Why Retinol May Be the One Anti Aging Skin Care Ingredient You Need

Published: 07th May 2010
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Retinol is an ingredient that you are seeing more and more of in a ton of the drugstore and spa quality skin care products on the market today. There's a reason for that. Retinols, which are from the retinoid family, are incredibly effective in anti aging creams and serums and people are seeing big changes in their skin because of them.

Word spreads quickly on what works, and this is one ingredient that you want to be including in your night time skin care regimen if you aren't already, and you are over 30 years old and trying to maintain youthful skin as long as possible. Dermatologists even recommend this ingredient, but only the frequently prescribe it in it's most potent form. It's a product you're very familiar with by now, which has been prescribed now for years for both acne and wrinkle prevention.

We are talking about Retin-A, or tretinoin. This prescription drug is the strongest retinoid you can buy today, and it is available only with recommendation from a doctor. The good news though, is that you can still get high concentrations of this ingredient in over the counter products, and it's also bound to be less irritating and drying than it's prescription counterpart.

So, what are retinoid, or retinols anyways? Well, they are derivatives of vitamin A. It was found that when applied topically, these specially formulated ingredients would have several positive effects on damaged and aging skin. Still another form of vitamin A, isotretinoin, is actually the oral acne wonder drug Accutane, both hailed for it's effectiveness and criticized for it's potentially serious side effects.

Retinol, which may be purchased in cream formulations over the counter in as high of concentrations as 400,000 IU's (International Units) of vitamin A, has a few different effects on the skin. First, it penetrates into the skin and stimulates skin cell turnover. This of course helps to reveal fresh new layers of skin while helping keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay by constantly shedding the skin that may look crinkled or crepe paper-like.

Number two, because it so effectively stimulates the turnover of new skin cells, it also stimulates the production of additional collagen. Collagen is a natural substance that our body produces in abundance in our youth, but it tapers off in production as we age. It is responsible for that "plumped up" appearance of our skin. When it begins to taper off, that's when the signs of aging occur because of the sagging and creasing of the skin where collagen was once "filling it in".

Retinol is such a popular skincare product ingredient because it serves this two fold purpose, and people who use a well formulated product with this in it usually report good results. Not only does it help with wrinkles and fine lines, but it may also help with old scars since it stimulates collagen production, and it also helps to fade things like hyper pigmentation and age spots.

So, if you decide to make retinol part of your nightly skin care routine, there is something that you should know about how to use it most effectively. I gave a hint there when I said "nightly". You should only use retinol-based skin care products at night. Why? Well, the vitamin A actually is rendered ineffective by UV light, so going out in to the sun with this ingredient on your skin will de-activate it's therapeutic benefits, rendering it nothing more than a moisturizing cream.

Putting it on at night will ensure two things. First, the ingredient remains active and performs it's collagen regenerating and skin sloughing duties accurately. Second, you should always apply your heavy hitter skin care products at night, since your body temperature elevates at night and the ingredients will absorb better into your skin.

Danna Norek is the owner and editor of several health and beauty websites, and she frequently tests and reviews products and skin care ingredients, including one of her favorites, retinol. To read more about some products that contain this effective anti aging and complexion improving ingredient, go to Top Rated Anti Aging Creams. You can also read more about therapeutic products for improving your skin tone, clarity, fine lines, and age spots here at Revitol Skin Care Product Reviews.

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