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What Is Retinol? A Beginner's Guide Part 2

Posted by Dan Narsete on

Let's face it. Aging is a drag, and as much as we love wisdom gained via life experience, most of us fight the visible signs of aging tooth and nail. Just enter "anti-aging cream" into Google, and you'll get nearly 99 million results!

Of all the anti-aging products on the market, retinol reigns supreme. It’s nearly impossible to flip through a magazine or stroll down a skin care aisle in a store without seeing retinol in everything from face and eye cream to body lotion.

If you've read part one of our series, you know retinol is safe, effective, and well tolerated by most people. But what can retinol do for you? Read on to learn how to choose the right product for your skin type and goals.

Where Should You Buy Retinol?

As tempting as it is to grab something at the local grocery or drug store, try to resist. Over-the-counter (OTC) products lack the potency found in medical or pharmaceutical grade retinol because there is no one monitoring customers' outcomes. Think of it this way: retinoids come in varying strengths and can cause skin irritation, which is why dermatologists prescribe them in low doses when patients begin including them in their skin care routines. Major retail brands can't offer that personalization, so their products have to be less potent. The end result? Drugstore brands rarely deliver quality results, and their formulations and ingredient percentages are infrequently listed on ingredient labels, so it's impossible to know what you're really putting on your skin. Choosing medical grade retinol makes better sense, and brands like Replenix and SkinMedica share their potency information, so consumers can make an informed decision that fits their needs.

Retinol for Your Skin Type

A lot of people wonder if retinol is right for their skin type. If you have oily skin, retinol can help reduce the frequency of breakouts. Since it increases skin cell turnover, you may experience a temporary increase in acne, known as purging, when first starting out, but it should subside as your pores clear. People with normal or combination skin usually respond well to retinol, especially when using a soothing antioxidant-rich moisturizer with green tea and squalane, like Elite's Facial Cream Ultra Lite. And if you have dry or sensitive skin that's prone to inflammation or irritation, you can still use low-dose retinol.

Your Skin Care Goals Realized

Since tretinoin, a retinoid only available with a prescription, was originally approved to treat acne, retinol users with problematic or congested skin can expect their blemishes to decrease in both frequency and intensity. And those dark marks they leave behind, as well as discolored patches due to sun exposure, will also fade and disappear more quickly. Fine lines and wrinkles tend to plump back up as the body's natural collagen production increases. And as an added bonus, your skin texture and color will become smoother and more uniform with time.

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If any of these benefits appeal to you (and why wouldn't they?), then visit our website to review the various retinol products we offer. Our knowledgeable team will gladly help you make the right selection, and we'll be adding a third installment to our series that will explain how to add retinol to your routine in a safe, effective manner. As always, we're here to help if you need us. All you need to do is ask.

To aging gracefully,


Team Reflect

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