Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acne Products With Retinol

Acne Products With Retinol Acne Products With Retinol

Overview

Like alpha hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, retinol is a common ingredient in products designed to fight acne. Since most people have to deal with acne at some point in their lives, knowing how to shop for acne-fighting products is important. If you're coping with acne issues, retinol is one ingredient you might consider using.

Identification

Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, which plays a role in protecting skin health and overall immune system functionality. Because it's an antioxidant, retinol helps fight acne by exfoliating skin to remove potentially pore-clogging dead cells and then penetrating the surface of the skin to help rebuild collagen beneath the surface.

Time Frame

Retinol can improve your complexion and reduce the number of breakouts you have, but it may take up to 57 days for its effects to become visible, and you won't get the results you want unless you use retinol every day, says Will Kirby, a dermatologist with offices in Beverly Hills and Encino, California, in "Allure" magazine's Daily Beauty Reporter Blog. Because irritation can be an issue for daily users, Kirby recommends mixing a little retinol with a regular moisturizer to dilute the effects instead of skipping a day.

Expert Insight

For maximum acne fighting results with minimal irritation, stick with a pearl-sized drop of retinol for your face---that's all you really need, says Kirby, who adds that over-applying retinol is the main reason for skin irritation. Kirby also recommends applying your daily dose of retinol at bedtime instead of in the morning, since sunlight can break down retinol and make it less effective.

Misconceptions

Skin care product labeling can be a little confusing. Retinol is a natural derivative of vitamin A, and as such, it isn't considered a medication or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. However, there's a synthetic form of vitamin A, called retinoids, that is classified as a drug. Prescription acne medications like isotretinoin, bexarotene, tazarotene and acitretin are all retinoids, not retinol.

Warning

If you're pregnant, using retinol may increase your risk for fetal birth defects since high levels of vitamin A can affect nervous system development. Women who are pregnant should not use retinol, and women who could become pregnant should use birth control when using oral or topical retinol medications, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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