What’s in a retinol?

You’ve probably already heard about retinol. It’s one of the most recommended skin care products on the market and for good reason. It works! Countless studies demonstrate the super ingredients ability to slow the signs of aging, reverse sun damage, even out skin tone and prevent breakouts.

Here are 5 fast facts about retinol and why it’s the ultimate add in to your daily regimen:

FACT ONE – Retinol is highly recommended by dermatologists for its ability to clear acne.

Retinol helps to reduce acne breakouts by speeding up cell turnover to help unblock pores. By keeping skin clear and reducing active blemishes, it can also help to reduce the formation of acne scars. “Retinol and vitamin A derivatives are dermatologys’ best-kept secrets,” says Dr. Samir Gupta, board-certified Cosmetic Dermatologist. “The effects on the skin can be profound not only for acne but also for aging and photodamage, including fine lines, creases, and uneven skin colour.”

FACT TWO – All retinol are not created equal.

Firstly, there is a big difference between the retinol products found over the counter and their prescription counterparts. While prescriptions have a much higher concentration of the active ingredient, retinol products have the added benefit of being combined with other ingredients which usually makes it easier to tolerate.

When choosing a retinol, you also want to find out if it is medical grade or from a mainstream skin care brand. Medical grade products will generally use higher quality or more stabilized ingredients. Medical Grade Retinol also has a better delivery system, meaning they can penetrate deeper into the skin so that you actually benefit from the powerful active ingredients.

FACT THREE – Retinol and Vitamin A are one in the same.

True. Retinol is a natural form of Vitamin A. This powerhouse ingredient is used in many skin care and beauty products because it can address such a wide-range of concerns including skin renewal and collagen production. Dermatologists have been using it for decades and it continues to grow in popularity because of it’s amazing multitasking properties.

FACT FOUR – Retinol should be used at night as part of your evening skin care regime.

Vitamin A derivatives, such as retinol will break down when exposed to UV light. This can affect their efficacy and make the products less active. It’s why they’re also usually in opaque packaging and dispensed in pumps or tubes with tight-fitting caps.

FACT FIVE – If you’re using retinol it’s important to also incorporate SPF into your skin care regimen.

While sun protection should be a part of your daily regimen regardless to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. It’s also recommended when using retinol, in order to protect your investment. Retinol accelerates the formation of new healthy skin cells to replace the old, damaged ones. Obviously we want to protect those healthy skin cells from the elements that cause that damage in the first place.

Combined with a high SPF and vitamin C in the morning, you are setting yourself up for great skin for life. “When we combine retinol with vitamin C,” explains Dr. Gupta, “we are essentially delivering ‘laser in a bottle.’ Here at Q Esthetics, we only use the purest, safest, and most effective forms of these ingredients to achieve radiant skin.”