What Does Retinol Cream Do For The Face?

For individuals who are over the age of 30, retinol is something that finds a place in your skin care routine. But what exactly is retinol and why it is used widely in serums and face creams?

Why is it associated with words like age-defying, anti-wrinkle, and restorative effects such as improving collagen production? For all your answers surrounding retinol, look no further.

What Does Retinol Cream Do For The Face

It’s worth mentioning that no matter how much of tried and tested skincare routine you follow, or the  products you use, skin care is extremely personal and unique to each person. So, it’s important to go for products and a skin care routine that your skin cells love.

If you enjoy learning about the active ingredients in your products, and how retinoids work, this blog post is for you!

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Let’s start with the basics: Retinol is a variant of Vitamin A that can work wonders for the skin. It comes from the group of a vitamin derivative called “Retinoids.” This class of fat-soluble vitamins is also something you consume!

How? Well, it is also found in foods such as eggs, carrots, and sweet potatoes. When you apply retinol topically, it travels into the deeper layer of your skin, and gets converted to retinoic acid through specific enzymes, called retinoid receptors, also available in the skin.

Nowadays, retinol is found in countless skin care products, such as anti-aging night cream, and other medicated creams used to help fight acne, and reduce the signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.


Retinol is unique from other acne products. It doesn’t remove dead cells off the surface of your skin as all other anti-acne products do because it travels much deeper than the surface.

The presence of tiny molecules in retinol goes deep in the inner layers of the dermis thus improving skin cell turnover addressign uneven texture, sun damage and free radical damage.

Using a retinol cream will reduce fine lines and reduce wrinkles

Once it reaches the middle layer of the skin, retinol aids in neutralizing free radicals for boosting collagen production and elastin. This helps in creating a plumping effect that brings down the visible appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and large pores. Moreover, it also has an exfoliating impact on the surface of the skin that further helps in improving the tone and texture of the skin.

Retinol aids in treating severe acne and lightens scarring. It creates comedolytic agents in the skin that keep the pores unclogged. This, in turn, prevents the formation of blemishes or comedones.

When suffering from severe acne, a skincare specialist may recommend an antibiotic along with retinol treatment. As hard as it works, it may take more than a month to notice improvements in acne and breakouts.


Retinol was approved in the 1970s for use in acne patients. It aids in promoting cell turnover while preventing blockage of pores. This is useful in working against blemishes and spots and also enhances the ability of skincare products gets penetrated the skin. In essence, it promotes the overall skincare routine and boosts results.

Retinol also helps in making the skin appear smoother, softer, and more supple. Retinol is available in a great variety of strengths ranging from 0.25 to 0.50 that can be used few times a week.

If you don’t feel any irritation or rashes in the skin with retinol application, then you can maximize usage up to four nights every week. Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits of retinol for the skin:


One of the most common usages of retinol lies in acne treatment. If you are experiencing stubborn acne that doesn’t go with other cosmetic treatments, then retinol treatment deserves a chance. It helps in unclogging pores, clearing the skin, and preventing acne breakouts.

Topical retinoids improve skin texture and stimulate collagen production

You will notice that not only are the acne gone, but there will be fewer scars also and the skin will appear much brighter and youthful. When you combine the treatment with other medicated gels and creams, you will have much-improved skin.


Retinol is mainly used for acne but it is also beneficial for fighting signs of aging. Retinol is highly effective in showing quick results in reducing signs of aging.

You will get brighter and firmer skin with prolonged use of retinol. You will see that the fine lines, crow’s feet, and wrinkles are effectively removed.


Retinol helps in the natural exfoliation of the skin through the stimulation of skin turnover. If you are suffering from dull and dry skin, you can get brighter and even-toned skin with the use of retinol.

The production of elastin and collagen will also be boosted and you will have thicker layers of skin with minimal imperfections. This comes as a glowing impact of retinol.


For most people, an over-the-counter retinoids is how you should get started with this new skincare routine. Beginning with the lower dosage allows the skin to acclimatize with the product with a reduced chance of skin infection.

But it may take longer to show visible results and in case you are not sure what is the recommended dosage for you, you may consult a dermatologist.


Generally speaking, once you turn 30, you should consider incorporating some time of retinol in your daily skin care routine. However, nowadays, people are now choosing to start early, motivated by the early manifestations of aging like sun spots, crows feet, or wrinkles.

Others are eager to start testing what the new technologies and innovations in skin care have in store for their skin. The mid-20s is a totally suitable time to begin the usage of retinol. Many people who have started using retinol at an early age still swear by it and recommend it to others as well.

Bonus: Why Is My Skin Dry After I Shower?


If you use retinol too frequently or if your skin is not able to cope up with the strength of the formulation, then it may irritate your skin. You should begin with only a pea-sized amount of a very low percentage, preferably within 0.3 percent, and use it only twice a week.

