Using a Retinol Lotion

A retinol lotion is lighter than a cream and better for oily and combination skin types.  Retinol is a very effective anti aging ingredient used in skin care.  It increases cellular turnover, aids in skin exfoliation, and increases collagen and sometimes elastin production.  These properties make it an effective wrinkle fighter that also fades hyperpigmentation like age spots, and can help stall facial sagging.

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A called a retinoids.  Retinoids are very popular in anti aging products and have a big following.  Their effectiveness is scientifically proven to improve the appearance of aging skin.  The prescription wrinkle treatment Retin-A contains retinoic acid, which is the most effective retinoid.  Healthy skin can convert retinol into retinoic acid, which decreases as we age and is essential an essential nutrient for skin health.

A strong retinol lotion can irritate new users.  Normal retinol side effects include peeling and dryness.  If you use too much retinol too fast, you can also experience redness, irritation, and inflamed patches.  You can avoid experiencing an adverse reaction by introducing retinol into your skin care routine gradually.  Most retinol skin care products come in strengths of .15%, .5% and 1%.  Start off using the mildest retinol lotion you can find.  Apply it every other day for the first week or so, every third day if you have sensitive skin.  Gradually work your way up to using it daily.  After you’ve been using a mild product daily for a few weeks, start alternating days with a stronger concentration.  Continue gradually increasing the strength of your products.  The strongest product available is often a retinol serum.  Using retinol products for a few months before getting a prescription retinoid is highly recommended.  New users are very likely to experience irritation by initially using such strong formulations.

When you first start using a retinol cream or lotion, your skin will flake.  Do not pick at the flaking; let it slough off naturally.  If it is really annoying you, gently massage your face with a wet washcloth in circular motions using mild pressure.  Skin flaking indicates proper exfoliation and increasing cellular turnover, so consider it a sign that it is working.  After a week or so of continued use, the flaking will subside because so little skin will be removed every day that it isn’t visible.

A retinol lotion is a good facial treatment for oily skin.  Retinoids cause your skin to produce less oil.  This can lead to dryness for many people, but is a very beneficial side effect for oily skin types.  Normal skin types may need to use a heavier moisturizer after using retinol for a few weeks.  Some people with very dry skin aren’t able to use retinoids because of the drying effect.

You should only use retinol in the evening because it reacts with sun exposure and becomes ineffective.  Retinol lotions often contain alpha hydroxy acids to increase exfoliation.  These acids cause your skin to become photosensitive.  It can burn a lot easier for a week or more after each application.  Skin care products containing alpha hydroxy acids will have a sun exposure warning and also be listed on the ingredient label as lactic or glycolic acid.  Check your product label, especially if you are using other alpha hydroxy acid products.

Retinol works well with other anti aging products in a skin care routine.  Consider using a Vitamin C lotion or serum in the daytime.  Use caution when using retinoids a few days before or after a heavy exfoliation treatment like chemical peels or microdermabrasion.  Too much exfoliation leaves your skin vulnerable to sun damage and dehydration.  Be sure to change your skin care routine gradually and don’t add too many new products at one time.

It takes some time to see results from anti aging skin care products containing retinol.  You’ll get some benefits right away from the exfoliation, but wrinkle reduction and fading age spots takes time.  Try using a retinol lotion for a few months before giving up.

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