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Meet retinol, the magical ingredient that can erase your wrinkles

Published on:26 May 2020, 19:14pm IST
You’ve probably heard all about how great retinol is when it comes to fighting lines and wrinkles. But is it something you should try? Read on to find out.
Grace Bains
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The ‘R’ word is getting famous and there’s a reason for it. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Retinol is the new buzzword when it comes to skincare these days. Every other product contains it and claims that it is all that your skin needs. The list of benefits that retinol has to offer includes reduction in fine lines, even skin-tone, lighter scars, and radiant skin. You get the hype right?

So naturally, retinol sounds like the stuff of dreams that all of us should try at least once for that plump, glowing skin.

But what exactly is retinol?
Well, if we talk in technical terms, then retinol is one of the many different types of retinoids available for topical application. Retinoid is basically an umbrella term used for all vitamin A derivatives. Retinoids basically promote collagen production and work on skin cell renewal. Hence, giving you that young, supple skin.

That said, when it comes to retinoids, what many products fail to tell you is that there are multiple types of retinoids available. In fact, some of them are prescription-based but some can be bought over-the-counter.

almond oil
For great skin you need collagen. And retinol can help boost its production. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

So, how does retinol really work?
Retinol, like all other retinoids, works by increasing the rate of skin cell turnover along with boosting the production of collagen. Dead skin cells hinder the breakdown of collagen which thickens the deeper layer of skin and that’s when wrinkles start getting formed. Hence, retinol works towards making sure that surface skin cells are quickly replaced by new ones.

In fact, Harvard Health Publishing states that: “Retinoids reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves skin color. Additional benefits include fading age spots and softening rough patches of skin.”

So, who should use it?
Retinol can be included in their skincare regimen by anyone who is facing skin ageing, be it in the form of fresh fine lines or the more aggressive wrinkles. A research published in the US National Library of Medicine also states:

It can be concluded that retinol should be effective in the treatment of aging and photoageing.

That said, you should only stick to over-the-counter formulations with moderate amounts of retinol, as in large quantities it can dry out the skin, increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, and cause irritation. More often than, stronger retinol-based formulations are sold only for prescription use.

Please note: if you have very sensitive skin, please avoid using products with any type of retinoids without your dermatologist’s recommendation.

When will you start seeing the results?
Retinol is truly magical but only when you’re patient with it. Like most things in life, retinol needs dedication and time to show results. You will have to apply it consistently for a long period of time to see those signs of ageing fading away.

Harvard Health Publishing states that:

It takes three to six months of regular use before improvements in wrinkles are apparent—and the best results take six to 12 months.

Now that you, do give this hero ingredient a try for those pesky lines and wrinkles.

Grace Bains Grace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.