Retinol isn’t magic but it works wonders on fine lines and wrinkles

Smoke and mirrors is one way to describe many of the claims about skin care products and ingredients.  With so many products on the market to exfoliate, hydrate and moisturize the skin not to mention “vanish” lines and wrinkles, it’s becomes challenging to separate the hype from reality.

So when an ingredient comes onto the market and skincare experts and dermatologists sing its anti-aging praises; it’s time to take notice. Such is the case with retinol, an ingredient clinically proven to improve skin tone and texture, fade dark spots and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Retinol is a type of retinoid, a potent antioxidant derivative of Vitamin A.  Stronger-strength retinoids are prescription only. However retinols can be included in products sold over the counter or on the web.

Retinols achieve their anti-aging results by protecting skin from free radicals and prompting surface skin cells to turn over and die rapidly. When this happens, new skin cells can grow. Retinols also slow down the breakdown of collagen. Collagen is the protein in skin that gives it strength and durability. Think of it as the scaffolding around the cells that support their shape.

As we age, collagen production declines and the skin becomes more fragile and thinner. The sun is another culprit in destroying collagen. Nothing is more damaging than the sun (See: “. Its UV rays destroy collagen and elastin, which leads to wrinkles. A study reported in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic And Investigative Dermatology conducted on 298 women from 30 to 78 found that UV exposure seems to be responsible for 80% of visible facial aging signs, including wrinkles

The skin anti-aging benefits of retinol have heightened its demand. However, even women and men in their 20s or 30s are using it in a regular skincare regime. It can treat discoloration and leave skin feeling smoother and looking brighter.

Not all retinols created equal

In the past, while many over the counter anti-aging creams in the past contained retinol, many were not effective. Retinol ingredients are difficult to stabilize. This means the ingredients don’t remain active in the bottle, so they don’t work as expected. Only active levels of retinol can provide proven results.

Products also contain varying levels of retinol.  Published research indicates that retinol as low as .1% shows reduction of wrinkles and fine lines.  Although, not the extent that a higher level appears to show. In a study by the Journal of Drugs of Dermatology results are significant as early as week 4, with progressive improvement by week 8.

Retinol skincare products require air-tight and opaque packaging to ensure the product does not degrade and remains active. Retinol products should not be packaged in a clear container or jar.

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