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Retinol and Retinoids: 6 Things to Know Before Using

Ah, retinol. When it comes to fighting fine lines and maintaining a healthy glow, there’s no ingredient in skincare more lauded. Ironically? Despite being a staple at drugstores, department store counters and dermatologists’ offices, this revolutionary youth-enhancing active ingredient remains inexplicable. As such, it is often underused or misused.

What is Retinol?

To bring it back to basics, retinol, along with other retinoids such as retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate, are essentially derivatives of vitamin A, the vitamin A is one of the body’s key nutrients for promoting cell renewal. “It’s added to topical skin care products to promote skin renewal, brighten the complexion, reduce acne and boost collagen production,” explains New York City-based dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD. “It also acts like an antioxidant, helping to address free radical damage that can lead to visible signs of aging.” According to dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD, it’s an ingredient that’s omnipotent in dermatology, Be it cosmetically or medically. “I consider it the gold standard in skincare and often explain to my patients how it clears away dead skin cells, clogged pores, and dull skin,” she explains.

Here, experts break down how to carefully incorporate powerful ingredients into your regimen for a supernaturally fresh complexion now and for decades to come.

From mid

s or earlys

30 has long been a banner year for introducing retinol into daily routines, but many women start before then because of early signs of aging such as sun spots or crows feet, or simply the desire to be on the dermatologist’s Take a closer look to stay one step ahead and take advantage of the latest technology. “Your twenties are a great time to start using retinol,” says Ellen Marmur, M.D. “Many patients who have used it for years swear by it.”

PCA Skin Retinol Sensitive Skin Treatment

U Beauty Resurfacing Compound

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Shani Darden Skin Care Retinol Reformation

Kate Somerville + Retinol Vitamin C Moisturizer

Slowly and gently integrates retinol

” Balance is critical,” Powe warned. “Retinol can be very harsh if used too often or if the formula is too strong for your skin.” She recommends starting with a low-percentage, pea-sized over-the-counter formula (.% to 0.)), and “use twice a week, slowly increasing the amount to give the skin a chance to acclimatize.” Additionally, you should exfoliate Skip the retinol product the day before (Bowe recommends exfoliating 2 to 3 times a week). “Exfoliation is abrasive and irritating, and you don’t want to aggravate skin irritation by increasing the sensitivity of the skin,” she says, adding that if you’re undergoing certain in-office treatments, such as lasers, microneedling, microdermabrasion , you’ll want to take a break from your retinol. In the spirit of not overdoing it, there’s a ton of new extended-release formulas for redness- or acne-prone skin types. “They’re a great option for people with sensitive skin,” explains Fusco. “Over time, it releases the active ingredients and may be less irritating.” Prescription retinol, which contains more retinol, works better than over-the-counter retinol, says Bowe. Over time, people may get used to it.

La Roche-Posay Redermic R Retinol Cream

SkinMedica Anti-Aging Retinol Complex.

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Marie Veronique Gentle Retinol Night Serum

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Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

Be aware of serious side effects

While some side effects, such as mild irritation, dryness, and sun sensitivity, are normal as your skin adapts to the active ingredients, but severe flaking, redness, and burning are not — and those with particularly sensitive skin, or those with conditions like rosacea or eczema, should be wary of retinol or avoid it altogether. “If you can’t tolerate retinol, don’t worry,” says Marmur. “It’s not the only antiaging agent! There are so many amazing antiaging ingredients, such as wild indigo, that work really well without any irritation or sun sensitivity.”

Lancer Advanced Retinol Treatment

Algenist Elevate Advanced Retinol Serum

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Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum

CeraVe Skin Renewal Retinol Serum

use only at night With retinol, wear SPF

every day and many of these do break down when exposed to UV rays,” explains Bowe. “So retinoids in the morning may be less effective, and high-quality retinoids can be very expensive. That’s why I recommend using retinol or retinal (my personal favorite retinoid, it is is x times more bioavailable at night than retinol.” For proper sun protection, Bowe recommends diligent use of a daily broad-spectrum SPF or higher during the day. Also, when using retinol, you should always be mindful of the weather Forecast and travel to hot regions. Fusco warns: “It should not be used during seasons or holidays when people are exposed to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.”

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Cream

La Prairie Cellular Power Charge Night Treatment

110 Mulla De Retinol Youth Renewal Night

Image may contain: Cosmetics Eve Lom Time Retreat Intensive Night Cream

Don’t stay on your face

When using a retinol-infused elixir, don’t neglect your neck or décolletage, areas that are notorious for showing signs of aging but are often overlooked. “If these areas are too sensitive for your current formula, add a drop of ceramide-rich moisturizer before applying, or opt for an individual retinoid made specifically for the area,” says Bowe. “They usually have lower doses of vitamin A, zero fragrance and a lot of pacifiers.”

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SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair

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PhD. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic Acid + Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Repair Ov Night Serum


L’Oréal Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum Liquid Contains 0.3% Pure Retinol



2499567820127372 Mara Evening Primrose + Green Tea Seaweed Retinol Oil


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