You may have heard of retinol or seen it as an active ingredient in one of the beauty products that you use. Or maybe you are thinking about trying such a product and wonder if it will help your skin look healthier, younger and more vibrant. Well, this article should clear up a few of those questions. It will cover what it is and what it can do for your skin.
What Is Retinol ?
Retinol is a form of vitamin A found in animals (including humans).
It is thought to have many benefits to the body, including helping vision and reducing acne. It also helps improve the function of human growth hormone, the immune system, bone development, cellular reproduction and repair wounds. And of course, it helps the skin. So it’s pretty important to say the least !
Humans can get retinol by eating foods like liver and eggs. And a vegetable form of vitamin A can be found in spinach, carrots and other vegetables/fruits containing yellow, orange and dark green pigments, known as carotenoids, the most well-known being beta-carotene. This is converted by the body into retinol during the metabolism process.
The substance is stored in the liver and distributed to the rest of the body when needed.
How Does Retinol Help The Skin ?
Retinol helps to prevent the appearance of early aging of skin.
It works by aiding the natural turnover of cells on the skin. Skin cells die and are replaced regularly throughout your life but this process slows down as you get older.
They say that the turnover in days is roughly the same as your age. So a 20 year old would have a fresh looking face every 20 days. A 50 year old would only have this every 50 days unless they were to help the process along with a retinol based cream or serum.
There are also claims that it helps increase collagen synthesis, makes pores smaller so that the the skin look finer and diminishes age spots.
What Are The Best Retinol Products ?
An interesting article by Debra Jaliman from WebMD suggests that the best retinol products are night creams. This is despite the fact that it appears to be in many beauty products these days.
Her point is that retinol breaks down quickly when exposed to UVA and UVB rays found in sunlight so any daytime beauty product could have a negative effect or be of no use whatsoever.
This is especially the case for sunscreens that have retinol in them. It seems like a good idea to be age proofing yourself at the same time as preventing sun damage but given that the retinol is broken down it may not get the time to work on your skin and the combination cream may even be a poor protection for UVA and UVB radiation.
So the conclusion is that retinol beauty products – notably creams or serums – will help your skin look younger and healthier but only night products will have this affect. Steer clear of the seemingly convenient hybrid daytime creams and other products.
You can also check out the best sources of retinol in food HERE!