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How To Get Rid Of Acne With Retinol Effectively: Retinol 101

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Talking about getting rid of acne can be tiring at some times, with all of the skincare products and ingredients that claim to help with acne and fights signs of aging.

There’s one that’s been proven for a very long time and is approved by a dermatologist that does wonder. And it is called Retinol, Retinoid or Retin-A.

These are a synthetic form of Vitamin A that will help to plump up your skin and increase skin cell turnover to reveals younger looking skin, banishes all the acne and pigmentation and wrinkles as well.

Now let’s talk about how Retinol can change your skincare game, how they work in the layers of the skin to improve skin cell turnover, or when we should steer clear from them, and how they help with reducing signs of aging and acne.

Basically, vitamin A is a retinoid.

In a skin layer, retinoid will help in the regeneration of new cells to create new skin and pushes out the old skin into the surface.

While the cycle keeps recurring, your new, plumper and younger acne free skin will resurface and making its appearance.

So how does it work?

Our skin is normally changing and shedding for every 30 days when you use retinol, it increases the skin changing and shedding process to about 14 to 21 days. Overall, quicker and faster than before.

It also helps with controlling oil production, for someone with oily acne prone skin, and also decreasing inflammation and killing bacteria causing acne.

Clean skin surface. No clog

Not only that, retinol helps unclogs pores, as well as that it also helps to reduce pigmentation and sunspot, reduce fine lines and smoothens the skin’s textures by resurfacing the top layers.

Now you can see why this is one of the golden elixir in the skincare world other than Vitamin C serum that everyone wants to try.

But also, of course, there’s a curve in everything good because nothing is perfect in this world. Let’s talk about the different types of vitamin A and why we are hearing about retinol, retinoid, and Retin-A.


Result from Retinol acne treatment from Marie Claire

Retinol is actually a compound that naturally occurs in our body. It helps with things like your immune system, repairs tissues damage and also helps with your eyesight. And the one that you use on your skin is a synthetic form of retinol.

This is a milder and gentler form of Vitamin A, that wouldn’t inflame, and irritate your skin with also fewer side effects.

You won’t get dry patches everywhere, your skin won’t feel dry and dehydrated. This form also is the one that is suitable to be used on sensitive skin like eczema or rosacea and is available over the counter.

Retinoid and Retin-A

These are the stronger version of Retinol.

It is the only type of retinol that your skin can actually feel or get effects from is when it’s in retinoic acid form.

Retinoic acid is a medical grade of retinoid and Retin-A and also known as tretinoin. This is the active ingredients that actually make all the magic happen under the skin and can only be prescribed to you by a dermatologist.

The magic thing about retinoid or Retin-A is that it does not have to be broken down by your skin for it to be able to works.

It basically just works! Because Retin-A is a hundred times stronger than regular retinol that you buy over the counter. And that’s why it is only available over prescription.

As much as you think retinoid is the one for you because it is stronger, you must also consider your own skin and what you really need.

If you’re in the older years and wants to fight off wrinkles and fine lines, you can consult a dermatologist for Retin-A or retinoid.

But if you are looking for preventions in your early mid-20s, over the counter retinol cream or serum works just fine.

How it works?

Retinol is designed to basically take off layers of skin on the stratum corneum, which is the toughest layer of the skin, and it also at the same time thickens the dermis layer, which is a deeper layer of the skin, by increasing the collagen production.

Infographic on how Retinol works from Futurederm

So not only it is plumping your skin, it’s making it appear less wrinkled.

It is also going to exfoliate the top layer, which means it gives you better tone and texture.

This process will kick out and fight those acnes that has been giving you living nightmares.

Now we know how it works, let’s discuss how it may not work. you might be wondering, you are on your retinol, keeping it on track, but you have yet seen the result.


Retinol is extremely sensitive with UV rays, that is why it is advised to be applied only during night time.

And be generous with sunscreen during daytime, because without sun protection, your skin will get worst while on retinol.

How To Use?

The idea here is that you want to start incorporating retinol inside your beauty regiment in your early and mid-20s because it is all about prevention.

This is actually when your skin cell turnover starts to slowly decrease at a very little percentage by year.

That is why your skin getting thinner as you grow older because it is producing less and less collagen. That is what we try to avoid because collagen is what gives us that youthful skin.

 And collagen’s productions also can start to deteriorate when you are too stubborn to apply sunscreen while going outside because UV rays are the enemy to collagen.

Because UV rays are what kills the collagen and making the production of it to slow down.

So if you’re not protecting it with sunscreen in your early year prevention is much harder later on.

As much as you think retinol is a magic potion, you must be careful too.

Excessive usage can be damaging to your skin and can cause irritation and drying at the same time.

That is why it is essentials that you train your skin to adapt and tolerate with retinol first.

You just have to slowly introduce it into your skincare routine.

Try to use it only for the first two days in the week, and stop on the third and fourth day to allow your skin to catch a breath. Continues using it for the fifth and sixth day and stop for the seventh and eighth. Did you catch me yet?

Well, let’s see it this way. The general rule of thumb, do not use it every day for more than 2 days. It will irritate your skin because your skin is thinning and it wouldn’t have time to thickens on the third day to renew the cells. It will keep thinning and thinning till what’s left is your irritated inflamed skin. You don’t want that do you?

Now that we’ve covered that part, let’s figure out how to apply on skin.

How To Apply On Skin?

Try writing on a reminder so that you wouldn’t forget about the confusing routine

First one, after you cleansed and washed your face, is to allow your skin to be completely dry before retinol.

Applying retinol on damped skin will cause it to absorb deeper into the layers which can increase the potential that your skin gets irritated.

After your skin dry, apply retinol on your whole face and avoid eyes area. The follow it with moisturizers and facial oil, to lock the hydration and avoid flakiness and dryness that will be caused by the retinol later.

If you have uber sensitive skin, you might want to mix your retinol with your cream moisturizer to avoid stinginess and irritation.

And another rule of retinol is you have to keep it consistent for 2-3 months before seeing the result.

Side results can be kept a minimum if you understand how important to keep hydration in check and apply sunscreen.

That’s it, you guys! A

nother one magical ingredients that you might consider if you have an acne problem or just looking forward to that immortal beauty.

2 Replies to “How To Get Rid Of Acne With Retinol Effectively: Retinol 101”

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    […] here to read more on how RETINOL can help you to combat […]

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    […] retinol again. This will gives you the solution to your skin problems that you need! Check out our retinol 101 posts to know more about how to use your active […]

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