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Should I Use Retinol in My Skincare Regimen?

African American woman appyling creamy, luxurious facial cream to her cheeks

Whether investing in your skincare routine is a new hobby that you’ve delved into during quarantine or you’re a skincare fanatic, Retinol is one of those ingredients that is bound to pop up when you’re searching for new products to take your glow to the next level. And while some may equate Retinol to the “bad word” of skincare, we say, “Don’t knock it, ‘til you try it!”

If you’re intimidated, we’re going to help you get to know this ingredient on a personal level. Then maybe, just maybe you’ll consider going to first base with Retinol.

What is Retinol?

Long story short, Retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A and a member of the Retinoid family, exfoliates the skin to enhance the appearance of skin tone and texture.

Now the long version. Retinoids work by exfoliating dead, damaged skin to increase the turnover of the outermost layer of the skin (the keratinocyte), accelerating surface skin cell renewal. This process uncovers vibrant, healthier-looking skin and helps to improve the overall appearance of your skin, texture and tone.

How do I know Retinol is right for me?

You’re getting closer to giving Retinol a shot at a first date, aren’t you? Retinol can be beneficial for most skin types and has been proven effective at:

  • Reducing the appearance of blemishes
  • Improving the look of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Encouraging even skin tone
  • Fading the appearance of dark spots and acne scars
  • Decreasing the appearance of pore size

If you suffer from any of the above and your current routine doesn’t seem to be alleviating those challenges, it may be time to give Retinol a try. As with any ingredient, there’s always a chance that Retinol isn’t right for you. Your best bet would be to consult a licensed skincare professional who will take your skin type, sensitivities, irritations and concerns into consideration before making a recommendation.

What to expect if you’re trying out a Retinol product?

When it comes to trying out a new product, it’s always important to at least have an initial understanding of the side effects it can have on your skin. Depending on the percentage of Retinol in a product, some of the side effects you may experience when introducing Retinol into your skincare regimen include:

  • Peeling - Because topical retinoids exfoliate to speed up skin cell turnover, peeling and purging are normal (and are often an indicator that the product is working). You should only be concerned if peeling is excessive and stop use.
  • Dryness - Peeling due to exfoliation and increased cell turnover may be accompanied by dryness or dry patches. Make sure you’re keeping your skin extremely moisturized. And remember, if you’re dry skin-prone, Retinol may just not be the product for you.
  • Redness - This is usually a reaction experienced by those with sensitive skin. If you don’t have highly sensitive skin, the redness will go away and eventually your skin will adapt. If you do, and redness persists, stop use and consult a dermatologist.
  • Sun exposure sensitivity - While you should always apply a daily sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, you definitely don’t want to skip this step of your routine when you’re using a Retinol product to avoid adverse reactions. If you start with a high-strength Retinol formula, use the product too often or have a predisposition to sensitivity, you may experience varying degrees of these side effects. However, most will find that the side effects are manageable by starting with a lower percentage of Retinol, adjusting other products in their skincare routine and by allowing an extended amount of time for skin to adjust.

Urban Skin Rx® Retinol products to try today

“No matter your age, skin type or skin concern, Retinol is a must-have for your skincare regimen. It literally is the ingredient that erases the past."

That’s what Rachel Roff, CEO and Founder of Urban Skin Rx® and Urban MedspaTM and Weight Loss Center has to say when asked about Retinol.

So it comes to no surprise that Urban Skin Rx® offers a range of Retinol products that are just waiting for you to try. Here are a few:

Retinol Resurfacing Treatment Pads - A medspa-level treatment at home. With a powerful blend of Retinol, Niacinamide and Lactic Acid, these extra strength treatment pads effectively resurface skin to improve the appearance of uneven skin tone and blemishes.

Vitaleyez Retinol +Vitamin C Complex - Brightens dark circles and revitalizes the delicate eye area.

Retinol Rapid Repair and Dark Spot Treatment - Improves the look of uneven skin tone and reduces the appearance of blemish scarring, dark spots, fine lines and pore size.

(SUNBURN ALERT: These products contain Retinol that may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Use a daily SPF 30 or higher, wear protective clothing and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterward.)

Don’t let fear around trying a new product block your glow up! Talk to your dermatologist or another skincare professional about your skincare regimen and if Retinol may just be the soulmate your skin’s been searching for. Who knows, you and Retinol may go all the way to home base!

For other information, education and resources on maintaining your melanin-rich glow, check back on The Glow-Up Guide often!