This will give your skin the chance to become habituated with the new product. If you see no signs of redness, swelling, or irritation, then you may increase the frequency of usage to twice a week.

Retinol products are applied topically and perform best as a nighttime routine

Make sure you skip the use of retinol the night before you exfoliate. This is because the mechanism of exfoliation is harsh and abrasive and the last thing you will want is to multiply the skin’s irritation levels by boosting sensitivity.

Also, if you are going for some skin treatments like micro-needling, lasers, or micro-derma abrasion, it’s a good idea to take a break from using retinol.

It’s an effective option for those who have sensitive skin and are more prone to have breakouts or redness. Over time, retinol releases an active ingredient that helps in curbing irritation of the skin.

If you compare between prescription retinol and over-the-counter products, the former is much potential with a higher retinol percentage and it’s a good idea to eventually get used to it.


When you want to include retinol in your daily skincare routine, you must ensure that you are using a broad coverage SPF during the day and applying retinol products only while you go off to sleep. This is because retinol makes the skin extremely sensitive to UV rays and exposure to sunlight curbs the effectiveness of the product.

The best routine to follow when attempting to use retinol is to use it for a night and skip the next two nights and again apply it on the face on the 4th night and continue in this way too you see some visible benefits. You can alternate with an exfoliating cream or a nourishing serum to help your facial skin heal.

As retinol pushes up the cells of the skin at a very fast rate, it leads to micro-peeling in almost all skin types. Thus, you mustn’t use it every night.

If you are going somewhere hot or have to spend extensive periods of time in direct sunlight, it’s a good idea to skip using retinol for the time being. Otherwise, it will not give the effect you are using the products for.


The results expected from continuous retinol usage are also dependent on the way you use the product. It may cause your skin to become red along with mild irritation, you may want to speak with a dermatologist. Here is how you vs incorporate retinol into your skincare regime.

* First of all, you must wash your face properly and apply an eye cream that suits your skin. This will protect the tender skin around your eyes.

* Wait for some time till your skin becomes absolutely dry. This step is very crucial since if there is any tinge of moisture in your skin, then the retinol may be absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin. This may further irritate the skin.

* You will require only a pea-sized amount of retinol and start working it on your chin and apply in an upward and outward motion using your fingertips.

* Use your favorite water-based moisturizer over it.

* The next morning, don’t forget to apply a broad-spectrum moisturizer since your skin is likely to become highly sensitive after this. Skip it for the night and again follow the same course the night after. So long as you continue using retinol this way, you can see the results you desire for.


When you start applying any new ingredient to your skin, you are likely to face some side effects or others. These may include dryness, mild irritation, sensitivity to sunlight, and others that are deemed normal as long as you can bear them.

Anti-aging products contain specialized enzymes for an exfoliating effect boosting cell turnover

But if you see that your skin is becoming flaky, showing intense redness, and becoming burning hot with the application of retinol, especially if you have sensitive skin, then you might just have to discontinue using the product. If you already have pre-existing conditions like eczema or rosacea, you should check with a dermatologist before choosing a product all by yourself.


The cells take around two days for regeneration back on the surface and your skin may become a bit flaky. If you can apply an exfoliating serum the night after applying retinol, then it can remove all the dead cells from the surface.

You must reapply retinol after a short gap of two nights since it will facilitate better penetration of the product to the deeper layers of the skin owing to the workings of the exfoliating serum the night before.

According to dermatologists, if you can bring in a hydrating serum to this beauty regime, then it will give your skin a much-needed break and soothe it with the right ingredients that will replenish it. As per the experts’ opinion, this is the best way to treat your skin since our skin performs the best when it has to work with a variety of highly impressive ingredients rather than a single one every time.

If you notice that your skin is tolerating it well, you may eventually work up to use it every alternate night. If it’s showing signs of damage, then there’s nothing to fret about.

You will just have to reduce the dosage and include other effective ingredients like Vitamin C serum, hyaluronic acid cream, and a good face moisturizer to maximize the effect. But make sure that your skin is digesting one ingredient before you start feeding it another.


Retinol is widely touted as the hero ingredient that helps in preventing and reducing signs of aging. Given the host of benefits it proffers, dermatologists consider it among their favorites. And it goes with any good thing in life, you may have d to wait a few weeks before you could see any positive changes.

Retinol is not going to show impressive results instantly and thus, having patience is a critical factor. You will see improvements in your skin texture as you use it continually for 2 to 4 months.

With continued use, you will start noticing brilliant changes to your skin tone along with reduced acne and blemishes. All you need to do is to find a retinol product that works for your skin and stick to it.

Keep Reading: How To Get Rid Of Dry Skin In And Around Eyebrows

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