Why Is Retinol Important?


For me, the most flattering question I have ever been asked is, “What do you use on your skin?” In my opinion, it’s up there with the “Who are you wearing?” question before award shows! My answer to that question could vary depending on the season or something new that I’m trying. But the one staple and secret weapon that I never stray from is retinol.

From shrinking pore size, correcting blemishes or age spots, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, to helping rebuild collagen, retinols offer an array of significant benefits that reflect in your skin’s appearance after just a few weeks of use.

While you can get potent prescription Retin-A, there are a few good retinols that we sell in-office without the hassle of getting a prescription. Both SkinMedica and SkinCeuticals offer great retinol products in .25, .5 and 1.0 percentages. These options help to transition your skin into using a retinol, especially if your skin is less tolerant to harsher products.

1) Make sure to use retinol at night. Using it in the day will effect the efficacy of the product, and possibly leave your skin more photo-sensitive. This brings me to my next point...
2) Use sunscreen. Not just while using this product, but ALWAYS!
3) Retinol should be applied before your moisturizer. Ideally, your nightly routine should be: Cleanse, Tone, Antioxidant, Retinol, Moisturizer.
4) Discontinue use before waxing or any laser facial treatments.

This is the most important piece of advice I can offer. Retinol stimulates your cell turnover and helps to shed the buildup of dead skin that makes your skin look dull. Because of that, it can make your skin feel a little red and sensitive. We suggest starting out with the .25 or.5 percentages, and applying two nights a week. The next week, apply three nights a week. Our goal is to help the skin acclimate to the product and eventually be able to use it nightly.

Give it a couple months and you will be completely glad you started using retinol. People may even start asking what you’re using on your skin, and that’s the best kind of compliment!

Article by
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon