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Retinol

What is retinol and what is retin-a?

Retinoids reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves skin color. Additional benefits include fading age spots and softening rough


The first thing to understand about any type of Retinol is that they all fall under a category called Retinoids. Retinoid is the term used to describe a group of compounds that derive from vitamin A. When you apply retinol to the surface of the skin, it is converted into Retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is the active ingredient that acts on your skin cells. Because of the positive actions of Retinoic acid, retinol has become one of the most important skincare ingredients.


What is the difference between retinol and retin-a or tretinoin?

Retinol is found in numerous over-the-counter (OTC) skin care products. The difference between them is depth and speed! Retin-A penetrates immediately and into deeper layers of your skin to repair instantly. Retinol takes a while to penetrate and repair. Retin-A is also called Tretinion and both are RX only. Differin gel is another OTC gel that is used primarily for acne.


Do you use a moisturizer with retinol?

You can if needed. You can either do equal parts retinol and a moisturizer and mix it together or you can put on a thin layer of moisturizer first then a thin layer of retinol.


Can you use a retinol and use a vitamin C?

Yes. Typically vitamin C serums go on in the AM, to help with the photo-damage we get from the sun. It is considered your AM anti-aging serum. Retinol then is your PM anti-aging serum.

Some skin types or skin needs time to get use to one at a time, so we typically say, start with an AM or PM routine first then introduce the other.


Which is better for wrinkles, HA serum or retinol?

Hyaluronic acid and retinol are both powerful anti-aging ingredients. Hyaluronic acid draws water to itself that helps the skin retain moisture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol is a form of vitamin A that increases cell turnover and promotes collagen production for a smoother and more youthful complexion. Both go hand and hand for amazing skin.


How long does it take to get use to retinol?

Why do I want to stop two days into it?

In general, retinol is one of the more gentle varieties of retinoids, however, if you're going to experience shedding it will begin on day three to five of daily night time use, and this usually continues for about five to 10 days depending on your skin type and the percentage of retinol you've used. The tretinoin purge usually lasts for anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months. It can range in severity from a few minor pimples, to major breakouts, skin dryness, flaking, peeling and other skin irritation.

Even though you may have heard some retinol horror stories in the past, and are very hesitant to start, they can be safely incorporated into a complete skin care routine. Just try to remember to start slow and it's not a race.


Start by applying it at night a couple of times a week. Layer moisturizer as needed. Also not acting like it is a moisturizer and lobbing it on is helpful. Be careful to avoid areas too close to your eyes, your mouth and cracks of nose. We always like to say put a small amount in your palm, start from outside part of your face and gently applying. Applying the thinnest layer to the middle of your face. We are too animated when we talk and if you put too much on the middle part of your face, you will not be happy and thus, discontinue use. Then, each week, if your skin has done well, add at night until you’re applying it every night or every other night as instructed by your provider.


Our goal at FBE with a retinol is to have you get used to it and dispel the myth that comes with it.Because retinoids, retinols, etc can be drying, it’s ideal to follow with an effective moisturizer to help keep skin hydrated and keep the skin’s barrier protected. It’s also a good idea to stick to gentle cleansers and ensure you’re only layering ingredients that work well together.

Finally, don't forget to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen during the day. If you’re using any other topical acne treatment, make sure you discuss it with your provider before using any form of a retinol.