Retinols are ingredients in skincare products that contain a Vitamin A derivative of the molecule retinoic acid (also known as tretinoin). It is technically a type of retinoid. Retinoids commonly found in over-the-counter skincare products include retinol, retinoic acid (low strengths), retinyl palmitate, and others. There are many chemical derivatives of retinol and some are “stronger” than others for their affinity to the retinoic receptor in the nucleus of the cell. Retinol is the alcohol version of retinoic acid and it is much stronger and more effective compared to retinyl palmitate. These are both milder versions compared to prescription versions of retinoic acid or tretinoin.
The Science Behind Retinol for Acne and Fine Lines
One of the best treatment ingredients for acne, fine lines, and wrinkles, retinol increases the cellular turnover rate of keratinocytes. As a result, the cells found on the outermost layer of the skin (stratum corneum) are shed in a regular, ordered, and systematic fashion. This regulated shedding process makes the skin appear smooth, hydrated, and more light-reflective (basically sheen and dewy). Retinol also exfoliates older keratinocytes which helps keratin plugs or unclog pores. With long term usage, retinol can also help induce collagen production in the dermis and inhibit the endogenous breakdown for collagen.
Retinol is therefore one of the key ingredients to use in any skincare regimen. It is one of the most researched and proven actives in dermatology and almost all dermatologists believe in the science of retinoic acid as a key player for acne and anti-aging.
Dr. Zenovia’s Advanced Retinol Night Repair Treatment features highly concentrated All-Trans-Retinol Technology. This alcohol version of the powerful retinoic acid helps support collagen synthesis and deeply penetrates the epidermis through a unique micro-polymer delivery system to support cellular turnover. This micro-polymer delivery system is key in stabilizing this delicate molecule making it both penetrable and giving it a slow, steady absorption. This mindful chemistry was purposeful and allows for amplified cellular turnover without the typical flaking and drying nature of most retinols. Enhanced with Dr. Zenovia’s signature REG-ulate360 Complex™, this treatment works synergistically with a powerful Antioxidant Complex to help protect the skin’s barrier and tolerate the powerful retinol without irritation. The appearance of acne, acne scars, texture, and tone is visibly improved.
Dr. Zenovia’s Retinol Recovery Eye Cream targets signs of hormonal aging around the delicate eye area. The medical-grade formulation is infused with an advanced micro-polymer, time-released All-Trans-Retinol technology, and 90% Green Tea Polyphenols. These powerful coupled ingredients allow for a synergistic effect to give the delicate eye area powerful retinol without irritation because the potent antioxidants additives calm the skin and add calming benefits.
Benefits of Retinol for Acne and Fine Lines
Some of the long term benefits of using retinol include a reduction in acne, an increase in skin brightness and evenness of tone, and the smoothing of fine lines and wrinkles. Yes, it sounds too good to be true but retinols are absolutely key in medical-grade skincare if you’re lacking the ‘meat and potatoes’ of research-proven, great skincare.
Helps Treat Acne
Retinol helps regulate sebum production and keeps the pores from clogging, preventing the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts. All these issues are due to unregulated shedding and desquamation, resulting in an uneven skin tone and congested skin.
Fights Fine Lines & Wrinkles
As we age, cell regeneration slows down which causes the skin to appear dry, dull, and wrinkled. By speeding up cellular turnover, retinol helps the body create a fresh layer of skin faster, smoothing, and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, retinols slow down the aging process by inhibiting endogenous collagen breakdown enzymes. You, therefore, get a collagen-boosting effect when using retinols regularly. Add copy in red.
Retinol exfoliates the skin on a cellular level, helping to brighten and smooth the complexion. Because retinols are known to inhibit pigment production pathways in the skin, long term usage can help even out the skin tone and fade sunspots, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation.
How to Use Retinol
Dr. Zenovia recommends using retinols at night. Since retinols can be drying, it’s important to follow up with an effective moisturizer that keeps the skin hydrated and the skin barrier protected. Dr. Zenovia’s Peptide + Ceramide Repairing Moisturizer, ideal for even the most sensitive skin on retinoid treatment, contains a unique combination of bio-equivalent ceramides, potent humectants, and emollients to help attract, retain, and distribute moisture to fortify the skin’s protective barrier and combat dryness for a glowing, radiant complexion.
Retinol can make the skin extra sensitive to the sun. Remember to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every morning to protect against sunburn and discolorations. Dr. Zenovia’s Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30 provides transparent nano zinc-oxide mineral protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays, free radical damage, and environmental stress. Clinical grade Vitamin C-Ester visibly helps minimize the appearance of dark spots, discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles associated with photoaging.
Retinol Tips for Beginners
Dr. Zenovia recommends that you begin incorporating retinol into your skincare routine as a teenager. Introduce a pea-sized amount of a retinol treatment two nights a week, combining it with a moisturizer and applying it all over the face (not just as a spot treatment).
Retinol Side Effects
If you experience dryness, redness, or peeling take a break for a few days. Then try to incorporate this ingredient slowly into your routine once the skin calms down by mixing it with a moisturizer or water and using it less frequently.
If you suffer from atopic dermatitis or sensitive-skin rosacea you may want to help your underlying skin condition first, before introducing retinols. Retinol can cause dermatitis, especially if overused or if you have sensitive skin. Retinol does not cause acne but can lead to a “rash”. Dr. Zenovia loves retinols but warns that you need to work this ingredient slowly into your regimen in order to tolerate it.
Note from Dr. Zenovia: It’s important to note that you will not see overnight results with retinol. It may take up to two months of consistent application to see a reduction in acne, fine lines, and dark spots.