxidant potential
Photodamage or sun damage is the adverse effect that sunlight causes on the skin. It causes the collagen fibres that primarily make up connective tissue to become disorganised, as well as accumulate abnormal, amorphous elastin-containing deposits, known as actinic elastosis.
Since retinol is an antioxidant, it works to reduce photodamage, reverse sun damage and photo-ageing. Thus, giving you a healthy, glowing skin. Besides, retinol can help reduce dark/brown spots and even out skin pigmentation.
5. Restores plumpness and volume
Because retinol promotes collagen fibre production and stimulates cell turnover, it helps restore plumpness and volume of the skin. The improved production of RBCs plumps up the skin, making it appear clearer, tighter, and smoother. Besides, it also helps shrink large pores and reduce dark spots.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between Tretinoin, Retinol and Retinoids?
Retinoids are chemical compounds made from vitamins. Tretinoin and Retinol are first-generation retinoids. While tretinoin is more potent (exhibiting increased cell turnover property), Retinol and Retinoids show faster results. Tretinoin is prescribed by doctors, whereas retinol and retinoids can be purchased over-the-counter.
2. What is the right age to start using retinol?
Generally, ageing starts after 21 years for women and 25 for men. However, visible traits start from post 30 and 34 for women and men, respectively. Thus, it's advisable to use retinol after 25.
3. What percentage of retinol is good for beginners?
If you are a beginner and are going to apply retinol for the first time, keep in mind, you should start with a lower dose (0.025-0.1% concentration). If, in case, it goes well without any reaction, you can go ahead with a higher concentration. However, Retinol proves to be more effective at improving ageing signs and clear pores at lower concentrations.
4. Is it suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women?
The answer is 'NO'. Retinol is considered an unsafe ingredient for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It's advisable not to use Retinol during the gestation or breastfeeding period.