Retinoids are substances derived from vitamin A that are used in skin care. Retinol, which is one form of retinoid, is easily incorporated into creams that are available over the counter or online, and has a long list of applications ranging from anti-aging to fighting acne.
However, there aren’t many people who are aware of retinol creams, and for those who do know about them, there may be some misconceptions preventing them exploring the healing benefits of these products. Listed below are 5 quick facts about retinol creams:
1. They Have Rejuvenating Qualities
Retinol cream are almost unmatched in their ability to rejuvenate skin that’s been damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet light. The retinol stimulates the body to shed dead, dry skin cells, and produce new, healthy ones and move them to the surface of the skin quickly. This helps smooth out wrinkles, clear acne and correct other problems with the skin such as uneven pigmentation.
2. They Should Be Yellowish In Appearance
Retinol is bright yellow in color, so any good retinol cream will be some shade of yellow, or what many describe as a “tinted yellow”.
If your retinol cream is white in color, that usually means it lacks enough retinol to actually improve your skin, either because the retinol has already broken down or there was never enough in it to begin with.
3. They Are Quite Gentle
Retinoids can be irritating to the skin, but when they are placed in creams, the irritation that they cause is lessened. This is because most retinol creams are mixed with other ingredients to blunt any irritating effect they might have on the skin. Still, it is recommended that users start with a small amount and increase the dosage gradually until they can tolerate full strength.
Being placed in a cream might make retinol a bit less absorbable which renders it less powerful than other types of retinoids, however, cosmetics researchers are looking for ways to make retinol creams penetrate more deeply into the skin and become more potent.
4. Retinol Creams Aren’t Very Expensive
Though high-end retinol creams made by luxury brands can be pricey, this isn’t the case with most creams made by less well-known brands. Some very good retinol creams can be had for less than $20 but ensure that they’re housed in aluminum containers to protect them from light and air.
Retinol creams that are placed in translucent jars tend to oxidize and lose their potency fairly quickly.
5. They Work Best At Night
Applying your retinol cream during the daytime, especially if you’re going out into the sun, can do more harm than good for your skincare goals. This is because the new skin cells that retinol helps to bring forth will be extremely delicate and therefore, quite vulnerable to the sun’s uv rays.
Sunlight and air also break down the actual retinol in the cream, rendering it less effective. Of course, in order to use the retinol, it must be exposed to air, but what we can control is the sun exposure so it should only be used at night.
6. Retinol Creams Can be Bought Over-the-Counter
Many types of retinoids need a prescription from the patient’s general physician or from their dermatologist. On the other hand, there are many brands of retinol creams that can be bought over-the-counter like any other kind of face cream.
7. It Takes Time
A person who uses retinol creams should see results after about four to six months. Fine wrinkles will soften, acne clears up, and areas of uneven pigmentation become smoother and clearer.
8. Pregnant Women Should Not Use Retinoids
Retinoids should never be taken by pregnant women. Oral retinoids such as tretinoin are notorious for causing birth defects. Though topical creams haven’t been seen to result in birth defects since they don’t penetrate very deeply into the body, it is still a good idea to discontinue them during pregnancy.
Do you incorporate any retinol creams into your skincare routine? Do you use it for anti-aging or for acne treatment?
*This is a collaborative post.