Retinol: What is it and Why is it Such a Superstar for Skincare
Apr 2022


Retinol: What is it and Why is it Such a Superstar for Skincare

Retinol is a buzzword we frequently hear about skincare products, touted for its uber-effective, anti-aging properties. Despite its popularity, most people don’t fully understand how retinol works or what it is. 

We field a lot of questions about retinol; the two most common are, “What is retinol”, and “how does retinol work?” We thought it would be beneficial and educational to have an in-depth look at this skincare superstar—and why we should be adding quality products with retinol into our skincare routines.

What is Retinol?

Retinol is one form of two compounds derived from vitamin A, and is an antioxidant helpful in keeping our eyes and skin healthy. Just to clarify, antioxidants are a type of molecule that protects (just one of many benefits) your skin from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are stressors like UV light, blue light, smoke, pollution, and chemicals. Our bodies cannot produce vitamin A, so to benefit from it, we apply it topically on our skin, and for our eyes, we get vitamin A through our diet. 

Retinol, along with hyaluronic acid (HA), vitamin C, and ceramides, to name a few, are among a handful of ingredients that are considered gold-standard in the skincare industry. Choosing skincare products with gold-standard ingredients is the absolute best way to care for your skin. 

Where Does Retinol Come From?

Retinoic acid, a by-product of vitamin A, was the predecessor to retinol and was first used to treat acne in the 70s with success. When dermatologists noticed that the older patients had additional benefits—including diminished wrinkles, smoother skin, and more even skin tone—this discovery led to the development of anti-aging treatments in the 80s. A milder form of topical vitamin A called retinol was formulated from this research. The retinol used in skincare products is a derivative of vitamin A, so it can come from animal-based sources, plant-based sources (search for “vegan retinol”), or be synthetically made.

How Does Retinol Work?

Rather than working on the skin’s surface, retinol molecules are able to go beneath the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) to the lower layer (the dermis). When retinol is in this layer, it neutralizes free radicals and promotes collagen and elastin production.

The benefits of increased collagen and elastin production are to “plump up” the skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and minimize pore size. Another benefit is that retinol has an exfoliating effect on the skin’s surface, brightening and evening out skin tone. 

Retinol is still used to treat severe acne as well, helping to reduce related acne scarring. It can even benefit oily skin by reducing sebum production from pores. Retinol is truly a skincare superstar!

Not All Retinol is the Same

It’s important to note that while you can purchase skincare treatments from nearly any drugstore or beauty supply store that has retinol, you will experience the best results from retinol when you choose quality products from Dermsilk. 

The difference is that our products have higher concentrations of active ingredients, are backed by clinical research, have FDA approval, and are recommended by professionals. The higher concentration of retinol penetrates the skin more deeply for better results, making them superior.

Drugstore brands can have the ingredient, but that doesn’t mean that the ingredient is the same potency or concentration, or that it can penetrate as deeply into your skin as our alternative. This is why there is such a drastic difference in efficacy and results when using the best quality skincare from brands including Skinmedica, iS Clinical, Neocutis, Obagi, PCA Skin, Senté, and Elta MD. 

The BEST Retinol Skincare Products

Top-grade retinol treatments are hands-down, the absolute, best retinol skincare products. Why? Retinol is most effective when it penetrates deep down into the dermis. When you elect to use a quality product with higher retinol concentrations, you can be assured that it has the greatest efficacy. 

Here are best retinol skincare products:

Retinol Skincare Superstars Rock

If you are inspired to add this skincare superstar to your skincare ritual, it is in your and your skin’s best interest to choose retinol treatments that have higher concentrations of active ingredients. These products are always backed by clinical trials that support their efficacy. That’s why these skincare superstars rock.

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