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Retinol: benefits and contraindications

The retinol is one of the most commonly used cosmetic active today, especially in mature skin. If you wonder what retinol is, it is vitamin A in the form of a cosmetic active, and it is part of a family called retinoids. Numerous studies and investigations carried out throughout history have confirmed that retinol has a great capacity to improve the texture and firmness of the skin.

Helps minimize wrinkles , as well as fine lines, two of the most common signs of skin aging. It is also a great ingredient to even out skin tone, reducing spots caused by the sun and / or age.

What is retinol?

Retinol, or vitamin A , is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a very important role in many functions of the body. It is included within the antioxidant vitamins, although, unlike others such as vitamin C , retinol is not expelled from the body through urine.

Vitamin A in active form is known as retinol . Once it oxidizes, it becomes retinoic acid. The latter is more effective in treating wrinkles and other signs of aging on the skin, although it also has more side effects.

It is especially known for its antioxidant and anti-aging properties . In addition, it actively intervenes in the development and regeneration of some tissues, as well as in the immune system.

Retinol benefits

  • Supports collagen synthesis: One of the main benefits for skin care has to do with collagen. A substance that the body produces naturally, but that as age advances its synthesis progressively decreases. That is why the topical application of retinol is so important, since collagen prevents sagging and allows the facial oval to be preserved.
  • Moisturizes the skin: the hydration of the skin, both inside and outside, is very important so that it remains in perfect health and, in addition, has a shiny appearance. Well, retinol provides great hydration, not only on the surface, but in the deeper layers of the skin.
  • Minimizes spots: it is also very beneficial to minimize the appearance of spots that appear on the skin from the sun and / or age. Thus, the face has a much more uniform tone.
  • Closes pores: this substance also helps to close pores, thus acting as a protective shield against external aggressions. Therefore, the skin is more protected against pollution and other free radicals .
  • Regulates oil production: retinol is especially beneficial for oily skin as it regulates sebum production. Thus, it significantly minimizes the characteristic shine of this type of skin, improving its appearance.
  • Promotes cell renewal: this substance is also used in cosmetics to promote cell renewal. Delays premature aging of the skin, something especially positive in mature skin.
  • Improves wrinkles: and finally, retinol improves the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, two of the most common signs of aging.

How does retinol work on the skin?

Retinol has great antioxidant properties , thus preventing premature aging of both skin and cells. It effectively fights free radicals, such as pollution.

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At the same time, it stimulates the production of collagen , thereby helping to have a much more uniform and without blemishes, with a more youthful appearance. Its beta-carotene content makes retinol one of the best allies for a healthier and more uniform skin pigmentation.

Retinol application

Experts recommend using it when the first signs of aging begin to appear on the skin . This substance helps reduce both wrinkles and fine lines. Plus, it minimizes blemishes, one of the most common side effects of sun damage.

It is important that the application of retinol is done at the right time. In the morning it is not a good idea as the skin is then exposed to the sun. Therefore, it is best to do it at night.

The routine should be as follows. First, cleanse the skin with a mild cleanser and neutral pH, which cares for and preserves the natural properties of the skin. When the face is completely clean, it is time to apply the retinoid cream.

The overuse of retinol can cause severe skin disorders, such as flaking and redness. Thus, it is best to gradually introduce this substance into the night care routine. In any case, it is not recommended to use retinol-rich products on a daily basis.

Retinol and retinoic acid

In no case should retinol and retinoic acid be confused because they are not the same substance. Simply put, when retinol oxidizes, it gives rise to retinoic acid. The latter’s formula is much more concentrated, so that retinoic acid is more effective. However, it also has more side effects, especially in sensitive and atopic skin.

Retinol precautions

Although retinol is a substance with a wide range of benefits for the skin, a series of precautions must be taken into account in relation to its use. If applied in high concentrations and in the form of retinoic acid , there is a high risk of skin problems such as itching, peeling, and even burns in the most severe cases.

To use it properly, it must be done progressively . It is recommended to increase the dose over time, so that the skin can adapt.

It is also not recommended to apply it to the skin both before and after exposure to the sun as it can cause the appearance of spots. And finally, in no case is it recommended for use during pregnancy because it can negatively affect the fetus.

By way of conclusion, it is worth highlighting the great regenerative capacity of retinol, both with the skin and with the cells. When it comes to acquiring retinol creams, the concentration of this substance is around 0.2% most of the time. This amount is more than enough to take advantage of all its benefits. You have to be constant in the application of cosmetic products to obtain the desired results.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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