Retinol is a buzzword in the skincare industry. Some say it's a miracle ingredient, while others warn of its harmful effects. So which one is it? Is Retinol cream harmful or helpful? Well, hold on tight as we take you on this bumpy ride filled with facts and humor.
First Things First- What is Retinol?
Let’s start by answering some questions that are likely on your mind already - what even is retinol cream? To put it plainly, retinol is derived from vitamin A and commonly used in anti-aging products due to its ability to reduce wrinkles, fine lines and promote cell growth (1).
But be wary! Too much exposure can cause redness and irritation so beginners should always use these products sparingly (2). How do I know if I'm overusing my retinoid cream you ask?? Easy peasy lemon squeezy! If you’re rock’n'roll ready for a Mr.Krabs look-a-like Halloween costume then RETIn-y may not be the product for ya!
When Should You Start Using Retinoids?
As they say “prevention is better than cure”. While teenagers might have way too many problems going on their lives (hello crushes), planning ahead never killed anyone!!
Ideally one should start incorporating Vitamin A into their regular regime around age 25(3) . The main purpose here being prevention anxiety (because aging scares us all)!
However…undocumented studies also show; actively ignoring new wrinkles only helps avoid 'awkward situations' till about.. seems like forever!! Can't confirm though...moving forward!!
Types of Retinoic Acid Products
There’s more than one form of retinoic acid found in skin care formulas,4(or products that contain retinoids)..This fact alone can be enough to give you the urge to binge watch Friends again! ..Someone say Ross….?
The two main types of Retinoic acid are;
- OTC - Over The Counter medications or non - prescription :
These usually have a maximum concentration of 2%, and while they're not harmful for most users, make sure it’s suitable for your skin type before giving it a go (5).
Don’t judge a book by its cover, even lightweight retinol cream with just "0.3%" or "0.5%"" concentration still packs some punch!! Oooff..(Moral here: ALWAYS patch test6) 'cos when someone yells “baby need new shoes” don't wanna think 'my face' really needs new skin!!!
If you’re looking for a beginners guide on what kind works well for your skin type this video may help 7 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOgKvpNygP4&t=160s
2.Retinoic Acid Creams : This is in accordance with Doctors prescriptions/ recommendations based on skincare issues (acne , fine lines etc).Prescription formulas boast over twice as much Retinoic acid as their OTG counterparts(8) . These creams should only be used under medical supervision,you wouldn't want end up like ol’ Bozo at bthe circus gone wrong (#red nose)!
How Does It work ?
Now we’ve got our basics down let's dive into how the darn thing actually works. That’s why we’re all here right...right??? Take notes people:
Retinoids prevent wrinkles by supporting collagen production (collagen makes up about 80% of the skin) … DON’T stop reading now yawns!! This +300 billion-dollar industry has paved ways illuminating the cosmetic and dermatology world for reason...(9) Retinoids also increase cell turnover, shedding away the outermost layers of skin. Now we’re in business!! That dead skin sure holds onto more stories than Aunt Katy's drunk confessions at Thanksgiving!
Potential Side Effects
As mentioned earlier retinoic acid used incorrectly may cause side effects including but not limited to:
- Sun sensitivity
(Sounds like what Andromeda talked about on Mass Effect, oh boy)
A common issue that emerges while using the product is "purging" which means a breakout or two in between . A worthy tradeoff? Maybe you've got nothing lined up over weekend! The 'Twin Lotus Fluorescent Condom' (temporary use) definitely warrants an overnight stay home (10).
If these side effects ensue...Don't panic. Simply take it easy and reduce usage as required 11 (Moral here:KISS- Keep It Simple Stupid).
Conclusion: Is Retinol Cream Harmful or Helpful?
In conclusion folks…Yes…sorta-kinda…
While there’s no denying Vitamin A derivatives do wonders for our skin - it’s all relative to your particular situation. Always remember : We are unique snowflakes..beautifully crafted mysteries within ourselves who react to things differently .It is always imperative that one should check with their doctor before trying any new products though tip toes out of room while giggling behind hand.
Afterall prevention still remains key during teenage &young adult years especially when ones constantly exposed outdoors-unless haters screaming “Flabbergasted Dumbell ”is part of plan bee (Good Luck)!! And probably by now i'm unable to keep my faculties together due serendipitous amounts laughter from researching writing this guide myself!