What is Retinol and is it the same thing as Vitamin A?
Firstly, vitamin A and retinol are two terms that are often used interchangeably, though they are not exactly the same thing. Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds that includes retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and several provitamin A carotenoids.
According to NHS UK, vitamin A has several functions including:
- Helping your body's natural defense against illness and infection (the immune system) work properly
- Helping vision in dim light
- Keeping skin and the lining of some parts of the body, such as the nose, healthy
For our purposes, we are most interested in the final point about keeping skin healthy.
Vitamin A is composed of two parts: retinoids, which include retinol, and carotenoids which include beta-carotene.
For the promotion of skin health, retinol is our friend. The Retinol Backstory Topical vitamin A-based drugs called retinoids are the most used and most researched anti-ageing compounds.
The first retinoid product was developed as an acne treatment but researchers found that it also fades age spots, evens pigmentation, and increases the replenishment of superficial skin cells.
How Does Retinol work?
Retinol increases the production of collagen, which reduces fine lines and wrinkles. By stimulating the production of new blood vessels in the skin, skin colour is improved.
How Soon Will Retinol Take Effect?
It is important to note that using Retinol won't change your skin overnight. It takes three to six months of regular use before improvements in wrinkles become apparent and best results take six to twelve months.
What To Consider When Using Retinoids
Retinoids can cause skin dryness and irritation, hence it is recommended to start using them every other day at first and then gradually work up to nightly applications. Because retinoids increase skin sensitivity to UV rays, it is recommended to wear sunscreen during the day.
Who Uses Retinol?
Chrissy uses a retinol serum and told InStyle magazine "It smooths out fine lines. Every time I use it, I get compliments on my skin the next morning"
At 36, Jessica swears by retinol. "I found retinol, which has been the greatest thing in the whole world. I started using it after I had my first daughter; it takes away fine lines, it takes away spots and makes the texture of my skin better. I feel like I look younger now than I did when I was in my late 20s - it's incredible"
Kim Kardashian is a big proponent of retinol serums and took to her social media to share her experience with her following.
Actress Jodie Comer of Killing Eve swears by her use of retinol, stating "At night, its important to use your vitamin A (retinol) and that's it - skincare for everybody"
In my next post, we will delve deeper into how retinol benefits your skin and how it is used in skincare. If you're already convinced by the power of retinol, why wait to get started?
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'Till next time.