Mythbusters: Retinol Edition

January 14 2021

Retinol is the holy grail ingredient for your skin. It’s been talked about nonstop in the beauty industry and is only growing into more of a household name. But with any popular subject, you have the lovers who hail it and the haters who spew it. So how do you separate fact from fiction? We’re busting 5 common myths about retinol: 


MYTH 1: Retinol makes your skin thinner. 


Nope! Can confirm it does not make your skin thinner at all. This is commonly assumed because one of the side effects is peeling. But actually, the opposite is true - research studies show that retinol helps stimulate collagen production which in turn pushes out weaker or dying cells to help stronger ones to form and thicken the skin. This is a huge plus considering as we get older, our skin starts to thin out on its own. 


MYTH 2: Retinol exfoliates like an AHA. 


This is a common myth about retinol but the truth is that it isn’t an exfoliant in the way that AHAs are. Since retinoids are derived from Vitamin A, retinol is actually an antioxidant that happens to have some accelerating benefits. Retinol’s main job is to promote cell turnover by encouraging healthier, younger skin cells to make their way to the surface of your skin. 


MYTH 3: Only prescription-strength Retinol can produce results. 


While OTC retinol prescriptions (which is actually all-trans-retinoic acid) can work wonders, it’s not the only way to get great results. You can still see the effects of using a retinol with lower, non-prescribed percentages. It just takes a little bit longer to get there since a conversion process (into that all-trans-retinoic acid) is involved. But keep in mind that, when it comes to retinoids, starting off slow and building a tolerance first usually creates better results (with gentler side effects) in the long run. 


MYTH 4: Retinol shouldn’t be used on sensitive skin. 


Retinol is one of those “scary to use for the first time” ingredients because of its harsh reputation for being, well, harsh on skin. Yes, it can definitely be aggressive but just like any ingredient, it’s important to remember that your skin needs time to adjust. People with sensitive skin can still reap retinol’s benefits but just need to modify slightly. The best way is to introduce it slowly into your routine once a week and mix it with a moisturizer to dilute it or to find a product with encapsulated retinol, which is known to be more gentle. Ps. We know a great product that uses encapsulated retinol...wink-wink.  


And no matter your skin sensitivity, it’s always important to wear SPF daily when using retinol.


MYTH 5: Nobody needs to start using Retinol until their thirties or forties. 


Hold up, y’all. This is the most commonly believed myth about retinol (um, excuse me? anti-aging ingredients? In my twenty-something skincare routine? Pfftttt!) that we hear often. But the truth is that behind sunscreen, retinol is the best preventative ingredient you can start incorporating into your routine whenever you choose. The earlier the better. Age may have a number but preventative anti-aging measures are *priceless*.


Ready to jump into the world of retinol? Our NEW link to Retinol Eye Stick is finally here and available to shop!  

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