Is Retinol Good For Your Face?

Posted on February 8, 2013


“Retinol” has been widely been introduced into women’s / men’s skin care and grooming products over the past few years. It has been dubbed the secret ingredient in many skincare lines.

retinol-carrots-vitamin-a-derivatives-safety-good-for-you-retinA-renova-tretinoin-anti-agingWell what exactly is Retinol? It is a topical application of Vitamin A which encourages the rate at which skin cells turnover helping reduce or prevent the appearance of wrinkles. The more potent form of retinol is called Tretinoin (also referred to as Retin-A or Renova) and is an US FDA approved prescription drug to treat wrinkles.

Skin care manufacturers have piggybacked off the success of Tretinoin’s effect on fighting wrinkles by introducing Retinol into all kinds of skincare products. They have basically marketed it as effective as Tretinoin or rather the same thing. However the Mayo Clinic has pointed out that retinol may not yield the same desired anti-aging effects as its more concentrated Retin-A counterpart. So is this craze for retinol infused serums and face washes all bogus? We certainly think so.

Another significant and vastly overlooked problem with retinol being used in skincare products is that it should NEVER be used during the day. Why? It’s because all vitamin A and its derivatives encourage skin cell turnover. This new and delicate skin should not be exposed to the sun. MANY many cosmetics companies seem to ignore this. This is why the first prescription-only products introduced with vitamin A were creams or serums intended only for night-time use. But cosmetics manufacturers then started pumping this anti-aging miracle into all kinds of skin care products to ride the crazy wave of buyers wanting anything related to Retin-A. Nowadays, you can walk into your local RiteAid or CVS and buy lipsticks, sunscreens, foundations, and tons of face cleansers that all proudly state on their front labels that they contain the “R word”.

Another precaution on Vitamin A derivatives is that they break down when exposed to air. So if your retinol-containing skin care products are not packaged in airless bottles or tubes with super tight fitting caps and used within a couple of months of opening (having a PAO symbol of 3 or less), you have a bogus product on hand and have been suckered by the manufacturer.

On a side note, please do avoid purchasing any retinol-containing cleansers or face washes. This is because the vitamin A is all washed down the drain and does not have enough time to work its magic on your skin.

And finally one last warning, retinol, like all vitamin A derivatives, is NOT recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The warning FDA label for Tretinoin states that it “Causes Birth Defects”.

We hope you have learned a lot from reading about this. We have laid out all the misinformed myths about vitamin A derivatives and how they should properly be used.

Posted in: anti-aging, skin care