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Retinol might sound scary, but it’s one of the most effective and efficient skincare ingredients you can use if you want to really see results. It’s most commonly known as an anti-aging ingredient, but as well as its wrinkle-busting benefits, retinol can also help with breakouts, scarring, skin texture, and dryness.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A and an antioxidant, which means it helps to counteract free radicals (the molecules that destroy healthy skin cells). It’s one of the most effective ingredients for anti-aging because of it boosts the amount of collagen your body makes and plumps out skin. It also enhances skin cell regeneration

It also increases production of epidermal ground substance which bind water in and keep it hydrated 

It also improves skin tone and color and reduces mottled patches. Many refer to it as the only proven anti-ageing ingredient

Retinol is a very active ingredient so it can cause skin to react. You may experience a little skin shedding and redness at first but this is totally normal. Known as ‘purging’, this is your skin’s response as pores are unclogged. However, if peeling and redness persists or is painful, you should reduce the frequency or amount of retinol you’re using. Keep in mind that benefits will only occur with prolonged and consistent use, so persevere if you don’t see results straight away.

If you’re new to using retinol or have sensitive skin, start by using it once a week and gradually increase use to build up your skin’s tolerance. Retinol should always be used in the evening as it increases skin’s sensitivity to light and also breaks down (and becomes less effective) when exposed to sunlight. For this reason, you should always apply SPF the morning after using retinol as well

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