Transforming Your Skin With Retinol

If you’ve been searching for a “holy grail” addition to your skincare routine, look towards retinol which is one of the most skin transforming ingredients on the market today.  As a cell-communicator and antioxidant, retinol can help more than 100 skin issues and lead to a drastically healthier complexion.  So… what exactly is this superhero ingredient?

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What is Retinol?

Retinol is another name for the entire Vitamin A molecule.  Vitamin A is an important part of immune system functionality, growth, bone formation, reproduction and wound healing.  There are two sources of Vitamin A: retinoids, including retinol, which come from animal sources and carotenoids, including beta-carotene, which comes from plant sources.  While retinol can be sold over the counter in cosmetic products, there are many forms of Vitamin A that require a prescription.  There are three prescription-strength retinoids: adapalene, tretinoin, and tazarotene.

How does Retinol work?

Retinol is a “cell-communicator” so it can attach to almost any skin cell and convince it to behave like a younger, healthy skin cell.  Retinol is also an antioxidant, which means that it prevents free radicals and increases collagen production.  As an antioxidant it reduces existing wrinkles, fights acne, unclogs pores, strengthens aging skin, and repairs sun-damaged skin.  Retinol transforms skin by boosting collagen and speeding cell turnover to even discoloration and fine lines, as soon as four weeks which is quicker than most other cosmetic ingredients.  By unclogging pores retinol allows other creams and serums to work better allowing your skin to effectively absorb the active ingredients.  Unclogged pores also mean less acne, and quicker cell turnover means less noticeable acne scars and brown spots.  In total, retinol can help more than 100 skin issues resulting in radiant, younger looking skin.

How to use Retinol?

Vitamin A breaks down in the sun, so buy retinol products that are bottled in containers meant to block air and sun exposure.  For this same reason retinol makes your skin very sensitive to sunlight, so I like to use retinol only at night.  Some people experience redness and peeling of skin while adapting to the retinol, so it may be best to ease yourself into daily use.  Apply a gentle moisturizer and toner to a clean face, then wait 20-30 minutes and apply your retinol cream or serum.



If you’re looking to incorporate retinol into your skincare routine I would suggest consulting your dermatologist to see which form is best for you.  As a person who is just looking for natural daily skin maintenance, I use the following over-the-counter products for my dry/sensitive skin:

InstaNatural’s Retinol Moisturizer:  “Contains a robust formula of handpicked ingredients designed to transform older, damaged skin into a healthier and youthful appearance. Retinol is a powerful antioxidant derived from Vitamin A, one of the strongest and most trusted ingredients for anti-aging skin care. Once absorbed, Retinol is converted into Retinoic Acid, which starts working to help restore skin and diminish the appearance of sun damage and signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, hyperpigmentation, rough texture, and more. Vitamin C – another powerful antioxidant – works synergistically to aid in this process of battling early signs of aging, as well as repairing existing damage to promote healthier skin. Simultaneously, Hyaluronic Acid, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter and Green Tea deliver premium nourishment and hydration to keep your skin moisturized.”
Key Ingredients:
+ 2.5% Retinol
+ Vitamin C
+ Hyaluronic Acid
+ Jojoba Oil
+ Shea Butter
+ Green Tea

InstaNatural’s Age-Defying Retinol Serum:  “Contains a proprietary blend of antioxidants and nutrients that nourishes your skin while helping it to look younger and healthier. The serum contains Retinol (Vitamin A), which is an antioxidant that protects against free-radical damage that causes your skin to look and feel older. It is highly effective in reversing the appearance of sun damage and signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation and rough texture. Vitamin C works synergistically to aid in this process of repairing and restoring damaged skin, while also stimulating new healthy skin to appear. Meanwhile, Hyaluronic Acid traps moisture in the skin to prevent further loss so you can enjoy a younger looking appearance with firmer, plumper skin.
Key Ingredients:
+ 2.5% Retinol
+ 20% Vitamin C
+ 10% Hyaluronic Acid
+ Plant & Fruit Acids


What are your “holy grail” skincare products and ingredients?  Are you already incorporating retinol in your routine?


*Sources: My dermatologist, magazines, personal research

(Some of these items may have been sent to me for review, however, all opinions and words are my own)

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