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If you have any interest in skin care whatsoever—which you probably do, since you’re here—chances are you’ve heard about retinol. Next to glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid, it’s one of most buzzworthy skin care ingredients of the moment. Today, we’re explaining what retinol is, what the skin care benefits of using skin care products formulated with retinol can be, and where to find retinol (such as in moisturizer and eye cream). Plus, we’re also sharing tips on how you can incorporate this buzz-worthy ingredient into your skin care routine.
Let’s go ahead and clear something up. It’ll only take a moment. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that can help unclog pores and make skin appear brighter. According to the AAD, retinol is often found in anti-aging skin care products, like moisturizer and eye cream.
Now that you know what retinol is, it’s time to learn about the skin care benefits of using skin care products formulated with retinol. According to Dr. Rocio Rivera, head of scientific communications for L’Oréal Paris, skin care products formulated with retinol can help address common signs of skin aging such as dullness, fine lines and wrinkles. According to the AAD, skin care products formulated with retinol can be used during your nighttime skin care routine to also help improve the look of skin texture and even out the appearance of skin tone with continued use over time.
According to the AAD, the best time to use skin care products formulated with retinol is during your nighttime skin care routine. When starting to use skin care products formulated with retinol, add them to your skin care routine gradually, as retinol can be drying and increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun. That means you’ll want to pay extra attention to how often, and how much, you moisturize your skin when using skin care products formulated with retinol. Besides staying on top of your skin’s hydration needs, you can also follow a few of the AAD’s tips to help with dry skin, like getting a humidifier to add moisture back into the air and turning down the temperature of your showers, as super-hot H20 can strip your skin of essential oils.
Keep in mind that when using skin care products with retinol, you should make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily as directed, as retinol can increase your skin’s sun sensitivity. In addition to applying broad-spectrum sunscreen as directed, you should also limit your amount of time in the sun (especially during the sun’s peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), seek shade, and cover up exposed areas—so throw on a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
For your next skin care lesson, check out our article, The Nighttime Skin Care Routine You Should Never Skip.