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By Raja Mudad

5 Main Benefits Of Retinol For Your Skin

The skincare world changes often and quickly, and even the skincare-obsessed among us sometimes have trouble following it all. Only a handful of ingredients with scientifically backed-up benefits remain for decades, and that is how you know you’ve run into something worth trying out.

Retinol is at the very top of this short list. Benefits of retinol for acne, fine lines and dark spots are well known among dermatologists, celebrities and influencers, and they recommend it all the time. If you’ve never used it before, you are missing out on a lot, as retinol serums and creams can help you truly transform your skin, make it smooth, even and youthful, and target many common imperfections. 

What is Retinol?

Before we get into all the benefits of retinol and how exactly it can help your skin, let’s first see what this potent ingredient even is.

Retinol is one of the most popular retinoids - derivatives of vitamin A. You can find it in many different types of products, but mostly in those intended to clear the complexion, reduce acne breakouts, treat wrinkles and fine lines, fade dark spots and brighten a dull complexion.

Vitamin A’s more potent form - retinoic acid (better known as Tretinoin or Retin-A) can only be found in prescription formulas. That is because, though it gives impressive results, retinoic acid is very strong. It often causes side effects such as dryness and extensive flakiness.

But, when retinol is applied to the skin, it needs specialized enzymes found in the skin to convert to retinoic acid. The whole process takes time and it happens gradually. That makes retinol milder and much less likely to cause side effects than Retin-A.

You should still try to slowly introduce it to your routine and help your skin get used to it before taking out the big guns. For example, you can start with 0.25 strength retinol 2 to 3 times a week, then gradually increase both strength and frequency if no side effects show up. 

5 Main Benefits of Retinol for Your Skin

There are many reasons why you should add a nice quality retinol serum or night cream to your skincare routine. Here, we are going to mention only some ways this incredible ingredient can help you get that smooth, youthful complexion we all dream of.

1.     Retinol Promotes Skin Cell Turnover

Skin cells turn over naturally as a part of the skin regeneration process. Your skin sheds old, dead cells and produces new, fresh, healthy ones to replace the old layer.

However, this process slows down as we age, which is why it takes longer for the skin to repair and renew itself. But, retinol encourages the skin to produce new cells at a faster rate, which has are juvenating effect.

Retinoids somewhat exfoliate the skin, by helping it to get rid of dry, dull patches. Because of this, they also help your skin absorb other products faster and that way they enhance your whole skincare routine.

2.     It Increases Collagen Production

One of the greatest benefits of retinol for your skin is that, unlike most cosmetic ingredients that claim the same, retinol can encourage the skin to produce more collagen. It also reduces the breakdown of collagen.

Collagen is a protein our body naturally produces. In skin, its main role is to keep the skin plump, smooth and supple. But aging skin produces less and less collagen and elastin, which leads to wrinkles and sagging skin.

By maintaining optimal levels of collagen, retinol improves the texture of your skin. It keeps it smooth, soft, radiant and youthful.

3.     You Can Use It To Minimize Aging Signs

Retinol is by far and without a doubt one of the best anti-aging ingredients ever, period. It is one of the rare ones that can truly make changes in your skin’s texture instead of just polishing its appearance.

Many dermatologists recommend that you add retinol to your routine as early as your mid-twenties. That is because retinol works great in preventive skin care, although it also helps reduce already existing damage.  Retinol helps with preventing and reducing fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet and aging spots.

4.     Retinol Can Help You Clear Acne

Many people start using retinol as early as their teenage years to help clear out that stubborn teenage acne. Adult breakouts are also very common, and often even harder to get rid of. And just like with wrinkles, retinol might be your best option.

Whether we are talking about cysts, pimples, blackheads or whiteheads, retinol can help reduce and sometimes even completely get rid of your acne. It helps clear your pores by removing dead skin cells, decreases oil production, and it fights acne-causing bacteria. Retinol is also anti-inflammatory, which can help soothe the often inflamed acne-prone skin.

Also, by stimulating collagen production, retinol can help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and post-acne scars.

5.     It Fades Discolorations And Other Imperfections

Another benefit of retinol and the reason why many people love it so much is that it can help fade skin discolorations such as sunspots and post-acne marks. It is practically necessary for treating sun-damaged skin - yet another way it contributes to youthful looking skin.

All this leads to a brighter, more youthful looking complexion. It diminishes dull, uneven appearance, smooths the skin’s surface and enhances a healthy glow.

Whatever your skin concern is, there’s a good chance retinol can help with it. Just listen to skin professionals - start with it slowly and use only the strength your skin can tolerate. And you’ll get to enjoy all the wonderful changes retinol can make in your skin in only a few short months!