Retinol is widely found in major anti-aging skincare products; it is an effective ingredient recommended by Dermatologist. Retinol belongs to the family of Vitamin A, mainly use for anti-aging, help treat acne, reduce & slow down appearance of fine lines, and other uses.

But how to choose the right Retinol skincare product?

Where & when to include Retinol into my daily facial skincare routine?

How to use Retinol to achieve the ideal effect?

Here to share with you a complete understanding of Retinol, so that you can use Retinol correctly to maintain healthier skin.


What is Retinol?

Retinol is a type of Retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A. Besides Retinol in the family of Vitamin A, it also consists of Retinal, Retinoic acid & Retinyl esters.


The commonly reported side effects with many dermatological clinical studies in treating acne, blackheads, whiteheads, dark spots and other skin conditions, are using Retinoic acids, due to its high irritating effect, early phase of using Retinoic acids is common to cause redness, skin peeling, dryness, skin sensitivity and other types of skin discomfort. Health Ministry & Drug Control Authority in many countries have classified Retinoic acid as a prescription medicine, in response to Dermatologist recommendation, in order to use Vitamin A for skin care maintenance, one can choose to use Retinol skincare product.


When the Retinol ingredient in the skincare product being absorbed, the body will gradually convert it to Retinoic acid to achieve good skincare effects. US Dermatologist Prof. Albert M. Kligman uses Retinol as a medicine to treat acne, besides improving healing of acne, it also causes skin to be subtle & plump, as well smoothen facial fine lines wrinkles.

Hence Retinol skincare products not only reduces the skin irritation, at the same time improving healing of blackhead, whitehead, acne, anti-aging, tightening skin tone, smoothening fine lines wrinkles; and Retinol is more gentle, don’t easily cause irritation, and through many years of research, Retinol is now recognized by US FDA as an effective facial anti-aging ingredient.


Retinol has multiple beneficial skin effects


Retinol effect 1: removal of old skin cells

Retinol can help in rejuvenating skin cells natural turnover cycle, reduces clogged pores & excessive sebaceous oil production, and progressively improve acne, blackhead, whitehead issues.


Retinol effect 2: slowdown aging skin process

In reference to Journal of Drugs in Dermatology research, Retinol shown to slowdown collagen loss, and stimulates collagen production & assimilation, able to smoothen skin fine lines, improve rough & dull looking skin, slowdown aging skin processes, is an excellently effective anti-aging ingredient.


Retinol effect 3: help improve rough skin pores

If due to abnormal skin cells turnover cycle, or rough skin pores consequence from aging pores effects, Retinol is able to improve, smoothen & result in more even skin, tightened skin pores, causes the skin to appear smooth, silky & plump.


Choosing the right Retinol skincare product

What Retinol concentration to choose from?

In choosing a Retinol skincare product based on the Retinol concentration inside the skincare product is over simplified. Reported efficacy from clinical studies & level of skin irritation of active ingredients, other added ingredients and dosage form are relevant, even usage quantity & application frequency, hence it is not higher concentration that implying higher effectiveness.

The commonly available Retinol concentrations in the skincare product market is between 0.01% ~ 3%, based on every individual skin requirement and tolerability, it is recommended to start with lower concentration of 0.01% ~ 0.05%, first use a small amount to apply on a small area of your skin, in order to assess skin sensitivity reaction, ensuring the skin has no negative reaction, then gradually increase the skin area application.

Should discomforting effects like dryness, skin peeling off, itchiness appears in the early usage, one can increase the moisturizing effect, or reduce the usage frequency as well as lower the concentration; to support the skin in adapting & building up the tolerance level, normally the skin conditions will improve over time, when the skin do not experience anymore discomforting reactions, then it is time to consider a higher concentration product.


Retinol skincare product packaging

In the Vitamin A family from Retinol to Retinoic acid, they are easily oxidized ingredients. When the packaging material cannot effectively protect & preserve the active ingredient, it runs a high risk of being denatured and rendered it ineffective.

Hence in choosing a Retinol skincare product, important to pay attention that the packaging material is opaque, not transparent to light, tightly sealed quality container; always avoid storing the skincare product in places of hot, humid or under direct sunlight.

Unlocking Retinol myths

What age to use Retinol anti-aging skincare product?

Based on the different requirement & need of our skin conditions, Retinol is relatively effective and is a safe ingredient, so young adult can start using Retinol skincare product.

10 to 20 years young boys & girls can use Retinol skincare product to manage & reduce blackheads, whiteheads, acne; 20 to 30 years can target against dark spot problems, to improve hyperpigmentation; 30 to 40 years can use it to prevent fine lines, wrinkles appearance.

Using Retinol skincare product can help facilitate early prevention of aging skin, improve sunlight or natural aging form of fine lines wrinkles.


Retinol: What to do with peeling skin? Will skin become thinner?

Retinol usage do not cause skin to thin, on the contrary help to promote shedding of outer layer of old skin cells & encouraging natural cycle of new skin cell growth, majority of Retinol users over time experience healthy, firm & plump skin.

Peeling skin effect hinges on individual skin level of tolerance, though is an expected normal reaction, but not every Retinol user experience this reaction. However, for users with sensitive & dry skin, it is recommended to perform a small localized skin area sensitivity test, reduce usage frequency in early stage, or use together with a moisturizer, for these will help you comfortably adapting to a Retinol skincare product.


Can I use Retinol during day time?

Even though that Retinol is less irritating than Retinoic Acid, Retinol is also being formulated into relatively gentle skincare preparations; dermatologist is still recommending Retinol to be used at night. Apart from practicing good protection measures from sunlight exposure during the day, using Retinol at night is less likely to cause any interaction with other skincare products, or being affected by UV light issue, hence allowing the active ingredient to induce optimal beneficial effects.


Retinol skin care routine? Can I use it every day?

Retinol can be used daily; however, it depends on the skincare product concentration, other matching ingredients and individual skin tolerance level.

It is recommended to start from two applications per week in the skin care routine, ensuring that your skin is responding well, then gradually increase usage frequency & concentration, first cleanse the skin and then use Retinol alone to achieve beneficial skincare effect, if you are concern with skin dryness or first time using it, after the Retinol absorption, can apply skincare product with hyaluronic acid ingredient to help maintain moisturizing effect of the skin.