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Retinol, which is basically Vitamin A, offers many benefits to the skin. Studies have revealed that topical application of Vitamin A or retinol improves collagen production in the skin, improves skin elasticity and fights signs of skin ageing such as wrinkles and fine lines .
Vitamin A or retinol is an essential nutrient for the skin that is not synthesised by our body. So, it needs to be given externally and in the case of skincare, topically . And so, retinol has gained a lot of popularity when it comes to products that can refresh and rejuvenate the skin. But, at the same time, there are various myths surrounding retinol that might hold you back from exploring this amazing ingredient.
To end your confusion regarding retinol and help clear out any misinformation prevalent about retinol.
Myth 1: You Shouldn't Go Out In The Sun After Applying Retinol
Fact: Not exactly true. You might have heard multiple times not to use retinol during the day or not to go out in the sun after applying a retinol. It is said to increase the damage done by the harmful UV rays of the sun and also the risk of sunburn. But, there is an efficient way to protect your skin - sunscreen. After you have applied retinol, wear sunscreen over it to prevent any damage.
Sunscreen is a skincare product that you should anyways not skip and it becomes even more important when you have applied retinol on the face.
Myth 2. Retinol Will Give You Immediate Results
Fact: We wish it were true! Many people have the misconception that after you start the retinol application, it will show instant results. But, it is no magic. Like any skincare product, you need time for it to show any results. Do not expect results in a week or even in a month. It will take 4-6 months for you to see any visible change in your skin.
Myth 3. Retinol Can't Be Used Every Day
Fact: Not true. While it completely depends on the concentration of the product you are using, it is safe to use retinol daily. However, we would definitely warn you against multiple applications of retinol during the day. Just once a day is more than enough. You can also use retinol a few times a week if you don't feel comfortable using it daily.
Myth 4. You Shouldn't Put Retinol Under Your Eyes
Fact: Okay, here we would like to remind you that retinol is essentially used to fight wrinkles and skin ageing. And the area on our face where these issues are prevalent is around your eyes. You can definitely put retinol under your eyes and if you have sensitive skin and you want to be cautious, apply an eye cream before applying retinol.
Myth 5. Retinol Can Make Your Skin Thin
Fact: This statement is false. As stated above, retinol is proven to increase the collagen production in the skin and that makes your skin firm, elastic and healthy. Although, you might experience your skin peeling when you start using retinol and that might be the birthplace of this myth. But you don't have to worry about your skin thinning while using retinol.
Myth 6. Concentrated Retinol Formula Is The Way To Go
Fact: Retinol or Vitamin A cannot be synthesised by our skin and thus applying a concentrated formula directly on to the skin might do more damage than good. While the more concentrated formula will, no doubt, perform better and take less time to show results, it is always best to start with a mild formula first. And then, as your skin starts to get used to the product introduce the more concentrated formula.
Myth 7. Retinol Can Only Be Used On Mature Skin
Fact: Not true. While the main target behind using retinol is fighting signs of skin ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles and as such it is recommended for people over 30 or 40 years. But that doesn't mean that it can only be used by them. People in their 20s can very well use retinol as it improves collagen production and thus improves skin appearance and elasticity. Moreover, it also helps to unclog skin pores and regulate oil production in the skin.
Myth 8. Retinol Exfoliates The Skin
Fact: Not true. Retinol is something that even outs your skin, makes it soft, plump and elastic. But it doesn't exfoliate the skin. It improves collagen production in the skin. You might feel that it exfoliate the skin as when you start using retinol it leads to skin peeling but that is not retinol exfoliating your skin. So, if you think you can use retinol to get rid of those dead skin cells, think again.
Myth 9. If Retinol Irritates Your Skin A Bit, Stop Using It
Fact: Untrue in most cases. The reason why most people stop using retinol is that when you start off, it makes your skin worse. You might experience skin peeling, dry skin or redness when you begin using retinol. But, if you stick to it, it gets better. The irritation will subside in about 4-5 weeks. So, if you pass that initial stage, you are going to love it later.
Myth 10. Retinol Can't Be Paired With Other Exfoliants
Fact: Not true. Retinol performs a function quite different from the exfoliants and your skin needs both. While retinol improves skin appearance, exfoliants penetrate deep into your skin to remove the dead skin cells and impurities from the skin and also add moisture to the skin. Exfoliants contain AHAs and BHAs to do this feat . And these most definitely can be used together to keep all the skin issues at bay.
-  Kafi, R., Kwak, H. S. R., Schumacher, W. E., Cho, S., Hanft, V. N., Hamilton, T. A., ... & Voorhees, J. J. (2007). Improvement of naturally aged skin with vitamin a (retinol).Archives of dermatology,143(5), 606-612.
-  Mukherjee, S., Date, A., Patravale, V., Korting, H. C., Roeder, A., & Weindl, G. (2006). Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety.Clinical interventions in aging,1(4), 327–348.
-  Kong, R., Cui, Y., Fisher, G. J., Wang, X., Chen, Y., Schneider, L. M., & Majmudar, G. (2016). A comparative study of the effects of retinol and retinoic acid on histological, molecular, and clinical properties of human skin.Journal of cosmetic dermatology,15(1), 49-57.
-  Moghimipour E. (2012). Hydroxy Acids, the Most Widely Used Anti-aging Agents.Jundishapur journal of natural pharmaceutical products,7(1), 9–10.