Retinol: Definition, Benefits, How To Use by Facial Lounge

Everything You Need to Know About Retinol

Learn all about the benefits of retinol, the different types of retinoids, how to use and our own retinol product along with other complementary products. P.S. Read to the end for an exclusive discount code for online purchases!

What Is Retinol

Retinol is a form of retinoids, which are a family of compounds derived from Vitamin A. Retinoids come in many forms and vary in application method and strength. Retinol and the rest of the retinoid family help reduce the signs of aging by increasing collagen production in the skin, stimulating the production of new blood vessels, speeding up cellular turnover, and unclogging pores.

Types of Retinoids

Over-the-Counter Retinoids:

Retinol – A great in-between retinoid for individuals who do not want an actual prescription 

Retinoid esters (retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, and retinyl linoleate) – The weakest form of retinoids, good for those with extremely sensitive skin

Adapalene (Differin) – Great for desensitizing the skin to inflammation making it good for both anti-aging and acne.

Prescription Retinoids:

Retinoic acid (retin-A, or tretinoin) – Works faster than retinol, but can cause significant irritation in the skin including redness, itchiness, and drying.

Isotretinoin (Accutane) – An oral medication used for severe acne that requires close medical monitoring; side effects include extreme drying of the skin, lips and hair, sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body; blurred vision, sudden and severe headache or pain behind your eyes, sometimes with vomiting; hearing problems, hearing loss, or ringing in your ears; seizure (convulsions).

Benefits of Retinol & Retinoids

  • Increased collagen production
  • Increased cellular turnover
  • Increased blood flow to the skin
  • Improved elasticity of skin
  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles
  • Prevention of future fine lines and wrinkles
  • Reduced pigmentation and improved skin tone
  • Increased brightness in skin tone
  • Can help reduce acne by clearing pores


How to Use

Start Slow:

For those who have never used retinol or retinoids in the past, doctors and dermatologists recommend starting with over-the-counter products first. Jumping straight to prescription strength retinols can lead to aggressive side effects. Slowly building your tolerance will provide the best results with the least amount of side effects.

Start by applying in the evenings only 2-3 nights a week. Observe how your skin responds. Some redness and dryness in the beginning is normal, but if it is excessive then reduce use to 1-2 nights a week. Once you notice the redness and dryness reducing you can increase the frequency. Retinol and retinoids can be applied every night of the week, but again, this is something that you will need progressively build into while some may stick with less frequent applications.

Always Apply At Night:

Retinol and other retinoids actually begin to breakdown in sunlight making them less effective. To ensure the most potent results, apply these products in the evening before bed.

Less Is More:

A common mistake people make when using retinol or retinoids is applying too much. Most dermatologists recommend only a pea size amount for the entire face each application. Using more than this can lead to increased irritation as well as more money spent on refilling your product sooner than needed!

Buckle In For the Long Haul:

Over-the-counter retinol and retinoids usually take within 3-6 months to see results and prescription brands up to three months. As Dr. Brooke Jackson, dermatologist and associate professor of dermatology at UNC at Chapel Hill, states, “The benefits last for as long as you keep up the routine, as skin doesn’t stop responding, and retinoids haven’t been proven unsafe in prolonged use. (Just be aware that even long-term users may need to take breaks, as retinoids are not considered safe for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding)” (source).

Our Retinol & Other Complimentary products

Apply retinol or retinoid products first after cleansing and follow with serums and moisturizer. Eager to try retinol? Use the discount code below for 25% off our Retinol Resurfacing Night Treatment!

discount code: vitamina

Discount code is valid for online purchases only; one time use per customer.

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