Vitamin A. Retinol

Vitamin A, or retinol. The modern elixir of youth.

Imagine that one and the same vitamin reduces wrinkles, firms and brightens the skin, stimulates collagen production, regulates sebum secretion, accelerates epidermal renewal, brightens hyperpigmentation, treats inflammation, works against acne, promotes wound healing and the treatment of frostbite and burns... You're out of breath! Is that all that retinol (because that's what it's all about) offers you already? No, that's certainly not all! Vitamin A is one of the most effective ingredients in cosmetics and cosmetic treatments, but you need to use it in the right way.

We talk to cosmetologist Justyna Fuksa-Omiotek, M. D., about when and how to use retinol safely.

What is retinol?

The spectrum of retinol's effects is vast. Retinol is an organic chemical compound, one of the derivatives of vitamin A. Of these, retinol, retinal and beta-carotene are most commonly used in cosmetics. The treatment of acne, on the other hand, uses retinoic acid, or tretinoin. In addition to retinol's important effect on the condition of the skin, it has a number of other functions in our body. Vitamin A influences vision, steroid hormone synthesis, cell division or immune reactions.

Let's focus on the skin, after all, vitamin A has been hailed as the "modern-day elixir of youth."聽

That's right. It is the primary form of vitamin A, the most biologically active. Its action is based on the activity that differentiates epidermal cells and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, the fibers responsible for maintaining the firmness and density of our skin. In addition, it deeply regenerates the skin, regulates the sebaceous glands, preventing blackheads and imperfections. Retinol, by stimulating the formation of new blood vessels, affects better blood supply to the skin.

Amazing how valuable a single vitamin is! Women are eager to use retinol creams? When to use such creams?

Yes, cosmetics with retinol are quite popular. The skin aging process begins around the age of 25. Women can reach for cosmetics with retinol as early as ca. 30 years of age to slow down the skin aging process. There is also a whole range of cosmetics for the skin of mature women who observe skin flabbiness, discoloration, uneven skin tone, photo damage. The most important thing is to choose a particular product according to the needs and type of skin.

How to choose a retinol cream? How to apply it?

It is best to use the method of small steps. At first, use creams and preparations with retinol of low concentration (0.2-0.3%) every 2-3 days. This is to prevent possible side effects in the form of redness or skin irritation. Then when the skin gets used to it, the retinol cream can be used daily (reaching for retinol in higher concentrations).

Does retinol have an anti-acne effect?

I can confidently say that retinol shows very effective action in the fight against acne. It works well in the care of both young skin with acne and mature skin with acne symptoms. The use of preparations with retinol in such situations exfoliates the epidermis, regulates the sebaceous glands, clears the pores of blackheads, thus reducing sebum secretion. It also treats inflammation. In addition, it lightens acne discoloration and shallows the resulting scars. It certainly aids in the treatment of acne, but you should always consult a dermatologist when doing so.

How to use cosmetics with retinol?

Recommendations for the use of cosmetics with retinol are very important. There are several rules to keep in mind:

  1. It is important to remember that cosmetics and preparations with retinol are applied to the skin once a day, in the evening, avoiding the area around the eyes and mouth.
  2. In doing so, we take care to moisturize the skin regularly and intensively.
  3. Since retinol can cause flaking and irritation of the skin, it is recommended that it be used during periods of low sunlight, i.e. autumn and winter.
  4. During treatment, it is absolutely necessary to use high sun protection, a minimum of SPF 30, and SPF 50 for hyperpigmented lesions.

Retinol is used in various cosmetic treatments. Are they safe?聽

When planning a treatment in which vitamin A is used, or is an ingredient, it is a good idea to consult a dermatologist or cosmetologist first. Despite its many benefits, it can cause skin irritation, dryness and redness. In home care, retinol is usually found in concentrations of 0.1 to 2%, while in-office treatments are based on up to five percent. So it matters what kind of office you choose. Sometimes it's worth paying more, but entrusting your skin to an experienced professional. So be guided by safety considerations. You can check, for example, in the reviews of the office whether the treatments are carried out by experienced and professional specialists, and whether they are carried out on modern equipment. Get well acquainted with the offer. The wider the range of services, the more accurately the cosmetologist will select a treatment for you. The offer should include, for example, combination therapies with chemical peels, through which spectacular results are achieved in terms of anti-aging, brightening and seboregulation effects.


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The information contained in this article is for general information and educational purposes. They are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is recommended that you consult your doctor or other qualified health care professional for advice on your specific symptoms, ailments or condition.