Why retinol is a miracle skincare ingredient for women over 40

If I had to recommend one ‘anti-aging’ ingredient that works above and beyond anything else, it would be retinol. No other ingredient has been consistently proven to reduce lines, minimize pores, pigmentation and acne blemishes, more than retinol. And there’s never a better time to start using the one active ingredient that’s guaranteed to transform your tired, oxygen-starved face into a brighter, smoother, firmer complexion. This is our beginner’s guide to starting your skin on retinol for the first time.

Firstly, what is retinol exactly?

For the uninitiated, retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A. There are varying forms starting with the gold standard, Retin-A or Tretinoin, which is a prescription-only treatment FDA approved to treat acne as well as the signs of aging. This is the most effective but the most potent, which can cause peeling and irritation in the short term.

When it comes to the type of retinol used in cosmetic products, there are varying forms of vitamin A derivatives, from pro-retinol (retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, and retinyl linoleate) a milder, yet weaker form of vitamin A that gets converted into retinoic acid by the skin at the cellular level, to pure retinol, which is closer to Retin-A, thus has similar anti-aging effects, albeit over a longer, more sustained period of time. While retinol is thought to be more effective than pro-retinol, there are cases for both depending on the severity of your skin concerns, how sensitive it is, and your personal preference.

What percentage of retinol should you use?

The old school of thought when it comes to anti-aging ingredients is that the higher the percentage, the better the results. However, recent findings have suggested that as little as 0.3 percent retinol is enough to make a significant difference and is perfect for beginners as it’s less likely to cause irritation.

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