We all know what our skin needs: proper care and nutrition, and the proper products that can enhance our routine as well. Cleansing is vital, for example, and so is moisturising. You should also exfoliate, not with harsh scrubs, but with the right toners and cleansers. But here’s another thing you can do for better skin: use retinol. Retinol has gained a lot of recent attention because more people are trying it and seeing its benefits for themselves. But is it really what people promote it to be, or is it just hype? There are certain ‘myths’ associated with retinol as well, and it’s time these myths were debunked. So what is retinol, and should you use it? Here are the top myths about retinol answered.
1. Younger individuals cannot use retinol or retinoids
While retinol and retinoids have primarily been used for anti-ageing and are known for their excellent benefits for fading dark spots and wrinkles and fine lines, it doesn’t necessarily mean that younger people can’t use them, either. Retinoid was originally used as a treatment for acne, which is more prevalent in the young. It wasn’t until the 80s, however, that retinoid was found to have other benefits – specifically for fading hyperpigmentation and softening the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines – and this led to retinoid being associated with anti-ageing. There is no restriction on age when it comes to retinoid – it’s more the kind of skin condition you have. Retinol and retinoid are next only to sunscreen when it comes to preventing ageing.
2. Retinol and all other retinoids are of the same kind
There is also a bit of confusion as to the differences between retinol, retinoid, and other retinoid products. Retinoids are all derived from vitamin A. Some can be bought over the counter and others need a prescription. Retinol, for one, is known for not being as strong as retinoic acid, but it can convert the skin at the cellular level, although it may take a few months for the overall effects to show. Retinoid esters, on the other hand, can also be bought over the counter, but you can make use of this if you have sensitive skin. Retinoic acid can only be bought with a prescription, and it can work faster than the above-mentioned retinol. There are various retinol products, such as SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier, which are known for their benefits in terms of reducing the appearance of age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles, and they will not clog the pores, either.
3. Retinol will make your skin more sun-sensitive
Another myth about retinol and retinoids that some people mistakenly believe is that it will make your skin more sun-sensitive. Retinoids will inherently break down when exposed to the sun, and this makes them less stable and effective. This is why it is often sold in opaque containers or tubes and is recommended for use only in the evening. But using a retinol or retinoid product will not lead to a higher risk of becoming sunburnt. You still have to remember, though, that it’s best to avoid the sun when you use a retinol or retinoid product because having too much exposure to the sun will render the product a lot less effective.
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