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Can Retinol Help with Aging?

Retinol is the technical name for vitamin A and has truly surprising anti-aging benefits for skin. While some of us may not be afraid of aging, that doesn’t mean we want to look our age. It’s become common for young women, as early as late teens, to use a retinol. And if you walk into any pharmacy or beauty aisle, you will find products with retinol. It is mainly praised for its anti-aging abilities, but it also has other helpful benefits it has to offer your skin.

Retinol helps epithelial cells function properly. Vitamin A in this form can improve the elasticity of the skin, smooth wrinkles and lines and increase moisture. Your complexion appears smooth, glowing and the damage that is done from age and the environment is greatly minimized and even reduced.

According to, as the body ages, skin cells can change in shape. In spite of this, these same cells have receptor sites that will quickly accept retinoic acid. When retinoic acid is absorbed by the skin, the cell begins to function normally and will begin regular cell generation. Retinol contains this extremely essential and beneficial retinoic acid. Vitamin A is another important ingredient our immune system needs. Vitamin A’s most notably positive effects are seen in improved vision, especially night vision, tooth and bone development and strength, reproduction, and good skin.

Everyone’s skin reacts differently to retinol. Some people may even experience temporary redness, flakiness, and sensitivity because their skin does not have enough “retinoid receptors,” which are proteins found naturally in skin. They carry and release retinoids (Vitamin A) into skin cells, which triggers the production of collagen. Retinol is then converted by skin enzymes into the even stronger form of Retinoic Acid, which is the cause the irritation. It is important to remember that retinol is the most potent while you sleep, while consequently also being the safest.

Retinol has made its way into numerous amounts skin care products. When this first started happening, it was just in night creams and serums. Lately, it has been showing up in just about everything, from cleansers to moisturizers. This is a problem because retinol should never be used during the day time, something that many cosmetics companies seem to be ignoring.

When retinol treated skin is exposed to sunlight, it becomes more sensitive and more vulnerable to the sun. Retinol breaks down, which results in an increase in sensitivity and susceptibility in skin due to a weakening of the skin’s top-most layer. Basically, small amounts of UV rays can increase the likelihood of adverse reactions.

Retinol is a less potent, over the counter variety of tretinoin, a prescribed version of vitamin A.

Tretinoin is highly effective in reversing signs of sun damage and aging, as well as decreasing fine lines, evening out skin tone, improve skin texture, tightening pores, and stimulating blood flow and the production of collagen. However, because tretinoin is highly irritating and drying to the skin, there are a large amount of people that cannot handle it. Because retinol is milder, more people can tolerate it, though the results are not as dramatic. Retinol boosts skin cell turnover, just like tretinoin.

The new skin that results from this treatment is sensitive and it is important to remember that you should definitely not be exposed to the sun when using this product. That is why it is important to only use products intended for night use.

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