What is this star ingredient that everyone is talking about?

In talking to my dermatologist about the most effective anti-aging ingredients, he told me that retinol is the one that took the prize. You’ve heard more about this ingredient lately, but what does it really do for our skin?

There may not be a panacea for wrinkles yet, but retinol is one of the best alternatives. Derived from vitamin A, this ingredient helps aging cells behave more like young, healthy cells by encouraging them to rebuild more quickly. When cells regenerate at a faster rate, the skin appears smoother and brighter.

This makes retinol a go-to ingredient for preventing collagen breakdown and tackling dark spots, wrinkles, and any type of sun damage. Some types of retinol have been known to be sold by prescription only and others not. What is the difference between these? Well, retinol is the substance found in the skin that is also contained in over-the-counter treatments.


Retin-A is a brand that requires a prescription.

And retinoids is the general term for vitamin A. Generally, this word is associated with forms of vitamin A that are slightly stronger than retinol such as those used to treat conditions such as acute psoriasis. Over-the-counter products contain lower concentrations of retinol. Retin-A has a higher concentration and fewer emollients. Which means that the cream penetrates faster and helps you achieve visible results much faster. In certain cases, the use of retinol causes peeling of the skin. This is because retinol stimulates cells to speed up the rate of renewal, and since our skin is simply not used to cells shifting so quickly, it can become reactive in the form of redness and peeling.

But do not be discouraged if this happens, only if the irritation is too much, then give up. Having some redness, peeling, and dryness is common when starting retinol. But if your skin hurts and is very uncomfortable, better stop and consult your dermatologist. To start using retinol it is always advisable to start with a low concentration and progress if necessary. To minimize redness and flaking, use a small amount every other night or even less often. This will allow your skin to get used to it.


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