Let’s talk retinol. Whenever we share a retinol product we are trying or loving, we get tons of questions about it, so wanted to dedicate an entire blog post to the subject! Sunscreen and retinol are the #1 and #2 products every single dermatologist recommends, yet people seem to not really understand retinol, or how to use it. Going to cover some retinol basics today and share two new products I’m loving!
WHAT IS RETINOL?
Retinol is a powerful form of Vitamin A. It combats signs of aging (aka reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles). It is also used to reverse some side effects of sun damage if you are (or were in your teens!) a sun worshiper. “It’s added to topical skincare products to promote skin renewal, brighten skin tone, reduce acne, and boost the collagen production,” explains New York City dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD. “It also functions like an antioxidant to help address free radical damage, which leads to visible signs of aging.”
WHAT DOES RETINOL DO?
Retinol promotes skin renewal and fights signs of aging and acne. It enhances collagen production and cell turnover, and is basically a miracle worker for your skin ;). I just heard on a podcast that Kristin Cavallari swears by retinol to keep her skin looking young and fresh instead of using Botox or other treatments.
WHY SHOULD I ADD RETINOL TO MY SKINCARE ROUTINE?
Retinol is very powerful product as a preventative (can be used in your twenties) as well as a restorative treatment (for women of any age). It can help to fade dark spots, hyper-pigmentation, and can also be used to treat acne or acne scarring. As I mentioned above, it’s a major player in the anti-agin skincare game, which is why most people start using a retinol product. You can google this question and pull up hundreds of pro-retinol articles by everyone from Vogue to Dr. Dennis Gross. As I mentioned, every single dermatologist I’ve ever talked to has said retinol is a must for women in their mid-late 20’s and up.
HOW SHOULD I INTRODUCE RETINOL INTO MY SKINCARE ROUTINE?
Since retinol is so powerful, it’s best to start slow – using it a couple times a week until your skin can get used to it. My dermatologist recommends the 321 method. The first week, use it every 3rd night. The second week, use it every other night. The third week, begin using it nightly. If your skin seems to get irritated, you can always continue using it only 2-3 times/week. Since I do have sensitive skin, I only use my retinol products every other day. Sunscreen is always important, but especially once you incorporate retinol into your routine. Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays, so be sure you’re using sunscreen daily! One thing I looove about StriVectin-AR Day Treatment is that it includes SPF30, it’s a one-step process for daytime!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT StriVectin-AR DAY TREATMENT AND S.T.A.R. LIGHT RETINOL NIGHT OIL?
These products are both fairly new to my skincare routine (started using them in July), but I love them. I have used several StriVectin products from Ulta before (love the neck cream and serum!) and I even remember my mom using it back in the day when it first became popular! What I love about the Retinol Day Treatment is the fact that it has SPF in it, and it includes two of the most powerful anti-again actives NIA-114 and retinol! It’s paraben-free and non-comedogenic, so it’s perfect for sensitive skin like mine (or someone who is just starting with retinol). I think the Retinol Night Oil might be my favorite – it smells so good, a little goes a long way, and I swear it makes your skin glow! I only use 1-3 drops every other night, so this bottle will last me a long time. The reviews on both of these products are great (not surprised!), which is one thing I really look for when adding new products to my skincare routine. My skin is very sensitive in general and sensitive to retinol, and both of these products have worked so well for me!
Do not use retinol if you are pregnant or nursing. If you have sensitive skin, allergies, or are taking any medications, you should speak with your doctor/dermatologist before using retinol (and I recommend speaking with your doctor before starting retinol just to be safe). *Just to note, ULTA has one of the best return policies – if you’re not 100% happy, you can return for a full refund! Whenever I’m trying a new product (makeup or skincare), I love that safety blanket!
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Thank you to Ulta for partnering on this post!