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11-27-14 | Posted by

Every dermatologist I’ve ever met swears by retinol (right after sunscreen) as the must-have anti-ager in any beauty regimen, regardless of age, skin type or complexion. Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, has been proven to reduce lines and wrinkles, unclog pores, boost collagen, and speed cell turnover to even out discolorations and smooth skin. It also helps eliminate bacteria to diminish and prevent acne, promote elasticity, and protect skin cells. With repeated use, your skin will look smoother, plumper, younger!

When you’re using any retinoid (prescription or over-the-counter) you need to know that possible side effects are dryness, redness, and flaking. To gain its many benefits without heading into irritation territory, start out slowly to build up a tolerance to the product — begin by using it once or twice a week. After two or more weeks make that every third night, and when your skin is accustomed to that, you can use it every other night, followed by every night.

You’ll also benefit from these other tips:

  • Begin with a lower percentage retinol cream and work your way up to stronger creams as your skin gets used to it.
  • Because it can cause redness and the product can degrade in sunlight, only apply in the evening, before bedtime.
  • After applying, give your product a few minutes to absorb and then top it with moisturizer.
  • Retinol is very sensitive to light and air. Keep your cream in a cool, dark place.
  • When using retinol use sun protection of at least SPF 30 every day to help you get and maintain good results.
  • Retinol products should not be used by pregnant women, or women who intend to become pregnant in the near future.

You don’t need a prescription level product (like Retin-A) to reap the benefits of this anti-ager. Over-the-counter products will give you great results too and can be far less irritating.





SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream ($57) is clinically proven to stimulate the skin’s collagen production and can thicken aged, thinned skin. It’s also formulated with bisabolol, a soothing anti-irritant to calm the skin and prevent irritation.




Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment ($55) combines a high percentage retinol with potent antioxidants and anti-irritants, so use only a pea size amount every third day or less to start. Its light, silky texture absorbs quickly and goes to work immediately to refine pore size, reduce deep wrinkles, fine lines, and brown spots.




ZO Medical Brightenex 1.0% Retinol ($115) rapidly brightens skin with micro-encapsulated retinol, plant antioxidants, and enzymes. You can expect it to work fast, greatly diminishing age spots and preventing the formation of new ones.




Shiseido Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalizing Face Mask (4 masks for $63) allows you a rich infusion of retinol, chlorella, and hydroxyproline to restore your complexion. You’ll experience a noticeable  improvement in wrinkles, radiance, and hydration after just one use.




Murad Time Release Retinol Concentrate for Deep Wrinkles ($65) has a precision tip so you can apply it directly to deep creases. Besides retinol, it’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and ceramide-3  to soften and smooth on contact.




RoC RETINOL Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum ($22.99) glides on easily and absorbs quickly. You’ll notice renewed radiance in 4 weeks, a reduction in crow’s feet and hyperpigmentation in 8 weeks, and visibly reduced deep wrinkles in 12 weeks.


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