Let’s talk about Retinol

If you’re not using one, you need to start now! Retinol is the life-blood of anti-aging. It helps with EVERYTHING. Fine lines/wrinkles, acne, acne scarring, enlarged pores, evening skin tone, and the list goes on.

We like to call Retinol the “Un-sexy serum”. It’s not going to work in 2 weeks, it can cause an initial purging of acne when you start using it, and it can make you a little dry. Definitely UN-sexy adverse effect. But the reason Retinol gets a bad wrap a lot of time, is that usually people who don’t like retinol are simply just using it incorrectly.

The normal life cycle of a skin cell is about 24-30 days, and as we age, this process slows down even more. Meaning we have old, dead skin cells sitting on top of our skin making our wrinkles more prominent, or clogging our pores, or contributing to dark spots, etc. So, retinol works by prompting the skin cells to “turn over” more rapidly and/or die quicker so it makes way for new, fresh skin cells. This is why it can sometimes make your skin flakey and dry!

Here are some tips to choosing the right retinol & using it

  • Retinol comes in multiple strengths. You want to start on the lowest strength and slowly work up to higher strengths (This takes months.. It’s not a race).
  • Don’t start using every single day!! – You should only start using a retinol 2x per week and slowly work up to daily use.
  • Don’t stop using it just because you feel a little flakey! – This is an EXPECTED outcome initially, but it improves with regular use.
  • You only use retinol at night! Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to the sun! – wear an SPF daily!
  • Over the counter (non-medical grade) retinols are typically not concentrated enough to cause changes in your skin.

This is the down and dirty of Retinol use! We really like the SkinMedica line of Retinol at 4esthetics Lounge. They are specially formulated to reduce some of those adverse effects we see! If you’re not sure where to start with retinol use, please feel free to book a free consult with us at 4esthetics Lounge! If you’re curious about more education about treatments and understanding aesthetics in general, listen to Katie and Emilee, two of the other owners and practitioners of 4esthetics Lounge, on their podcast, Lounging with the Ladies on Spotify!