Retinol, which is derived from vitamin A, is a powerful anti-aging ingredient found in many of today’s skincare products. Retinol increases cell turnover to improve skin health, and to help reverse acne and visible signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
Retinol is most commonly used by older men and women who wish to maintain and achieve a more youthful-looking appearance, but the best time to start using retinol is during your 20s before signs of aging start to appear. Using retinol early can help prevent signs of aging, and help your skin maintain elasticity so fine lines and wrinkles are less prominent later in life.
Here’s what you need to know about using retinol to reduce signs of aging.
Why you should start using retinol in your 20s
Retinol helps clear existing acne, and prevents fine lines and wrinkles from developing as you become older. While you may spend plenty of time in the sun in your 20s without seeing the effects of sun damage, problems such as hyperpigmentation and wrinkles will show up years later unless you start using retinol.
Where to find retinol
Retinol skincare products are available over the counter or can be prescribed by your doctor. OTC retinol products are often just as effective as prescription retinol products, but are far more gentle and may take longer to produce results. Prescription retinol is significantly stronger and may cause irritation, which is why these products can be obtained only from your doctor.
Try using Anti-Wrinkle Retinox by ClearChoice to exfoliate dead skin cells, reduce dark circles, and restore your skin’s elasticity. Vitamin A is also naturally found in most poultry, fish, fruits, and vegetables; eating these foods will help you obtain youthful-looking skin from the inside out.
How to get started with retinol
Since retinol is an exfoliating agent, limit use to every other night in the beginning to lower the risk of irritation, which can appear as redness, itchiness, peeling, and burning. If your skin starts reacting adversely to retinol, use the product less frequently or as directed by your doctor. If using prescription-strength retinol, use only a pea-sized amount for your entire face to avoid these side effects.
Protect your face from the sun
Retinol is sensitive to sunlight, which is why most retinol products are designed for use at night before going to bed. If you apply retinol products during the day, wear a wide-brimmed hat or protect your face from direct sunlight to avoid negating the effects of your skincare routine.
Use retinol with daily moisturizer
If your skin is prone to dryness and irritation when using retinol, apply a moisturizer before applying retinol. This helps keep your skin hydrated, and reduces the risk for redness, burning, and other forms of irritation triggered by retinol use. Try using Hydrating Masque plus Night Therapy by ClearChoice under retinol to help your skin retain its moisture throughout treatment.
Follow retinol safety guidelines
Avoid using retinol when pregnant or breastfeeding, since some oral retinol products can increase the risk for birth defects and health complications in infants. Also, avoid using skincare products that contain alpha hydroxy acids and benzoyl peroxide, since these ingredients can deactivate retinoids and cancel out the effects of your skincare treatment.
Searching for effective skincare treatments that help reverse signs of aging? Discuss your skincare needs with one of our experienced aestheticians at Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers to find out which aesthetic services and treatments are right for you. Request your no-cost consultation today!
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on September 18, 2017