What Does Retinol Serum Do? Benefits and Side Effects

Retinol serum is a formula made up of retinol, which is a vitamin A derivative that works to treat different skin issues such as aging, acne, and so on. Are you wondering what a retinol serum does for your skin? What does retinol serum do? Benefits and Side effects

Retinol serum is a water-soluble formula that penetrates your skin to replenish your skin and restore it from damage. It does this by enhancing collagen production in the skin. 

This anti-aging skincare product enters the skin to trigger the skin cells to produce more collagen fibers to the skin; to smoothen and eliminate skin blemishes and impurities. 

This article contains all you need to know about the function of using retinol. Read ahead to discover answers to more relevant questions concerning what retinol does for the skin. 

What Does Retinol Serum Do to the Skin?

Retinol replenishes your skin and restores it from damage. It also helps to treat acne in the skin, so if you have acne-prone skin, retinol is a must-have in your skincare routine. 

A board-certified dermatologist, Marisa Garshick, MD says that retinol is an anti-aging ingredient that also helps to reduce acne and eliminate acne scars by minimizing the production of oil in the skin.

Aside from being an aging treatment, retinol also helps to treat skin damages caused by the sun. Constant and prolonged exposure of the body to the sun causes the skin to develop dark patches, causing photoaging. 

Using retinol serum on your skin will help to clear off dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and sunspots on your skin. Retinol serum also helps to brighten and glow up the skin, which is the goal of every skincare fanatic. 

Elastin is a protein fiber that the skin produces to improve elasticity in the body, and when there is a reduction in the production of elastin in the body, the skin begins to lose its elasticity. This thereby causes the skin to become saggy and have wrinkles.

Regular use of this serum will also help to give your skin an even skin tone, as retinol helps to increase skin cell turnover. This exfoliates and sloughs off dead skin cells on your skin, revealing a brighter and healthy even skin.

SEE: Does Retinol Work? Learn the Facts

How Does Retinol Serum Work?

Retinol works on the skin by penetrating the skin to enhance the production of necessary fibers and protein that the skin needs to stay firm and healthy. 

The production of elastin and collagen in the body will help to firm the skin as well as smoothen it to clear off impurities such as dark spots.

How Does Retinol Serum Help to Treat Acne?

Retinol is not only popular for its anti-aging benefits, it is also known for being able to treat acne. Acne begins to form on the skin due to the mixture of the buildup of dead skin cells with excess oil in the hair follicles. 

Lindsey Bordone, MD, a dermatologist at Colombia University Irving Medical Center says that “retinol increases the rate at which there is a turnover in the skins; to treat acne and reduce the appearance of acne scars.” 

Retinol regulates the production of oil in the skin cells to avoid excess oil production from clogging your pores,” Dr. Bordone. “If you are looking to treat acne with retinol, use the product consistently for about three months,” Bordone explains further.  

Board-certified dermatologist, Kaveri Karhade, MD also says that “using retinol serum will help to decrease the amount of acne on your face when you use it correctly.” 

Using retinol serum on your skin will help to regulate oil production in the skin, thereby, decreasing the rate at which your skin breaks out. Retinol unclogs the skin to reduce acne break out and it also reduces the visibility of acne scars by encouraging the sloughing off of old skin cells.

SEE: What Is Face Serum? A Complete Guide for Skincare Beginners

How to Use Retinol Serum Correctly

Despite being one of the best skincare ingredients, retinol is known to irritate the skin when you start using it. Learning to use your retinol correctly will help to rescue the risk of side effects. Follow the steps below to use retinol in your skincare routine

How to do it:

  • Wash your face in preparation for the application of your skincare products on your face. Do this by cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser that works for your skin type.
  • Dry your face using a clean towel after washing it.
  • Use a facial toner to hydrate your skin to prevent dryness on the skin before applying your serum.
  • Squeeze out two drops of your retinol serum on your fingertips and massage it into your skin in a circular motion.
  • Don’t rub your skin too hard in the process of applying the serum.
  • Allow your skin to absorb it for about 15 minutes. Once your face is completely dry, you can apply your favorite moisturizer to seal in moisture on your skin, and to prevent the drying effect of retinol on the skin. 

Note: Once you start using retinol on your skin, ensure that you always use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher every day to protect your skin from environmental damage such as sunburn.

How Often Should You Use Retinol Serum on Your Face?

If you have never used any vitamin A derivative on your skin as part of your skincare routine, only use retinol on your skin once a week for the first two weeks of using it. After the first two weeks, upgrade your usage of the serum to twice weekly. 

This will give your skin enough space and time to get used to the serum, this will lessen the risk of side effects. After two months of using the serum, you can increase the number of nights by one to make it three times weekly. 

Keep adding one more night every month till you can achieve a daily usage of retinol on your skin. 

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Using Retinol Serum?

You may experience common side effects, such as dryness, redness, and peeling of the skin if you have never used retinol or any other vitamin A derivative on your skin before. 

Also, overusing a high-strength retinol serum can cause side effects such as itchiness and rashes to occur. Another factor that causes irritation as a side effect is if it is used carelessly on sensitive skin. 

Below are other rare side effects of retinol that may occur due to allergy reactions:

  • Enzymes
  • Acne breakout
  • Discoloration
  • Swelling
  • Stinging

SEE: What Does Retinol Do? See the Benefits and Side Effects

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you continue using retinol serum while pregnant?

No, you can’t. Pregnant and nursing women shouldn’t use retinol on their skin till they no longer breastfeed their child.  

Contact your dermatologist for more information concerning retinol for pregnant women.

When should you start using retinol serum?

In your early 20s. Introducing retinol to your beauty regime will help to prevent early aging of the skin. 

Use retinol on your skin today to treat skin issues ranging from acne to discoloration and uneven skin tone.

How long does it take retinol serum to work?

About 3 to 6 months. It takes about three weeks of consistent use of retinol serum to see major skin improvements such as a reduced aging sign, even skin tone, reduction in acne breakouts, and so on. 

Be consistent with the use of your retinol serum and you may experience faster results.

Conclusion

Retinol serum is a water-soluble formula that penetrates your skin to replenish your skin and restore it from damage. It does this by enhancing collagen production in the skin. 

This anti-aging skincare product enters the skin to trigger the skin cells to produce more collagen fibers to the skin; to smoothen and eliminate skin blemishes and impurities. 

Regular use of this serum will also help to give your skin an even skin tone, as retinol helps to increase skin cell turnover. This exfoliates your skin and sloughs off dead skin cells on your skin, revealing a brighter and healthy even skin.

Thanks for reading. 

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