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Once in awhile a new trend will come along in skincare that almost every dermatologist can agree on. The use of retinol is one of those things and I recently jumped on the bandwagon in hopes of experiencing some of the benefits that this magical ingredient boasts. Retinol is another name for Vitamin A. It has been scientifically proven that when retinol comes into contact with the skin, enzymes in the body convert it to retinoic acid, which is the active form of the vitamin. There are many benefits and uses for retinol including:
- Increasing collagen production
- Prevention of fine lines and wrinkles
- Treating acne
- Fading sun and acne spots
Because of the amount of research and proven benefits of retinol, there are many product options available. I recommend setting up an appointment with your dermatologist to see if retinol is something that you should consider. The most popular prescription based retinol is Retin-A or the generic form Tretinoin. Prescription retinols are the purest form you can get and they vary in strength. Typically your doctor will start you off with a lower dose to give your skin time to adjust to it. The prescription formulas are strong, so you will probably experience symptoms of dry skin, peeling and irritation while your skin gets used to it. This can be challenging because it can take about a month for your skin to adjust and before you start to see any of the benefits mentioned above. If you have really sensitive skin or don't want to go the dermatologist route, there are many over-the-counter products that contain retinol. My advice is to take a good look at the ingredients and make sure that you are buying a product with a high percentage of retinol otherwise you most likely will not see the results you desire.
I recently tried prescription Retinol and it really gave my skin a hard time. I peeled bad and got super dry. Because I had these side effects, I could only use the product about 2x per week which means I was slow to see any results. Recently I saw an article about ReSurface which is a retinol-based product by celebrity esthetician Shani Darden. It contains 5% retinol, but has other skin soothing ingredients that don't cause irritation. After using this for about a month, I have seen a lot of improvement to the texture and tone of my skin. I have started to incorporate it into my nightly skincare routine every day of the week! To help you out, I have picked out some over the counter products that have a high percentage of retinol in them as well as the products I am currently using. Let me know what you think after trying them!