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Retinol For Acne: Benefits, Uses, Products & Results

Retinol is a member of the retinoids family of medicines, which are derived from vitamin A. Vitamin A is a water-soluble vitamin that helps with immunity, eye health, and skin health. It aids skin maintenance by promoting the formation of collagen and elastin proteins.  Many skincare treatments, including anti-aging and anti-acne creams, contain Retinol as a chief ingredient.

There is a large range of OTC as well as prescription products that contain Retinol. Retinol supplements in the form of pills are quite popular. In skincare products, Retinol is generally available in the form of Retinol lotions, Retinol 2.5 creams and Retinol serums. A good product containing Retinol is the Deconstruct’s Retinol and Peptide Serum as it has 0.2% Retinol and 5% Peptide that increase the cell turnover rate and fights fine lines and wrinkles while tackling acne, dark spots, and pigmentation, giving even-toned skin. 

The following are some of the advantages of using vitamin A topically in the form of Retinol:

  • Its minimizing impact helps to prevent wrinkles while also smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Retinol exfoliates dead and dull skin at the cellular level to reveal new skin that is brighter and smoother.
  • It controls oil production and reduces acne breakouts.
  • Prolonged usage would help fade dark spots, acne scars, sun spots, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation, resulting in an even complexion. 

Retinol may assist if you have moderate to severe acne that hasn’t responded to other treatments. Retinol can unclog pores when applied to the skin, allowing other medicated creams and gels to work more effectively. They also prevent dead cells from blocking pores, which helps to avoid acne breakouts. Retinol may therefore be especially beneficial in the treatment of whiteheads. It also assists in the treatment of cystic acne and blackheads.

As a beginner, you should only use very low concentrations of Retinol, such as 0.1% or 0.2%. It should also be applied only at night time so you are not exposing it to the sun. You can also dilute Retinol but mixing retinol serum with a hydrating moisturizer and then applying it to your skin. Retinol shouldn’t be applied on wet skin, so make sure your face is completely dry before you put on a retinol product. Also, don’t apply retinol near your eyes. And in case, you ever apply Retinol in the daytime, layer it with a thick layer of good quality sunscreen to prevent UV damage.

Although Retinol is a natural form of vitamin A, it does not come without risks. Dryness is one of the possible adverse effects. Along with irritation, itchiness, peeling, redness, stinging sensitivity, and sensitivity to the sun. When you initially start using Retinol, these side effects are more common. As your skin adjusts to the product, it should fade within a few weeks. If adverse effects persist, you may want to consider switching to a lower-strength product. In persons with eczema, Retinol may cause or worsen rashes. Furthermore, it is not suitable for pregnant women. Always, get a medical opinion before you switch to any skincare product if you are pregnant or looking forward to getting pregnant in the near future.

Although Retinol is an effective treatment for pimples, Salicylic acid and Benzoyl Peroxide and the two most common and popular OTC ingredients. They are in fact more recommended for treating acne than Retinol. Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide are also safe to be used by people below the age of 20 and may show faster results than Retinol. Retinol is more effective in treating stubborn acne in people older than 20 and 30.

People with eczema should avoid Retinol as it could worsen the rashes and other skin problems they are facing. If your skin is extremely dry, it’s also advised to not use Retinol. Retinol should also not be used over injuries. The use of Retinol is quite dangerous for the fetus and hence, pregnant women are not advised to use Retinol. People below the age of 20 should also avoid using Retinol.

Although Retinol is very effective, it takes time to show results. OTC Retinols can take at least 3 to 6 months to start showing visible results while rescription Retinol may only take a couple of weeks. 

In anti-aging creams, gels, and serums, Retinol is a well-known component. It can also be used to cure acne and acne-scarred skin, which many people are unaware of. It unclogs pores, smooths scars, and improves tone and texture by working on both the surface and middle layers of the skin.

If you’re thinking about taking Retinol for the first time, keep in mind that it can cause irritation. These adverse effects usually fade away after a few weeks of use. To know more about taking Retinol for acne, consult a doctor or dermatologist.

  • At what time should I apply Retinol for acne?

Retinol should always be used at night time. 

  • Can a 16-year-old use Retinol for acne scars?

Retinol is harsh on the skin ad hence not recommended for people below the age of 20.

  • How long will Retinol take in treating acne scars?

Retinol may take at least 3 to 6 months to show any visible results. 

  • How many times a day should I use Retinol for acne scars?

Retinol is a strong ingredient and hence, should be used once a day, preferably as a part of your nighttime skincare routine. 

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