What is Retinol

What is Retinol

Retinol is a form of retinoid that is derivatives of vitamin A. It is very often used in cosmetics where retinol is used as an anti-aging ingredient or exfoliating agent.

Especially since it has the ability to send messages to most of the skin cells, which makes it have a powerful effect and visible results on the skin.

What is retinol and why should you use it in your skincare routine?

A flagship active ingredient for years, the effects of retinol no longer need to be proven because of its well-known effects on skin firmness, reduction of fine lines and wrinkles or even skin exfoliation and pore shrinkage.

Explore our complete guide to find out why you should use retinol and how to integrate it into your skincare routine, which retinol products you should adopt and how often.

What are the main benefits of retinol?

• Anti-aging benefits: smoothes fine lines and wrinkles and improves skin texture, while improving cell renewal and increasing collagen production, giving the face firmness and density. The exfoliating function also helps fight brown spots for a more even and radiant skin.

• Anti-blemish benefits: retinol accelerates cell renewal and cleanses the skin: firstly, it unclogs pores and regulates sebum production, and secondly, it smoothes the skin's texture to minimize pores and fight especially against imperfections.

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

• Smoothes the skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

• It tightens the skin by stimulating collagen, fibroblasts and elastin, which help protect the skin's structure.

• Retinol evens out skin tone and fades dark spots and acne scars as it exfoliates and thickens the skin for an even, radiant complexion.

• Shrinks pores and regulates sebum

How does retinol work on the skin?

Retinol works both on the surface and deep when applied to the skin. On the surface, it has a positive effect as it stimulates cell regeneration and thus has an effect similar to the peeling effect as it removes dead cells and creates new ones. However, it is definitely not a peeling agent. By improving cell regeneration, retinol has a great effect on the appearance of the skin: reduction of brown spots, smoother and softer skin, reduced pore size...

It also performs a more in-depth effect as it can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin to send messages to the cells. It not only gives the order to cells to regenerate faster to be healthier and younger, but also stimulates the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid and fibroblasts, which are necessary for the good preservation of the skin structure. Thus, the skin becomes smoother, wrinkles and fine lines are reduced, the skin regains its firmness and elasticity for a younger looking face!

To tolerate retinol, the skin has to form what are often referred to as "retinoid receptors." These receptors are proteins found naturally in the skin that help retinol work. The skin can form retinoid receptors with controlled use, so it is generally recommended to start retinol products at a low concentration and increase gradually.

Different types of retinol

Retinol belongs to a family called retinoids, these are types of vitamin A that help increase and speed up cell turnover, effectively even out skin tone and soften the damage done during skin aging. The strongest effects of retinoids work on collagen! Retinoids have a double 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 prescription retinoid available in forms such as Isotretinoin or Tretinoid that presents the greatest risk of skin irritation.

Retinol is the strongest over-the-counter retinol. Although very effective, Retinol is about 20% weaker than Retinoic Acid and is slowly converted to Retinoic Acid by the skin. This also means that the skin irritation caused by Retinol is less than by Retinoic Acid.

Retinyl Palmitate, Retyl Propionate, and Retinyl Acetate are the mildest retinoids, also known as retinyl esters. They take longer to convert to Retinoic Acid and pose minimal risk of skin irritation.

Microencapsulated Retinol: Some forms of retinol are microencapsulated, which helps stabilize the retinol for maximum effectiveness. Microencapsulated Retinol also creates an invisible shield on the skin's surface to help reduce moisture loss, which is necessary to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.