What Is Retinol? Here’s How It Can Help You Fight Skin Problems; Know How To Use Safely

Skincare: Retinol has gained popularity in the past few months. It can help fight multiple skin problems and help achieve healthy and glowing skin. Read here to know how retinol can do wonders to your skin and how to use it safely.

Retinol can help fight a wide ranges of skin problems


Retinol is commonly present in multiple skincare products these days

It has gained huge popularity in the last few months

Small percentage of retinol is beneficial for your skin in many ways

Retinol is the scientific name for vitamin A and has over 50 years of research proving it to be one of the best skin care ingredients for improving a variety of concerns including wrinkles, loss of firmness, discolorations, clogged pores, and skin texture. While retinol is often talked about in terms of its amazing anti-aging benefits it was first recognised for reducing breakouts, shrinking pores, and improving oily skin. For all these reasons retinol is considered a multi-tasking superhero ingredient for almost everyone. In this article skincare expert Paula Begoun tells the benefits of retinols for skin in detail and how to use it for skin for maximum benefits.

Skincare tips: Benefits of retinol for skin and how to use it

“When applied topically retinol absorbs into skin where certain enzymes convert it to retinoic acid the bio-active form of retinol. Retinoic acid is able to directly communicate with living skin cells to help them function in a healthier, renewed and younger manner. Skin needs this kind of help because of what sun damage, pollution, hormonal changes and certain skin disorders do to skin cells causing them to become abnormally formed triggering those problems. Retinol helps repair these mutated skin cells back to some degree of normalcy. Because of how retinol works it’s often referred to as a cell communicating ingredient.” Paula says.

Retinol can help improve your skin texture
Photo Credit: iStock

There are many forms of retinol, some researchers have said there are over 5,000 components that are part of the retinol composition. Which form of retinol is the best for skin is debatable, but because pure retinol is the one that has the most independent research, it is considered the most beneficial one to look for on a product’s ingredient list. Other forms include retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde, retinyl retinoate, and retinyl propionate-and while those are fine, pure retinol is more strongly backed by decades of studies.

Also read: Dermatologist Gives 10 Tips To Take Care Of Your Skin According To Your Skin Type

If you’re wondering when or if you should start using products with retinol or what skin type can use retinol the answer is you can’t start too soon and it is great for all skin types. That’s because retinol can help prevent skin issues from happening or reduce the issues that exist, it just depends on what concerns you want to address.

You can find retinol in several skincare products
Photo Credit: iStock

There is quite a range of products with retinol and concentrations vary. It is best when products are labelled clearly about the percentage of retinol they contain but that isn’t always the case. In terms of concentration even small amounts of retinol (as low as 0.01%) have been shown to be helpful.

Also read: Prepare Try These Homemade Masks According To Your Skin Type For A Natural Glow

The concentration to consider depends on the depth of the problem you have. Higher concentrations of retinol (up to 1%) are brilliant for stubborn or difficult skin problems such as advanced sun damage, noticeable signs of aging like deep wrinkles and sagging, and acne. In lower concentrations, retinol can maintain and preserve the long-term health of skin. When it comes to skin type, if you have combination or oily skin, you will want to choose a retinol product that is more fluid or has a thin light texture, and if you have dry skin, choose one that has a creamy emollient feel.

Also read: Skincare: The Role Of Vitamin A For Skin, Explains Dermatologist; Know How To Use And Food Sources

As you can probably tell by now, retinol is a powerful ingredient so if you’re new to using it, it can be helpful to introduce it slowly by applying it once every other day to see how your skin responds. You can add it into your skin care routine morning or night after your cleanser, toner and exfoliant steps. It can be used with any other treatment product or moisturiser you are using. If you use a retinol product during the day (which is just fine, it works great any time of day) the last product you apply must always be sunscreen with an SPF 30 or greater.


(Paula Begoun is a skincare expert. She is the founder and also the formulator of Paula’s Choice Skincare products. She has written over 20 bestselling books on beauty. She also shares research-based skincare and makeup reviews.)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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