Skin Care Products You Should be Using: Retinol

I’m frequently asked what are the best anti-aging products to incorporate into a daily skin care regime, so I’ve decided to start a series of blogs addressing this question.

The first product I’ll discuss is Retinol. What is Retinol? Retinol is vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that works to protect your skin from free radicals, generates cell growth, and repairs damaged cells. Retinol has the unique ability to penetrate the outer layers of your skin and work its way down to the lower layers where collagen and elastin reside.

Most of my patients are better acquainted with stronger compound of Retin-A. There are many problems associated with its use. In the short term many Retin-A users experience  skin irritation in the form of redness, peeling dye and flaky skin, which may make in inappropriate for certain skin types, or just too harsh for daily use for many individuals.

What are the benefits of Retinol?

Retinol rejuvenates the skin. Retinol helps produce collagen, an important component of the dermis that gives skin its youthful, full appearance. According to a 2007 study, published in The Archives of Dermatology, 36 participants age 80 and older applied a formula with 0.4 percent retinol to one arm up to three times a week. After 24 weeks, these participants had dramatic improvements in their skin.

Retinol helps stimulates cell turnover.  Since exfoliation is essential to maintain healthy appearing skin, by removing the dead skin cells, new, healthier cells are able to proliferate.  Your complexion will look smoother, enabling other skin products to penetrate deep into the skin. This way, your skin can effectively absorb potent ingredients. With a layer of dead skin cells on your face, products have a tough time penetrating this top layer and have reduced or little effectiveness.

Retinol addresses acne. I’ve ready discussed how Retinol helps reduce the signs of aging, it also treats Acneic skin.  Adult onset acne is common that I see on an almost daily basis.  Dealing with both aging and acenic skin can be particularly distressing. Fortunately, because of retinol’s exfoliating benefits, it can help treat acne. That’s because dead skin cells can clog pores and contribute to acne. By getting rid of dead skin cells, retinol improves and prevents breakouts.

PCA’s Intensive Clarity Treatment™: 0.5% pure retinol night is a great example of a retinol that is formulated for daily use on most skin types.


An important consideration is retinoids are contraindicated for use in breast feeding or pregnant women.

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