Retinol for Anti-Aging


In This Article:

Research clearly shows that retinol (technical name for vitamin A) has numerous truly astounding benefits for skin. To make sure you’re getting the best of what this superstar ingredient has to offer, here’s what you need to know.

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Retinol's Anti-Aging Benefits for Skin

Vitamin A is an extremely effective skin-transforming ingredient that seems to know just what your skin needs to help diminish visible signs of aging.

Over 40 years of established research shows it can help visibly increase the appearance of firmness, diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, significantly improve uneven skin tone, smooth and refine the surface of skin (yes, that includes pores), and much, much more.

When skin's appearance is affected by environmental assault (and everyone's skin is) or you have signs of aging, uneven skin tone, wrinkles, or an apparent loss of firmness, retinol steps in to minimize those concerns. Studies have clearly shown that retinol naturally turns around how skin appears—which makes it one of the most exciting skincare ingredients in use today!

Even better, a retinol product, be it in the form of a serum, moisturizer, or targeted solution, is easy to work into your daily skincare routine. But before you start shopping, read on for some essential retinol tips!

What You Need to Know Before Buying and Using Retinol

  • All forms of vitamin A break down and deteriorate when exposed to air and light. Only buy a retinol product if it's packaged in an opaque container that eliminates or minimizes exposure to air and light (that is, no jars!).
  • If you are new to using retinol, start slowly. Instead of daily application, apply your retinol product every other day and/or mix it with your usual moisturizer or serum to see how your skin does. Some people need to use a retinol product more frequently, while others only need to use it every other day. And be sure to apply it around your eyes, too, and follow with an eye cream, if preferred.
  • Make sure the rest of your skincare routine is soothing and gentle. Use a gentle cleanser, soothing toner, well-formulated moisturizers, and serums loaded with antioxidants and skin-restoring ingredients to help your skin get maximum benefits from the retinol. Don't know where to start? Check out the Paula's Choice Skincare CALM Skincare Collections. Dry skin? Try pairing a retinol product with our RESIST Moisture Renewal Oil Booster.
  • Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater. If you aren't diligent about sun protection, even the most effective, proven anti-aging ingredients won't be able to deliver the results you want. Unprotected sun exposure and getting a tan (indoors or outside) is just bad for skin. Daily use of sunscreen can help prevent premature signs of aging.
  • Avoid retinol products that only give your skin retinol. As great as retinol is for all skin types, everyone's skin needs more than just one brilliant ingredient to look and feel better. Think of it like your diet: If you only ate carrots, you'd soon become malnourished, even though carrots and the vitamin A they contain are good for you. The same is true for your skin: It needs a mix of beneficial ingredients to thrive and look younger, longer! 

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of in-depth scientific research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula's Choice Skincare products. You'll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula's Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! See Paula's Choice Skincare retinol products.

References for this information:

Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America, February 2013, pages 55–60
Archives of Dermatology, May 2007, pages 606–612
Clinical Interventions in Aging, 2006, , pages 327–348
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 2002, pages 85-94

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!

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