Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Retinol

by OkayHealthy

Retinol is a vitamin A derivative. Retinol is used in dietary supplements and several skin supplements for different purposes. The use of retinol has gained popularity in recent times after the manufacturing of retinol oils and creams.

Surprising Facts About  Retinol:

1) Anti-aging product:

Retinol is used for the thickening of the skin and controlling the process of collagen degradation in the skin, leading to skin aging.

If retinol is combined with AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids), the results can be better in a few days, yet, it can be used individually for this purpose.

A perception of retinol products to cause thinning of skin is now denied in light of scientific proofs. Instead, now it is believed that retinol is capable of producing slight skin thickness.

2) Anti-acne properties:

As believed and proved through some scientific evidence, retinol is an excellent product for controlling or reversing the aging of the skin, but it can also be used to fight skin acne and pimples.  Retinol products are advised according to individual skin nature.

The most common form of retinol used for anti-acne properties is Tretinoin, which has been a source of a treatment since recent decades.

3) Wrinkle-free skin:

In the field of dermatology and cosmetics, retinol is considered to be the most functional ingredient for rejuvenating skin. Retinol is beneficial in the treatment of wrinkles, fine lines, and chronological aging.

Retinol works by altering the behavior of matured or old dermal and epidermal cells of the skin in a way that they tend to act more youthfully while they preserve and enhance the network of blood vessels for skin support.

Other than fighting wrinkles, retinol can also be used to prevent the formation of wrinkles ahead of time. Some of the dermatologists suggest population in their 20s to incorporate retinol products in their skincare regimen.

4) Doesn’t cause skin cancer:

Regarding retinol products, there is a misconception of skin sensitivity and cancerous growths in the skin. According to Dr. Kraffert (a renowned dermatologist), retinol products can be beneficial in the correction of pre-cancerous cells, slowing down the growth of existing cancer cells and thus decreasing the risk of new cancerous cells in the skin.

Some of the products derived from retinol can make the skin slightly sensitive but not enough to cause cancer development.

5) Pairing with some anti-oxidants or sunscreen:

According to dermatologists, retinoids perform their best if they are combined with some sunscreen of SPF 30 or more. As retinol can make the skin slightly sensitive; therefore, it is better to combine it with some anti-oxidant products to reduce the irritation caused on account of environmental pollution.

6) Avoid smoking while using retinol:

Cigarette smoke contains a large number of polluted particles, which can exacerbate or aggravate the skin sensitivity caused by retinol leading to skin complications and pollution-induced irritation.

7) Water can aggravate skin irritation:

According to a certified dermatologist Dr. Audrey Kunin, you should wait and avoid washing your face with water for at least 30 minutes post-application of retinol of skin.

Before the application of retinol products, you must check for ingredients used in the product as toners, serums, and essences as the water content in these products can cause some additional side-effects of retinol on skin.

8) Use a retinol at night time:

The best way to use retinol advised by a doctor is to use it at night time. Benefits of using retinol at night time are:

Rest and full functional potential of products.

No interruption of the skin by skin exposure, and different harmful elements

Less movement of facial muscles.

9) Don’t use it daily:

In some patients, retinol doesn’t cause skin sensitivity or irritation, but if a person suffers from skin irritation with the frequent use of retinol products, he/she can cut down the use of retinol. Retinol isn’t necessary to be applied daily for results; preferably, it can be used 2 to 3 times a week.

In the winter season, skin already becomes more irritated and sensitive. Therefore, it is suggested to limit the retinol use in winter for preventing the additional complications related to retinol use.

10) Start with the low dose:

Over the counter, retinol products may contain higher concentrations of this ingredient. If a person is a beginner for the use of retinol, he/she must start with the lowest level of retinol as 0.5 percent and gradually increase this concentration.

Products with a 1 percent concentration of retinol are considered to be the most effective products for skincare. Any product is higher in concentration than it can lead to irritation of the skin. Therefore, a test should be performed on any other part of the body before applying it directly on the face to avoid any possible side-effect.


Retinol is the most popular product for skincare, but still, there are some benefits and precautions which should be known by people before using these products for their skincare and rejuvenation.

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