Greatest retinol lotions 2020

Antiaging creams may come and go, but one ingredient remains the gold standard: retinol. Derived from vitamin A, retinols have been used safely since the 1970s. But what exactly is it, how does it work, and should you incorporate a retinol cream into your beauty routine – even if you don’t have wrinkles?

What is retinol?

Retinol is obtained from vitamin A. The best-known retinol product is Retin-A, which was approved by the FDA as a prescription treatment for acne in 1971. But during the user Pimples went away, they saw other benefits for their skin. Fine lines and sunspots faded and the skin texture looked smoother. Even the pores looked smaller. The skin just looked better, more radiant and more alive. Sounds like a miracle product? While there is no miracle, retinols come close. In other words, retinols are the best anti-aging product money can buy that is not injectable.

Since the debut of Retin-A, retinols have found their way over the counter, into drug stores and department makeup counters, in products that contain high doses of retinols in safe but effective formulas. Think of Retinole as a multitasker and one of the hardest working products in your beauty arsenal.

What does retinol do?

Retinols exfoliate the skin, Rinse it off old skin cells and creating new ones, resulting in new, fresh skin with a smooth texture. They also help shrink the pores and increase cell turnover within the pore, making them less likely to become clogged with dirt and oil. Retinols work by thinning the top layer of skin while also thickening the smoother second layer (the epidermis), making the skin look moist and firm.

But perhaps retinols is best known for helping to increase collagen production. When it comes to fighting the signs of antiaging, collagen is key as it gives the skin elasticity and firmness. Think of that as a support structure for the skin, and remember that collagen formation decreases in your 30s.

Are Retinol Creams For The Face Only?

Retinol-laced products are available in face creams, eye creams, throat creams, and body creams to help solve skin problems that range from fine lines and dark spots to stretch marks and crepiness.

What is the difference between a retinol and a retinoid?

Retinols and retinoids all come from vitamin A – or they are made synthetically. They have the same function, but their main difference is their focus. Retinoic acid is the strongest version and requires a prescription. It is also known as tretinoin or retin-A. “Retinoids” is an umbrella term that includes both over-the-counter and prescription versions of vitamin A, while “retinol” only refers to the over-the-counter version.

Some products contain pro-retinols, which are listed on the packaging as retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, and retinyl linoleate. These are gentler than retinol and can take longer to show results. One benefit of an over-the-counter retinol, however, is that it may not be as irritating as a prescription-strength version.

Who should use a retinol cream?

The quick answer is “everyone”. Almost all skin types can benefit from using a retinolized product, but it is best for anyone who has normal to oily skin that is not overly sensitive. Anyone with acne prone skin will also benefit greatly from its use. While retinol can cause irritation (more on that later), the key is finding the right percentage and frequency of use that will work best for your skin.

At what age should i take retinol?

When it comes to antiaging, prevention is half the battle – so you don’t want to do anything about it until you see lines and dark spots. The general rule of thumb is to include retinols in your routine from your mid-mid through your late 20s.

How long does it take for retinol to work?

Every skin reacts differently to retinol, but generally it takes about 12 weeks to six months to see results. Patience and consistent use are key to getting results.

What strength of retinol do I need?

Over-the-counter retinol products are available in various concentrations, from 0.01% to 1%. What exactly does that mean? It comes down to the strength of the product, which is important as retinol can be irritating to the skin.

If you’ve never used retinol before, start with a low concentration and see how the skin tolerates it before moving up to a moderate level, which tends to be between 0.04% and 0.1%. The highest percentage is between 0.5% and 1% retinol.

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to retinol concentration, however. The skin will continue to benefit from a lower firmness product as the consistency of the application is vital. However, if your skin has a lot of sun damage, deep wrinkles, and sunspots, then you should build yourself up to greater focus.

Does retinol have any side effects?

Yes, side effects can occur when using a retinol cream. Retinol is especially strong in higher concentrations and can cause irritation, peeling and redness. Anyone with rosacea or particularly sensitive skin may be prone to irritation from the use. Usually, the side effects only take a few weeks for the skin to get used to the product. It is also important to wear a sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF while using a retinol as the skin may burn more easily.

Are Retinol Creams Safe?

Retinol is one of the best-studied skin care ingredients and has been used since the 1970s. However, most doctors suggest that pregnant or breastfeeding women avoid its use. Always ask your doctor about any concerns.

How to use retinol

If you’ve never used a retinol product, start slowly to avoid redness, flaking, or irritation. Apply a pea-sized amount of the product once or twice a week and gradually build up to use every night. And be patient. While some women notice improvements in just two weeks, it can take up to six months for something to change. Make sure you incorporate a good moisturizer into your skin care regimen when using a retinol to help make up for dryness. Take extra care when out in the sun and apply sun protection factor daily – which everyone should do regardless of retinol use.

How to choose a retinol cream

When choosing the right retinol product for your skin, packaging plays a role. Vitamin A is not stable, meaning it breaks down when exposed to sunlight and air. Try to select products that come in a sealed tube or pump. However, if you are buying a product in a jar, try choosing one in a dark container.

Further reading: What is retinol? and What does retinol do?

Here are some of the best retinol creams

The best retinol cream of 2020 is the Formulysts Anti-aging night cream.

Here is the full list.

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