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When it comes to skin care, we take the ingredients very seriously. We need all the tea on oils, serums, gels, washes or any other product, before it becomes part of our skin care routine. With so many products and options on the market, it’s hard to navigate and decipher exactly what works for our skin without careful research – and a lot of trial and error usually occurs.
But what if we told you that there is a vitamin that can target a number of skin care concerns and has a multitude of benefits for every skin type? No, it’s not a hard ingredient to pronounce and yes, it’s easily found in a number of your favorite skin care products formulated by your favorite brands. Retinol, a form of vitamin A, works far beyond just a vitamin that promotes healthy skin, but also has nutritional value inside your body.
Skincare is all about personal care, which is why we spoke with three expert estheticians to demystify all things retinol, to find out exactly what this multifunctional vitamin does and how it can improve the health of our skin. .
What is retinol?
Retinol, also known as a derivative of vitamin A, is an FDA-approved ingredient that, as Lily Njoroge, Head of Education at Topicals explains, is indicated for the treatment of fine lines, wrinkles and skin. ‘acne. It is also proven by anecdotal data to alleviate hyperpigmentation. “Retinol is a precursor to retinoic acid, which is the bioavailable form of vitamin A in our body,” explains Njoroge. “All retinols must convert to retinoic acid through a two-step oxidation process that essentially allows our skin to ‘use’ retinol by making it bioavailable. Once it has become bioavailable, retinol impacts the skin’s keratinocytes, a cell located in the outermost layer of the skin, by increasing proliferation (the rate at which our skin cells multiply) and finally by excreting to reveal new healthy skin cells.
Essence Moore, a licensed esthetician and owner of Lineage Skin and Hair Studio in New York City, reminds us that different retinol products contain retinol in various concentrations and use different delivery systems to improve product effectiveness. Based on the current condition of your skin, you will be able to assess which products work best and choose products with retinol concentrations that exactly match your skin.
What are the benefits of retinol?
Incorporating retinol, or any form of vitamin A into your skin care routine, can benefit your skin in several ways. “Retinol is used to treat skin problems such as acne, hyperpigmentation, and aging skin,” says Moore. Vitamin A is a source of nutrients that can do wonders for your body, inside and out. Certified esthetician and owner of Eve Milan NY, Eden Gilliam, adds that “Vitamin A helps with everything from reproductive health to acne. Retinol, in particular, helps the skin renewal process, thereby improving the texture of the skin.
When it comes to who can benefit from using retinol, the answer is: almost Everybody. Not everyone is a candidate, according to Njoroge, and some of its many advantages might actually be detrimental to some. “For people whose skin is sensitized or whose barriers are weakened, with atrophic skin, eczema and rosacea, retinols can be quite pro-inflammatory and too aggressive on the skin in these cases. If retinol is used in the wrong conditions, it can cause retinoid dermatitis, which can manifest as redness, scaling, burning and stinging, itching, and edema in some more severe cases. “However, that doesn’t mean that not all skin types are eligible for using retinol – you just need to know your skin well enough to know if it is too sensitive to handle such an ingredient. your skin, Eden Gilliam recommends opting for a natural alternative to retinol such as Bakuchiol.
Another added benefit of using retinol is that it is safe and very effective for black skin. “It doesn’t whiten, but it can help improve post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which disproportionately affects colored skin,” adds Njoroge. Gilliam also agrees that retinol works wonderfully with melanated skin and helps relieve skin congestion. “Using retinol is good, we just have to make sure that we are also using a good sunscreen as well as a great moisturizer for the skin. The key to healthy, melanated skin is to find a balance between good exfoliation and good hydration of the skin, ”she concludes. Gilliam’s tip: Pair your retinol products with a great skin moisturizer to maintain a healthy moisture balance. “When it comes to retinol, the key is to start slow and allow your skin to build tolerance.
How to incorporate retinol into your skincare routine?
Retinol can be found in a number of products or forms of concentration depending on the skin issues you are targeting. If you want to introduce retinol into your routine, Njoroge suggests trying the PCA Intensive Brightening Treatment to regulate acne issues or the PCA Intensive Brightening Treatment to target hyperpigmentation and dullness. Plus, Gilliam is saying right now that she loves Shani Darden’s retinol reform.
Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream
Acne Expert Skincare Brightening Cream
Regular * 2% Granactive Retinoid Emulsion