The ‘R’ word has taken the skincare world by storm and everyone today has become an avid user of retinoid, an umbrella term used for all derivatives of Vitamin A, like retinol. Even a few drops of retinol serum can have a transformative effect on one’s skin by improving its texture and reducing pigmentation, to give a vibrant glow. However, there is a lot of misinformation about the ingredient and its usage. We have debunked five myths.
BUSTED: Most people are under the assumption that retinol or retinoids are too abrasive for the tender area around the eye. “The periorbital skin is most prone to lines and wrinkles. Retinol can help in smoothening and eliminating fine lines. However, it would be wise to use it in moderation,” says Dr Shraddha Deshpande, Consultant Aesthetic Surgeon, and Cosmetologist, Wockhardt hospitals.
BUSTED: To clear this misconception, Dr Kiran Sethi says, “Retinol can be applied for years and it will improve signs of aging while preventing fine lines, enlarged pores, and even acne.” However, it is imperative to remember that the skin can change over time. If one’s skin is getting dry due to aging, one can always reduce the frequency and strength of retinol.
BUSTED: We usually assume that a stronger formula will always give better results. However, that is not the case with retinol as jumping to a stronger formula can cause more side effects. “There are studies to support a higher percentage with somewhat better outcomes but it’s always prudent to start with lower concentrations (particularly for sensitive skin) or with retinol and hyaluronic acid formulations and then increase the strength over time,” says Dr Rajat Kandhari.
BUSTED: On the contrary, it stimulates the synthesis of collagen and elastin in the skin. The supposed skin thinning is likely to be due to irritation associated with taking a retinoid that is too robust for one’s skin or using it too frequently. “They increase cell turnover and promote dermal collagen remodelling, which improves skin elasticity and firmness,” says Dr. Vandana Punjabi.
BUSTED: Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative and it works on a profound cellular level by permeating deep into the skin and stimulating collagen formation. It is easy to assume that it is exfoliating because of the peeling and redness. Dr Vandana Punjabi says, “The peeling effect seen is due to the dryness and irritation of the skin.”