As we grow old, our skin begins to age and develops wrinkles and fine lines. There is a plethora of anti aging skin care products available in the market that help to relieve these signs of aging and help the skin regain its lost vitality. These anti aging skin care products are packed with powerful ingredients that specifically aim to correct the aging signs and enhance the skin quality. One such amazing ingredient is Retinol.
What is Retinol?
Retinol is an active form of Vitamin A. It is a topical compound that is used to treat acne and signs of skin aging like wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. It also heals sun damaged skin. The skin has vitamin A receptors, thus absorbs retinol based products when they are applied on the skin. Once absorbed, Retinol stimulates the production of collagen and helps improve the skin structure.
Retinol is also proven to be effective in treating cystic acne and exfoliating the skin to unclog skin pores.
Types of Retinol Skin Care Products
Vitamin A based anti-aging skin care products can be classified in two categories – Prescription strength products and Over-the-counter products.
Prescription strength products contain ingredients like Tretinoin, which is very effective in diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and thereby improving the skin quality.
Over-the-counter products contain relatively milder ingredients like Retinol and can be effective enough to reduce wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Apart from this, it also enhances the skin tone and makes the skin more smooth and supple.
Working of Retinol Skin Care Products
Our skin has a supporting layer of collagen and elastin fibers within the skin surface. As we grow old, these fibers get damaged by factors like sun exposure, environmental pollutants, and prolonged use of cosmetics to neme a few.. Asa result, the skin loses it elasticity and develops wrinkles and fine lines.
Retinol is a small molecule that penetrates the skin surface and repairs the damaged collagen and elastin fibers. When the collagen and elastin levels of the skin are revitalized, the skin regains its vitality and elasticity. As a result, the skin becomes smooth and supple. Wrinkles and fine lines also get diminished and the skin looks younger.
Side Effects of Retinol Skin Care Products
Retinol based anti aging skin care products are generally very safe to use. However, there can be slight itchiness and skin redness in some people. This is perfectly normal and just shows that the product is working. These side effects will subside in a couple of days as the skin gets used to it.
One thing that you should note is that Retinol increases the skins sensitivity to sunlight. Therefore avoid prolonged sun exposure. Also, make sure you wear sunscreen when you venture out in the sun.
Tips for Using Retinol Skin Care Products
The best time to apply retinol based skin care products is in the evening or at night before going to bed. This minimizes the risk of undue sun exposure as these products tend to increase the sensitivity of the skin to sun. If at all you need to use Retinol skin care products in the day time, make sure you wear a sunscreen along with it.
Never overuse or use more than the prescribed quantity of Retinol based skin care products, especially the prescription strength ones. Overuse may cause irritations and lead to burning sensations on the skin.
Avoid using Retinol skin care products when you are using other skin care products that contain alpha hydroxy acids and benzoyl peroxide. If you combine Retinol with these, it may fail to be effective.
Some Product Suggestions:
iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum – It is revolutionary skin care formulation that contains 15% Vitamin C, 1% Vitamin E and 1% Retinol combined with powerful antioxidants and olive leaf extracts. The serum heals the skin and improves its integrity in addition to enhancing the skin texture and preventing damage by the ultraviolet radiations of sunlight. It also contains 0.5% of Kojic acid that evens out skin pigmentation and prevents the occurrence of acne. The zinc sulfate contents in the serum helps reduce inflammations.
Obagi Tretinoin Cream (.025%, .05% and .1%) - Obagi Tretinoin Cream stimulates cell turnover and is a derivative of Vitamin A and the active ingredient in Retin-A. It is used to treat acne and scaly skin problems as well as has anti-aging benefits to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Dr. Marilynn Syrett is a graduate from Western University of Health Sciences. She has authored several articles about antiaging skin care products including many from Obagi and iS Clinical range of skin care products.