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Retinol 101: The Beginner’s Guide to Retinol Cream

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These days, it seems like you can’t read any anti-aging beauty article without seeing retinol mentioned. And for good reason: it’s a powerful ingredient that dermatologists and skincare experts highly recommend. But what is retinol exactly? And what does it do? Here’s what you should know.

What is retinol and what does retinol do?

Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that helps speed up surface cell turnover. It improves the look of large pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and skin texture. The result is skin that’s more radiant and youthful-looking.

When can you apply retinol cream?

Women of all ages can benefit from making retinol a part of their regular skincare routine. Depending on the strength of the retinol, it can sometimes make your skin sensitive to the sun, so be sure to always wear sunscreen (even on cloudy days!) and avoid direct sun exposure during the day. Whether you apply retinol every day depends on the concentration you’re using and what your skin can tolerate.

What are the side effects of retinol?

Dryness, redness, itching and flaking are all side effects of retinol, especially in the beginning when your skin is still adjusting to it.

How long does it take for retinol cream to work?

While individual results may vary, it’s important to keep in mind that your skin only turns over once every 28 days normally. Even though retinol is designed to speed up this process, you should still plan to give your product at least three months of continuous use to see results.

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