What Is Retinol? the Beginner’s Guide to this holy grail Anti-Aging Product: Part 1

the beginners guide to retinol

If you clicked on this link I assume you already know that retinol is or want to understand what the fuss is about. In spite of all the new developments and new magical ingredients which are supposed to give your skin a new lease on life, retinol has remained a constant in the background plodding on, doing what every other product claims to do.

If you have ever wondered how it works and what it will do for your skin? Keep reading because I will breakdown everything will ever want to know about retinol, the benefits, types and how to choose a formula which won’t irritate your skin.

So if you don’t quite realize it yet, when it comes to skincare and antiaging retinol is the Holy Grail that will treat 80% of your skincare woes and a product that actually reverse the signs of ageing.

What is it?

Retinol is Vitamin A and is found in food and skincare. Foods like fish, dairy products, meat as well as brightly orange coloured fruits are rich in Vitamin A. So not only does Vitamin A have benefits when ingested it also has great benefits to the skin when applied topically.

What are the benefits of Retinol & what does it do?

The question to ask is what doesn’t retinol do? When it comes to rejuvenating your skin retinol is one of the tested and scientifically verified ingredients that can rejuvenate your skin. So what does retinol actually do in summary retinol exfoliates, aids in the production of collagen and fights free radicals all of which in combination work to overhaul your skin?

Benefits of Retinol

Improves cell turnover

Retinol improves your skins cell turnover, which is important as you get older. This is because when you are young the skin cells turn over every 28 days, creating a fresh layer of skin. However, as you get older your skin cell turnover slows down to 40, 50 or 60 days depending on your age resulting in wrinkles. Retinol speeds up this cell turnover revealing fresher, smoother skin basically tricking your skin into acting like it is younger.


The rapid cell turnover of retinol causes exfoliation at a deeper level. Unlike other exfoliators which work on a superficial level by removing dead skin cells; the exfoliation is a side effect of your rapid skin turnover.

Prevents wrinkles

Retinol thickens the skin by increasing cell turnover and thus collagen production for thicker, more youthful skin, reducing wrinkles and makes the skin look younger. So  It not only smoothe the current fine lines and wrinkles but also minimizes the new ones that form.

Resurfaces the skin

Retinol can produce what is known as a retinol forehead because of its wrinkle reduction ability. In addition to reducing wrinkles, retinol shrink pores and fades hyperpigmentation allow them to resurface your skin and transform your complexion over time.

Treats acne

Retinol regulates oily production in the skin and keeps pores from clogging, resulting in fewer blackheads, cysts, and pimples. They also reduce acne outbreaks by exfoliating the skin thereby preventing dead cells from clogging pores.

Fades dark spots

Over time, using retinol will even out your complexion, and fade sunspots, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots. Retinol also penetrates really deep into the skin and interferes with pigment production reducing hyperpigmentation.

So there is the first part on retinol, the benefits of using it on your skin. Part 2 will talk about how to choose the right retinol for your skin, the types of retinol available and the tips on getting the best results.

Do you use retinol? and what have your results been like? Let me know in the comments.

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