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If you've been active in the skincare community for a while, the talk of Retinol as a holy grail ingredient should have appeared somewhere on your radar - and it's no surprise. Available in creams and serums, Retinol has been lauded for its ability to promote the appearance of firmer, bouncier-looking skin that gives off a radiant glow.

There's a reason why so many beauty gurus insist that it's a must-have product in their skincare routine. However, the key to maximising the effects of active ingredients such as Retinol is knowing how to use them properly.

What is Retinol?

Retinol is one of the several derivatives of Vitamin A. You may have encountered other terms such as Tretinoin or Retinoid. The first thing to remember is that Retinoid is used as a catch-all term for all of these derivatives of Vitamin A, namely Retinol and Prescription Retinoids.

Forms of Vitamin A, like Tretinoin, aren't the most consumer-friendly ingredient - with their high potency, you need a doctor's prescription to acquire it. Tretinoin was patented as a form of wrinkle relief by Albert M. Kligman in 1986, after becoming the first dermatologist to discover the link between sun exposure and wrinkles. Skincare brands and dermatologists have since come up with derivatives with the same efficacy but lower potency to avoid side effects like irritation and flakiness - enter Retinol.

This is why Retinol is a great alternative. As Retinol can be bought over the counter without a doctor's prescription, it is popularly used by skincare powerhouses and beauty boutiques, plus its lower concentration makes it easier for users to acclimate their skin with it.

What are the benefits of using Retinol?

If you've been closely following beauty gurus in your area, you'll notice that Retinol is often what they swear by when it comes to their youthful-looking and glowy skincare mantra. Retinol hardly falls short when it comes to providing great benefits such as enhancing the texture of the skin and helping to smooth out fine wrinkles.

For great results, we recommend using Retinol at night to avoid sun exposure so you can fully maximise its effects. When it comes to Retinol for beginners, you should start with Retinol products in mild strength, so your skin gets a gradual introduction to the ingredient. Taking a stepped approach is key; by prefacing your Retinol journey with a mild start, you can gauge whether the product works for you or not. If done abrasively, flakiness or redness may occur, so make sure to test out a minimal amount first.

For a comfortable transition, you'll want to use the Retinol every other night for at least four weeks first before fully converting it to nightly use. Keep in mind your skin can be sensitive to new topical products, especially those containing active ingredients, so you should watch out for any adverse effects and do a sufficient amount of patch testing to ensure no allergies develop.

Follow these tips carefully so you can share a positive experience and credit your bouncier, well-moisturised complexion to Retinol.

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