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How Retinol Can Improve Your Skin Tone

From anti-aging creams and under eye creams to primers and moisturisers, probably all kinds of cosmetic products are sitting on your counter right now. They are waiting to be applied, ready to turn your skin into perfection.

But, how many of you actually take time to read the ingredients used in the products? And if you did look closely, by now you will probably be aware of the one ingredient found in most products - retinol.

Retinol is touted to be a dermatologist's favourite, and here is the reason why. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that increases cell turnover, which in turn helps the skin to get rid of dead cells and promotes healthy skin.

Collagen is a protein that our body relies on to keep our skin hydrated, supple and glossy. However, with age the natural collagen production in the body slows down leaving it rough and dry.

Retinol boosts collagen production and prevents it from breaking down by reaching deeper layers of the skin.

Here are some ways in which retinol benefits our skin:

Treats Fine Lines
Retinol is an effective cell-communicating ingredient and a potent antioxidant, which essentially slows down the free radical damage process in the skin and prevents wrinkles. However, do not expect any quick results. It takes a few weeks to show any visible results.

Beats Acne and Hyper-pigmentation
Yet another reason why retinol might just be the thing for you. Retinol helps the skin to get rid of its dead cells, revealing a clear layer of skin underneath. Repeated use has shown to reduce symptoms of hyper-pigmentation by reducing the production of melanin. It also helps to treat acne.

Reduces Enlarged Pores
Enlarged pores is one of the main culprits responsible for majority of skin ailments. While retinol cannot reduce the genetic size of the pores, it can certainly reduce the size of the pores enlarged due to sun damage or dirt accumulation.

Points To Consider

Retinol is FDA approved and there has been much research to back up its effectiveness in treating skin conditions. However, before you decide to give it a shot, there are a few points to keep in mind.

First time users should administer caution. Start off slow by applying retinol products every alternate day, instead of daily. Combine your products with a soothing moisturiser to protect yourself from the irritation it can cause like flaky skin or redness.

Refrain from using any form of retinol if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Retinol essentially does the job of peeling your outer layer of the skin to reveal clearer skin underneath. Exposure to direct sunlight can cause severe burn to retinol-treated skin. Avoid applying any form of retinol product before heading out. In case you do, use a strong SPF to reduce the chances of irritation.

Benefits of retinol are manifold, no doubt, but instead of self prescribing any dose, it is wise to consult a dermatologist who can suggest a suitable retinol-based product for your skin type.

Story first published: Thursday, July 28, 2016, 12:50 [IST]