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The Benefits of Retinol in Skincare

by Emily Linehan on September 08, 2021

You've likely heard the word "Retinol" before if you're interested in skincare. But what is it and why is it effective?

"Retinol" is often used as an all-encompassing term for topical Vitamin A. Typically, Retinols are considered over the counter, while Retinoids are prescription strength. 

Retinol and Retinoids are technically Vitamin A derivatives. Each Vitamin A derivative offers many benefits for the skin, such as boosting cell turnover, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin tone, texture, and stimulating the production of collagen. All of these outcomes work wonders for the skin!

So what's the difference between Retinol and Retinoid? To be short and sweet, the difference is how they convert on your skin. All Vitamin A derivatives eventually become Retinoic Acid, and skin can't utilize these age-defying compounds until they finish that cycle and become Retinoic Acid. Don't worry! They do this cycle organically, there is nothing extra you need to do!

Each Vitamin A derivative, on its way to becoming Retinoic Acid, can actually be utilized on the skin, but each also has different pros and cons.

Let's talk about a few of them, what they do, and how they impact your skin!

 

If you've ever had a "Retinol prescription", what you likely had was Retinoic Acid. It is the most potent Vitamin A derivative of the bunch (and is also known medically as Tazarotene). Retinoic Acid (which can only be obtained by prescription) is the most powerful in the group because it is ready to be utilized by your skin as-is. The downside to this is that Retinoic Acid causes excessive dryness, irritation, and cannot be tolerated by many skin types. Unfortunately, this form also tends to exacerbate inflamed acne. So while it's powerful, there are often a lot of unwanted side-effects. 

If Retinoic Acid is the most powerful Vitamin A derivative for the skin, which would be the weakest?

The weakest form is called Retinyl Palmitate. If you look at over the counter "Retinols", you'll often see that the active ingredient is Retinyl Palmitate. It is a very common ingredient in anti-aging skincare products it is extremely gentle. However, it is also very weak, so it won't cause much change in your skin. It's actually seen as more of an antioxidant than a Vitamin A. 

Vitamin A Derivatives, Weakest to Most Powerful:

Retinyl Palmitate > Retinol > Retinyl Propionate/Retinaldehyde > Retinoic Acid. 

When it comes to effectiveness, Retinol falls in the middle, as does Retinyl Propionate, which is the Vitamin A derivative that we use in our Pro-Retinol Serum.

Impressively, Retinyl Propionate yields results equal to that of a Retinoic Acid prescription, but with significantly less irritation and dryness, so you get the best of both words. You can expect it to be highly effective, while also being gentle on the skin. As an added benefit, this specific form of Vitamin A is also the most effective to help clear acne prone skin, unlike other forms that actually exacerbate inflamed acne! 

So what does that mean for your skin?

Since the beginning of time, humans have been striving for more radiant, youthful looking skin. So, it should come as no surprise to you that Vitamin A derivatives are the most-studied anti-aging group. 

Because there are a variety of different Vitamin A derivatives in skincare, it's important that you understand which one you are using and what you can expect from it. As discussed above, you likely will not see big changes in your skin with Retinyl Palmitate, but on the other hand, Retinoids are very drying and irritating. 

This is why we use Retinyl Propionate. It balances potency and gentleness in the perfect way to get you the visible changes you're hoping to see. 

What to Expect from Pro-Retinol Serum (Retinyl Propionate)

Retinyl Propionate Unclogs Your Pores

Clogged pores can cause all sorts of nasty outcomes: breakouts being the real villain to watch out for. Retinyl Propionate (which also means our Pro-Retinol Serum) helps keep your pores free of nasty build-up. The benefit to this is that clearer pores also mean more refined and smaller appearing pores. If you want to reduce pore size, Pro-Retinol Serum would be the product to choose. 

Pro-Retinol Serum Reduces Acne Breakouts

Because our Pro-Retinol Serum unclogs your pores, it also helps you stay acne free! As a regular part of your skincare routine, it will help you stay clear. 

Pro-Retinol Serum Fades Acne Scarring

If you're prone to scarring from acne breakouts, a consistently using Retinyl Propionate will help fade existing scarring and prevent new scarring from occurring. 

Retinyl Propionate Reduces the Appearance of Wrinkles and Fine Lines

This is what "Retinol" is most famous for. It increases the production of new collagen in your skin. The second layer of your skin (there are three layers) is primarily made up of collagen, a protein that houses the foundation for cell growth. By enhancing this growth, you'll see your skin become more supple and firm over time, reducing the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines.

It is actually a myth that Retinol (and Vitamin A derivatives in general) thin the skin. They actually thicken the dermal layer, which improves the overall integrity of your skin. 

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Retinyl Propionate (the active ingredient in our Pro-Retinol Serum) is a tried and true compound that effectively combats the signs of aging and helps your skin in so many other areas along the way. 

Do keep in mind that all forms of Vitamin A derivatives can be drying, so it's vital that you have a skincare routine with powerful humectants and moisturizers. Please reach out to me for a (free!) consultation so I can ensure that our Pro-Retinol Serum is the right solution for your unique skin. 

xo, Emme

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