Retinol: we have all heard about this anti-aging superhero but rarely do I have patients who have started using it on their own. All the information on this excellent ingredient can be super overwhelming! Here is a little cheat sheet about the wonderful world of Retinol.
What is Retinol?
It is a great anti-aging ingredient that exfoliates the skin, causing cell turnover at a faster rate. As we age, our rate of cell turnover decreases and leads to more prevalent fine lines and wrinkles. As a form of Vitamin A, retinol can be quite aggressive so it is recommended to start using only 3-4 nights a week at a low dose of .25 or .5.
You might experience some redness and or flaking of the skin, but you should become desensitized to this over time. Once you have gotten used to the new exfoliating superhero you can increase the amount of times per week you use it and then eventually the percentage. It should only be used at night and applied right after you wash your face. It will make your skin more photo-sensitive so make sure to be loading up on sunscreen daily!