If you have ever watched Dr. Oz, you would know that he is a HUGE fan of retinoids. So, what are they? And why do I need them?

RetInoids are one type of Vitamin A. Retinol, Retinoic acid, Retinol Palmitate, and Retinaldehyde are all considered Retinols but have different levels of strength and irritancy. If formulated correctly, products containing Retinoids have many anti-aging, skin-smoothing, skin-tone, and anti-acne benefits.

According to Dr. Oz and most skin care experts, the two most important ingredients your skin care routine should include are Vitamin C and some form of a Retinoid. Vitamin C (which I will go into detail in another post) is a great sun protectant and anti-aging ingredient.

Here is why Mr. Retinoid kicks ass in skin care:

1.  Cellular renewal: Retinoids and for this post, Retinol, is an anti-ager because it helps stimulate cellular turnover. Cellular turnover is the process by which our skin produces new skin cells which travel from the lowest layer of the epidermis to the top layer and then shed off the skin. This is what keeps dead cells from building up on the skin’s surface.  As we age, our cellular turnover slows down. For example, a baby’s skin is perfectly plump, clear and healthy and that is because they have not been exposed to any free-radicals, UVA/UVB rays, pollution and other toxins. The cells are brand new and constantly reproducing, giving a perfectly moist and clear complexion.

Sadly for our faces, natural skin cell turnover slows as we age. A natural process that takes two weeks for babies takes three to four weeks for teens. Once past our teens, our skin generally renews itself once a month (about every 30 to 40 days) but gets even more sluggish after 50, renewing itself only 45 to 90 days.

Retinol helps increase this process and keep the skin renewal train a’movin.

2. Retinols stimulate collagen and elastin, the building blocks of skin. These vitamin A derivatives have been proven to boost collagen production (reducing wrinkles and preventing fine lines) and encourage new elastin (which keeps skin firm). Need we say more?

3. Retinol lightens pigment by increasing the frequency and quantity of new cells. These retinoid creams or serums reduce brown spots by speeding up the cell activity in the skin which moves the pigment up and out faster. They may also help the pigment making cells to spread the microscopic brown granules (melanin) more evenly, and evening out discoloration and brighten skin tone.

4. Retinol acts as a proactive step against skin cancer by creating new cells and kicking the old, damaged ones to the curb.

5.  Lastly, Retinol also reduces acne outbreaks by preventing dead cells from clogging pores and help unclogging pores (making them look smaller and reducing acne).

So now that you are as madly in love with Retinol as I am, what should you look for in a retinol product? Depending on your skin type and age, a nice blended retinol. Meaning a serum or cream that is boosted by antioxidants and other helpful ingredients, like resorcinol. When in doubt, come in and get a facial and we can create the best plan for your skin care regimen that does not have to break the bank.

Always remember to wear SPF of 30 or higher during the day to avoid hyper-pigmentation, or brown spots and to apply them only at night so that the skin has a chance to rebuild during sleep and so that you can wear your SPF during the day without sensitization.

Come in and let me help you find your perfect Retinol solution so you can enjoy all the benefits of this mighty big shot!

Jasmine Brinton, L.E. 2017

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