Retinol is a form of retinoid

Retinol is a form of retinoid

Retinol is a form of retinoid, which are derivatives of vitamin A. Retinol is commonly used in cosmetics as an anti-aging ingredient or exfoliant. Its frequent use in skincare products is due to its ability to send messages to most skin cells, resulting in a powerful effect and noticeable results on the skin.

What is retinol and why should you use it in your skincare routine? The effects of retinol, being a flagship active ingredient for years, are well-established, particularly for reducing signs of aging such as skin firmness, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, and even exfoliating the skin and shrinking pores.

Discover our comprehensive guide to learn why you should use retinol, how to integrate it into your skincare routine, which retinol products to adopt, and how often to use them.

What are the main benefits of retinol?

  • Anti-aging benefits: By improving cell turnover and increasing collagen production, retinol provides firmness and density to the face while softening fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin texture. Its exfoliating function also helps combat brown spots for a more even and radiant complexion.

  • Preventative benefits for pigmentation: Retinol accelerates cell turnover and cleanses the skin, primarily by opening pores and regulating sebum production, and secondarily by smoothing the skin texture to minimize pores and combat the marks left by imperfections.

Overall, the main benefits of retinol on the skin include:

  • Smoothing the skin and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Tightening the skin by stimulating collagen, fibroblasts, and elastin to help maintain its structure.
  • Even out skin tone and fade dark spots and acne scars by exfoliating and thickening the skin for a brighter complexion.
  • Shrinking pores and regulating sebum.

How does retinol work on the skin?

When applied to the skin, retinol works both on the surface and deep within. On the surface, it has a positive effect by stimulating cell turnover, similar to an exfoliating agent, as it removes dead cells and promotes the formation of new ones. However, it is not strictly a peeling agent. By improving cell turnover, retinol has a significant impact on the skin's appearance: reducing brown spots, providing a smoother and softer skin, and minimizing pore size.

Additionally, it achieves a deeper effect by penetrating into the deeper layers of the skin to send messages to cells. Not only does it command cells to renew themselves faster for a healthier and younger look, but it also stimulates the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and fibroblasts necessary for maintaining the skin's structure. Thus, the skin becomes smoother, wrinkles and fine lines diminish, and the skin regains firmness and elasticity for a younger-looking face!

To tolerate retinol, the skin generally needs to create "retinoid receptors." These receptors are proteins naturally found in the skin that assist in retinol's action. With controlled use, the skin can build retinoid receptors, so it is often recommended to start with low concentrations of retinol products and gradually increase them.

Different types of retinol

Retinol belongs to a family called retinoids, which are A-vitamin types that help increase and accelerate cell cycle, effectively even out skin tone, and soften damage caused during skin aging. The most potent effects of retinoids work on collagen! Retinoids have a dual effect here: they help reduce the amount of collagen broken down by sun exposure and stimulate the production of new collagen.

Retinoic acid is a type of retinoid sold by prescription in forms such as isotretinoin or tretinoin, which presents the greatest risk of skin irritation.

Retinol is the most potent retinoid available over the counter. Despite being very effective, retinol is about 20% weaker than retinoic acid and is gradually converted to retinoic acid by the skin. This also means that the skin irritation caused by retinol is less than that caused by retinoic acid.

Retinyl palmitate, retinyl propionate, and retinyl acetate are the mildest retinoids, also known as retinyl esters. Their conversion to retinoic acid takes longer and carries minimal risk of skin irritation.

Microencapsulated Retinol: Some forms of retinol offer microencapsulation, which helps stabilize retinol for maximum effectiveness. Microencapsulated retinol also creates an invisible barrier on the skin surface to help reduce moisture loss necessary to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.