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INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: RETINOL
One of the most widely researched and proven skincare ingredients available today, retinol has been shown to help improve the visible effects of aging. This potent ingredient helps promote cell turnover to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. Formulated with pure retinol and bisabolol (derived from chamomile), SkinCeuticals retinol creams are designed to ensure maximum efficacy while minimizing the irritation commonly associated with the use of retinol cream.
WHAT IS RETINOL?
A form of vitamin A and a type of retinoid, retinol (or retinoic acid) is clinically proven to improve the appearance of aging skin , acne , and skin discoloration . A cream with retinol helps promote cell turnover to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles , and skin discoloration . When applied to the skin, retinol is converted to retinoic acid and is often considered a more tolerable way to reap to a lesser extent the benefits associated with an over-the-counter or prescription-based retinoid cream.
WHAT KIND OF RETINOL SHOULD I USE?
The terms “retinol cream” and “retinoid cream” are often used interchangeably, however it’s important to understand the difference. Retinol is a type of retinoid, and the main difference between a retinol cream and retinoid cream is potency, which is related to the amount of “conversion” required within the skin to reap these ingredients’ benefits. The ultimate goal of applying any retinol or retinoid cream is providing the skin with retinoic acid. Retinoids deliver retinoic acid directly to the skin, while retinol is biologically converted to retinoic acid by the skin after application.
CAN I USE RETINOL CREAM EVERY NIGHT?
If it’s your first time using retinol or you’ve taken a break for a while, it’s best to limit initial retinol cream use to one or two nights per week. You can gradually increase frequency to every other night, and then apply retinol creams every night as tolerated. Once the skin “adjusts,” you can comfortably use a cream with retinol daily as part of your evening skincare regimen.
IS RETINOL CREAM OR SERUM BETTER?
The main difference between a retinol cream and a retinol serum is that a cream with retinol is more likely to be formulated with additional ingredients that provide extra skin benefits. SkinCeuticals retinol creams can be used as the serum step of your evening skincare regimen, but they also offer a skin-calming complex of bisabolol derived from the chamomile plant and frankincense-derived Boswellia serrata extract to optimize skin comfort.
CAN I PUT MOISTURIZER OVER RETINOL CREAM?
You can and should use moisturizer after applying retinol cream. Retinol can cause mild flaking and redness for up to four weeks after starting as the skin adapts, but an effective moisturizer can help minimize these side effects. SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 has been shown to shorten the adjustment period to retinol and retinoid cream by up to one week while reducing dryness.
ARE RETINOL CREAMS SAFE TO USE DURING PREGNANCY?
Retinol and retinoid creams are not recommended during pregnancy. If you’re expecting, it’s best to consult a physician or skincare professional who can suggest retinol cream alternatives that will continue to address your skin concerns until baby arrives (and you are not breastfeeding).
WHAT INGREDIENTS SHOULD BE AVOIDED WHEN USING RETINOL CREAMS?
When using a cream with retinol, it’s important to consider other ingredients in your skincare regimen. Although vitamin C and retinol should not be layered, you can safely and effectively use vitamin C in the morning and apply a retinol cream in the evening. It’s also best to avoid combining exfoliating acids and retinol in the same skincare session to minimize irritation—so limit acid use to the morning since retinol creams are best applied in the evening.
CAN I USE A RETINOL CREAM AND VITAMIN C TOGETHER?
You can incorporate vitamin C and retinol into your skincare regimen, but not at the same time. Vitamin C antioxidant serums are ideal for morning use since they help provide a shield against the damage caused by environmental aggressors the skin encounters throughout the day. Retinol creams are recommended for evening use since this skin-rejuvenating ingredient can be degraded by sunlight and make the skin more prone to photosensitivity.
CAN RETINOL CREAMS HELP WITH ACNE?
Studies have shown that retinol is beneficial for acne-prone skin. A cream with retinol helps increase skin-cell turnover, which ultimately reduces the buildup of dead skin cells. With fewer dead cells on the surface of the skin, pores are less likely to become clogged. Retinol creams provide chemical exfoliation, which may be less irritating than the physical or mechanical exfoliation associated with facial scrubs.
However, as with any topical skincare products that target acne, it can take time to see results. Be sure to follow the recommendations of your skincare professions when using retinol and any other blemish-fighting products . If retinol cream is part of your skincare regimen, it’s imperative to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen daily, rain or shine. SkinCeuticals offers several non-comedogenic, oil-free sunscreen formulations that deliver a high level of UVA/UVB protection without clogging pores.
CAN I USE RETINOL CREAM IN THE SUN?
Retinol has an exfoliating effect on the skin, which can make the skin more sensitive to the sun and potential UV damage. It’s best to use retinol creams in the evening and avoid unprotected sun exposure while using this ingredient. It’s also important to finish your morning skincare routine with a broad spectrum sunscreen every morning while using creams with retinol.