Let’s face it, everyone would rather look younger than they are. And that’s why preserving youth by preventing visible signs of aging - like lines and wrinkles - is a primary goal for Baby Boomers and now Gen X’ers.
So it’s no surprise procedures like Botox injections and Hyaluronic acid facial fillers continue to increase in popularity. A 2015 American Society of Plastic Surgeons Report showed that Botox injections rose more than 750 percent from the Year 2000, while Hyaluronic acid filler procedures, like Juvaderm, increased about 25 percent since 2012. But with anti-aging procedures costing upwards of $1,000 for each procedure, consumers question if it makes sense to spend that much money when there are products on the market for significantly less. Retinol is one of those products.
What is Retinol?
Retinol is Vitamin A derivative which the body’s enzymes convert to retinoic acid. On human skin, Retinoic acid stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, increases cell turnover, and keeps the skin hydrated. Retinol belongs to the group of Vitamin-A related chemical compounds called retinoids, which also come in various prescription-required forms. Retinol does not require a prescription for its use and is less irritating than its prescription counterparts.
Does Retinol Work?
Many skin care experts say Retinol is effective only in higher concentrations. Also, they add it’s important to pay close attention to what the Retinol product contains in addition to Retinol. Oftentimes Retinol works synergistically with other ingredients to increase its effectiveness, like in the Épicé Revitalizing Retinol Serum, formulated by Dr. Michael S. Spicer, who heads Brevard Medical Dermatology on Florida’s East Coast.
“The benefit of Épicé is its special formulation that prevents irritation and allows persons with very sensitive skin to use,” Spicer said. “The strong retinols are so irritating and intolerable that they aren't used and therefore ineffective.”
Retinol’s Many Uses
Because retinol increases skin cell turnover, it also has the effect of fading hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Some have even found it useful in treating acne. By stimulating cell regeneration, long term use of retinol has been found to unclog acneic pores.