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Retinol Q&A - Everything You Need To Know To Fight Skin Aging!

Retinol Q&A - Everything you need to know to fight aging.  Your Anti-Aging questions, answered.

If you're here, you might be asking yourself: "Should I be using retinol?" Maybe you spent your youth basking in the sun and now you're skin is paying the price or maybe your skin is just aging faster than you are!  

The short answer is yes!  Ask any dermatologist what you need to fight aging and they’ll tell you: Sunscreen and Retinol.  In this post, we discuss what you need to know about retinol - the magical unicorn of skin care.

So what is retinol?

Retinol, aka retinoic acid, or retinoid, is derived from Vitamin A.

It helps your skin turnover to make way for new, young cells, which ultimately decreases the appearance of those pesky fine lines and wrinkles, make large pores appear smaller, even out skin texture, improve blotchiness, and dark spots… it also prevents collagen from breaking down, helps fight acne, and protects from the sun’s damaging free radicals! 

Umm, yes please!  I mean, why would you NOT use this?  With all these benefits, anyone over 30 should definitely be using it.  I have even heard some dermatologists say that it’s never too early to start using a retinol product! 

Is there anyone who shouldn’t use it?

Yes!  As an OB, I definitely need to point out that, as amazing as retinol is, it should NOT be used during pregnancy.

How should I use it?

Woman applying face cream

For best results, it should be used regularly but nightly would be ideal.

  1. Start with a clean slate – wash your face.  It will work best with any gentle exfoliating cleanser.
  2. Apply retinol cream
  3. Apply any acne medication you already use (it helps it work better!)
  4. Apply moisturizer - it can help with any drying effect you might see.
  5. You’re done!

Are there any side effects?  What can I do to minimize them?

Over the counter preparations such as ours, are typically slow release and don’t have the nasty side effects that you see with prescription doses, which are much higher concentration and delivered all at once. Some users might still notice some skin sensitivity after using it, such as redness, mild flaking or peeling at first but with continued use, their skin will usually adapt and those effects should go away.  If you have sensitive skin or notice some sensitivity when using retinol, try easing into it, by starting with 3 times a week and increase as you tolerate it.

It can also cause your skin to be sensitive in sunlight so sunscreen is a must. Not to mention, sun damage is the biggest cause of aging skin, so you want to protect it well! 

Sun shining through clouds

So when should I expect to see results?

It takes about 3-6 months of nightly use to notice a difference with over the counter retinol creams, shorter if you have a prescription dose. 

As you can see, there is a reason retinol is so widely used and recommended by all the professionals. If you want more youthful skin, retinol (and sunscreen, of course) is a MUST.  Give it a try - it might just be your secret to younger looking skin!

If you are looking for an awesome retinol formula, amazing gentle exfoliating cleanser, light moisturizer, or sunscreen, check out our Busy Beauties skin care products!

Also, if there is anything about this topic you still have questions about (or anything you want us to discuss in the future) email us!

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Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety.
Treatment of photodamaged facial skin with topical tretinoin.
A comparative study of the effects of retinol and retinoic acid on histological, molecular, and clinical properties of human skin.
Improvement of naturally aged skin with vitamin A (retinol).

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