You Don’t Have to Have Scary Skin: How to Get Started With Retinol

Woman needing to add retinol to her skincare routine in Sacramento, Elk Grove, Roseville, and Folsom, CA

With Halloween around the corner, there’s one thing you definitely don’t have to be scared of: retinol. We know it can be intimidating to bring this product into your routine. Between the rumors about skin purging and the confusion about how to use the product itself, it’s easy to get spooked.

The skincare specialists at our med spa locations in Elk Grove, Folsom, Roseville, and Sacramento specialize in making the stunning skin you’ve always wanted a reality, and retinol is one of our favorite tools for doing exactly that. That’s why in this post, we’re answering your questions about retinol to help you see there’s nothing to be afraid of—except missing out!

What Is Retinol?

Retinol is a type of retinoid derived from vitamin A. When applied topically as a cream, gel, serum, or emollient, it encourages cell turnover and prevents the breakdown of collagen, the magic protein that keeps us looking as young as possible for as long as possible. It also stimulates blood flow in the skin to even out pigmentation and give your complexion a vibrant, healthy hue.

Does Retinol Really Get Rid of Wrinkles?

One of the biggest causes of wrinkles is the loss of collagen. We naturally lose collagen as we age (by as much as 1% every year—now that’s spooky). As we do, our skin becomes less elastic and has a harder time bouncing back, which leads to laxity and wrinkling.

Retinol prevents collagen breakdown and stimulates new production, keeping wrinkles from forming and even minimizing existing lines. This doesn’t happen overnight. Studies show it takes 3 to 4 months to see results. But it’s proven to work with consistent use.

Is Retinol Helpful for Acne?

Yes it is, big time! Retinol prevents the buildup of dead skin that clogs pores and leads to acne. It also reduces inflammation to keep your skin clear and calm instead of irritated and angry. It’s a fantastic addition to any acne-fighting skincare routine.

Learn more about creating your perfect anti-acne routine in this blog post.

Is It True That My Skin Will “Purge” When I Start Retinol?

It is normal to go through some rough patches when you start using Retinol—literally. Some people experience dryness, flaking, peeling, and other texture issues as their skin adjusts for the first few weeks.

The best way to prevent this is to start slow with a low-dose product you only use a couple of times a week. Retinol is definitely not an everyday product, at least not for beginners. If you notice irritation, try using it less frequently and in smaller amounts. Staying moisturized and being religious about wearing SPF will help, too.

Is It Too Early (Or Too Late) for Me to Start Using Retinol?

As long as you’re using it correctly (read: ALWAYS wearing SPF!) there’s really never a wrong time to start Retinol. Teens can rely on its acne-fighting powers, people in their 70s can use it to keep their skin healthy and vibrant, and everyone in between can enjoy all the texture-smoothing, pigmentation-evening, damage-preventing benefits it has to offer.

What Is the Best Retinol Product for Beginners?

It’s best to start out with something gentle that causes as little irritation as possible. The DA™ Renew and Repair Retinoin is formulated with all-trans-Retinol, the pure and active form of vitamin A that is far less irritating than retinoic acid. It’s a fantastic choice for beginners.

I’m Ready to Get Started With Retinol. What’s My First Step?

You can pick up some low-dose retinol products over the counter, or you can visit a skincare specialist to get a prescription for a stronger retinoic acid product, like Retin-A or Tretinoin.

Always apply your retinol at night near the end of your routine—all you need is a pea-sized amount applied over your full face. It’s typically best to start by mixing it in with your moisturizer or applying it on top of your moisturizer for a gentler effect.

Stay consistent, and over the next few months, you should notice a transformation in your skin. If you have any questions during the process, give us a call! We’re always here to help.

Ready to get the retinol ball rolling? Contact us online, call us at (916) 844-4913, or stop by one of our med spa locations in Elk Grove, Folsom, Roseville, or Sacramento.

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