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Retinol is one of the best-known anti-aging products on the market. It is a type of retinoid that is made of Vitamin A. 

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that supports skin, eye, reproductive system, and immune function. Skin is a retinoid responsive organ, and it readily absorbs vitamin A when applied directly.

How does retinol work?

As we age, our skin cell turnover slows. When we hit our mid-30s, our skin regeneration slows down, and cell turnover may take 50-70 days. Slower skin regeneration makes the skin dull and wrinkled. Retinol boosts the production of collagen and elastin, which results in younger-looking skin. It does this by creating a “plum” effect that reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores.

Retinol can also help treat severe acne, and your dermatologist might prescribe you an antibiotic in conjunction with your retinol treatment.

Are there any side effects when you use retinol?

Like most products, retinol also has some side effects. First-time users may experience redness, skin irritation, skin peeling, and itchiness. 

These side effects are temporary and may last to a few weeks as your skin gets used to the product. However, if you continue to experience skin irritation, stop using the product and consult a doctor.

Retinol can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so you have to use the proper sunscreen. Use at least SPF30, even if it is cloudy. Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible. Retinol is also not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. 

Bottom line

Retinol is the most accessible form of retinoids. It is available over the counter, and it is the best choice for sensitive skin. Some people have seen an improvement of their skin after 12 weeks. You have to be patient when using this product.

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