Retinol & Skin Health

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Our skin is the largest organ in our body and one of our key sense organs. It protects all of the other organs from the outer environment as the first line of defence. As a result, we must pay as much attention to our skin’s health as we do to the condition of our other interior organs.Let us know about retinol and its uses

The epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue, as well as a variety of other structures and cell types, make up the skin. Our skin, like any other body tissue, is subject to a variety of physiological changes. The ageing of organs begins from the moment one is born, and the skin is no exception. However, there are steps that may be taken to guarantee that skin ageing begins at the appropriate time in life. Nobody wants wrinkles and dull skin when they’re young, right?

We hear a lot about different cosmetics and chemicals that can be used to reverse skin ageing these days. Retinol is one of these chemicals. What is retinol and how can it help us? Will it have any skin-beneficial effects? In the next section, we’ll look at how to use retinol for healthy skin.

Aging of the Skin

Because the skin is directly exposed to air, it is affected not only by intrinsic ageing but also by extrinsic ageing. Alterations in cutaneous cells, as well as structural and functional changes in cellular matrix components such as collagen, elastin, and proteoglycans, accompany these ageing processes. These components are necessary for the skin’s strength, suppleness, and moisture, respectively.

Other variables that influence skin ageing include genetics, environmental exposure, hormonal changes, and metabolic processes. Changes in skin structure, function, and appearance are also a result of these factors.


Vitamin A, or retinol, is a chemical present in green and yellow vegetables, egg yolk, fish liver oil, and other foods. It is the most common form of vitamin A in the body, and it is necessary for growth and vision in low light.  The retinoid family includes natural retinol derivatives such as retinaldehyde, retinoic acid, and retinyl esters, as well as a wide range of synthetic chemicals. Vitamin A must be taken from outside sources if the body is unable to manufacture it.

Instead of retinol, retinol derivatives like as retinyl acetate, retinyl propionate, and retinyl palmitate have been frequently employed in cosmetic products. Acne, wrinkles, fine lines, sun damage, uneven skin tone, big pores, hyperpigmentation, and other skin conditions are treated with them. Several research have been published on the usefulness of vitamin A derivatives in the treatment of various types of acne as well as other skin conditions such as psoriasis. Among the retinoids used topically on the skin, tretinoin is the most bioactive.

What is the mechanism behind it?

Retinol, a kind of retinoid, is made from a derivative of Vitamin A. The molecules in retinol penetrate deep under the epidermis, the outer layer of skin, to the dermis, where they aid in the formation of collagen and elastin. Retinoids may regulate the release of numerous growth factors in the epidermis. This contributes to the epidermal layer’s thickness, which strengthens its protective role.

This also reduces water loss from the skin, which would otherwise result in dryness and dullness.

To some extent, retinoids also have anti-comedogenic properties. They control the process of oil gland shedding, which in turn controls the creation of blackheads and acne. Furthermore, they help to improve the distribution of melanin and reduce skin discoloration and pigmentation by roughly 60%.

What is the best way to utilize Retinol?

Retinol is most frequently used in cosmeceutical treatment and is marketed under different formulations. Retinol concentration in cosmetic products is between 0.0015% and 0.3%. It comes in the form of gels or creams to be applied topically. It is even available in the form of solutions and emollients. (5)
Application is the key when it comes to active ingredients. It is important to increase penetration of retinol in the skin to avail its benefits.

It is generally recommended that you begin adding retinol into your skincare routine in your mid-20s to early 30s. It is also recommended to use retinol at night since day use can cause skin dryness and irritation. It is advisable to start every alternate day and eventually increase to only nightly treatments.

Side effects of Retinol

The most common and frequent adverse effect of topical retinoids is known as ‘retinoid reaction’. It is characterized by burning sensation at the sites of application, peeling, redness, dry skin. (6) This may happen more frequently in first-time users. Retinol may aggravate an active skin rash and is not to be used for the same.

Reducing the frequency of application or switching to a less irritating retinoid is usually recommended to alleviate the symptoms of retinoid response.

Acne breakouts after using retinol have also been reported but it is a rare side effect. Retinols are not recommended for pregnant women. They may increase the risk of birth defects and miscarriage.

Remember as you are unique so is your skin. If you are experiencing premature skin aging or any skin-related ailments you need to understand the factors that as causing it for you. What may be useful for others may not work for you, hence you need to consult your dermatologist before taking or applying any over-the-counter drugs including retinol.

Although over-the-counter retinol is accessible without a prescription it is recommended that your dermatologist examine your general skin health and provide you product recommendations based on your specific needs.

Have you used retinol or its derivatives on your skin? How was your experience while using these products? Let us know in the comments section below.


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