When it comes to reversing signs of aging, retinol is often cited as the go-to ingredient of choice, but what exactly is it? Retinol is a vitamin A by-product that unclogs pores, boosts collagen to reduce fine lines, and speeds cell turnover, evening out discoloration and smoothing the skin—sometimes with results in as little as four weeks.
1. Retinol can help prevent signs of premature aging. Early use of products will help to combat fine lines before they become noticeable.
• Recommendation: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare™ Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution
• “Retinol is one of the top anti-agers. By adding ferulic acid in my formula, I have managed to make retinol work even better. Retinol firms the skin, adds radiance and luminosity and gives skin a younger appearance. Ferulic acid allows the retinol to work even deeper into the skin while promoting collagen production (which counters wrinkles and fine lines). Together it is an incredible combination.” ~Dr. Dennis Gross
2. Retinol improves more than just wrinkles. It also improves skin tone, signs of sun damage and pore size.
• Beauty Stylist Victoria Levy (Downtown Seattle) recommends Kate Somerville RetAsphere: “It’s gentle but extremely effective in stimulating cell turnover and evening out skin tone as well as texture. In this lightweight cream the retinol is blended with hyaluronic acid so that it is moisturizing and plumping as well—it’s an amazing multitasking night treatment!”
3. Retinol products can be safely used on sunny days. You don’t have to forgo retinol’s anti-aging benefits during daytime hours. A formula containing SPF 30 will provide adequate protection from the sun’s rays.
• Recommendation: Peter Thomas Roth ‘Retinol Fusion AM’ Moisturizer SPF 30
4. Retinol tackles acne. Retinol’s exfoliating benefits can help treat acne. That’s because dead skin cells can clog pores and contribute to acne. By getting rid of dead skin cells, retinol improves and prevents breakouts.
• Beauty Stylist Victoria Levy (Downtown Seattle) recommends philosophy’s ‘help me’ line. The original product is a creamy night treatment designed to gradually release retinol for gentle and effective exfoliation on skin that is already damaged and in need of a little TLC. More recently, the brand introduced a ‘help me’ SPF 30 for daytime use, a fantastic option for those with hard-to-treat skin concerns (acne, cystic acne, blackheads) as it allows for around-the-clock smoothing and brightening while providing the high SPF retinol use requires to prevent increased hyperpigmentation.
5. Retinol can be part of regimen regardless of your skin type or age. Slowly build up your tolerance by applying a product containing retinol every other day. Once your skin adjusts to this effective ingredient, you’ll be able to incorporate it into a daily skincare regimen.
• Beauty Stylist Brian Dean (Downtown Seattle) recommends StriVectin®-AR Advanced Retinol Night Treatment: “I sell this one to the customer looking specifically for a retinol. StriVectin combines retinol with their Niacin technology, so brightening and softening are big contenders with this product. Good for every age and skin type, though I often pair this with another moisturizer for the drier skin type.”