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Retinol is by far one of the most misused and misunderstood skincare products on the market which is why we felt the urge address it head on. Retinol or retinoids which include retinoid acid (tretinoin), retinal palmitate, isotretinoin and alitretinoin are all just chemical derivatives of vitamin A! Vitamin A is the key nutrient responsible for cellular turnover the process when our skin produces new cells that travel from the lowest layer of the epidermis to the top layer and then are shed.

Retinol In SkinCare

Retinol is a common ingredient in modern skincare formulations because it is effective for enhancing the brightness of the skin, minimizing acne breakouts and boosting collagen. The problem is many consumers are feeding their skin retinol without a strategic game plan to mitigate the risks associated overusing retinol.

When To Start

A retinol regimen should not begin until you are in your mid 20s to early 30s. Many people are motivated to be proactive and combat the early signs of aging, however, the using retinol when you are too young could cause adverse reactions such as severe acne breakouts, intense sunburns (retinol increases photosensitivity), intense flaking and redness. On the flip side waiting too long can also be problematic because your skin may be too aged and require a higher (often prescription strength) dose of retinol that will increase skin sensitivity.

The Right Balance

Retinol should always be incorporated slowly and carefully integrated with your existing skin care regimen. It is important to identify any existing products you are using with retinol to prevent an overdose. At Manhattan Aesthetics we carefully manage our patients’ retinol use and often will start with a low dose such as SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 which releases the active ingredient slowly and gently making it an an excellent prerequisite for virgin retinol users. 

How To Use

Retinol should only be applied at night time because of its interaction with sunlight. In addition to photosensitivity the sun will actually impair the effectiveness of retinol. It is for this reason it is imperative to wear an SPF50 or greater while taking retinol and also should be avoided during the summer months.

To learn more about retinol schedule a complimentary skin evaluation with our Triple Board Certified Dermatologist by calling 212-960-8172