All About Retinol

Spring is (hopefully) upon us and we have talked about the SkinMedica LYTERA Brightening System and chemical peels the past couple months. This month I would like to talk about retinols. There are many myths on why to use them, what to use (or NOT to use) with them and how they really work. We have several to choose from at Turkle & Associates and Phases™ Skincare and Laser Center, so let’s go over a few basics.

First, why would I use a retinol? The simplest answer is that it is an antioxidant that “talks” to the cells and tells them to make more healthy, young cells. It is Vitamin A, for anti-aging and can also help with acne. It “ramps up” the production of new skin cells. This is a key factor in the skin not only acting younger, but looking younger too! They really give you a glow (and who wouldn’t want that?). Everyone can use a retinol; it’s just finding the right one for your skin.

Second, what can I use (or NOT use) with them? It is important to use an SPF 30 whether or not you use a retinol, but especially important is to use other antioxidants, like Vitamin C and E, with your retinol.

Vitamin C requires a low pH to remain stable. Retinol works best in an acidic environment (and skin is naturally more acidic than neutral) therefore, the two work beautifully together to fight free radicals. In fact, your Vitamin C helps keep the retinol from oxidizing and allows it to penetrate deeper into the skin. Magic, right? Science AND magic! How about those AHA’s (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHA’s (beta-hydroxy acids) you hear so much about? Can you still use those with your retinol and other antioxidants? Absolutely! In fact, when used together they improve the results you get from both.

Lastly, how do they work? Keep in mind, you don’t have to deal with peeling, flaking and redness with retinol use. Retinols work by penetrating deeper into the skin and converting to retinoic acid. If you experience irritation, you should stop using for a few days and hydrate the irritated skin to soothe it and bring it back to “normal”. You can (and should) use a moisturizer as a part of your regular skincare program-but especially when using a retinol.

I hope this has helped dispel some of the myths about retinols. We have several different brands and strengths of retinols to help you on your journey to healthy, glowing skin.

To learn more about retinols or any of the services or products offered by Phases, please click here to contact Phases Skin Care & Laser Center in Indianapolis by using our quick contact form or call us at 317-848-8101 today.

Here’s to turning over new skin for spring!

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