How Much Retinol Does Your Skin Need?

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Retinol in skin careEven though Retinol is a very effective anti-aging skin care ingredient, there is always a possibility that it causes some reaction to certain types of skin or when it comes at high concentrations.

So how much retinol does our skin need without the unpleasant effect of irritation?

To prevent possible retinol irritation, we need to find the right amount of retinol for our skin´s needs and gradually increase the percentage of retinol once we see that our skin is getting accustomed to the retinol´s function and does not get any irritation.

What Are Retinol´s Benefits For Skin?

Retinol, the active form of vitamin A, is one of the most active ingredients in modern cosmetology. It plays an important role in intercellular communication, meaning that it is recognized by receptors and carries the right message to the cell when and where it is needed.

When it comes into contact with the skin, it turns into retinoic acid which then regulates cellular functions. It accelerates cell metabolism – the basic anti-aging function of the epidermis – enhances microcirculation, has a mild exfoliating effect and boosts the production of collagen and glycosaminoglycans (GAGS), leading to the proper function of the natural repair mechanisms.

We notice the positive effects of using retinol through the reduction of discoloration, smoothing out of wrinkles and fine lines as well as our skin becoming bright.

Overall, it is a fact that the anti-aging function of retinol in the retinol creams or retinol serums that we use is directly linked to the amount of retinol contained in those products.

How much Retinol Is Enough?

There are some factors to have in mind when thinking of what the right percentage of retinol for our skin is and they include:

  • Type of Skin.
  • The specific needs of our skin over time.
  • Any reactions our skin has had when it comes to the use of active skin care ingredients.

In addition, it has been proven that when retinol is combined with other equally valuable skin care ingredients such as antioxidants and moisturizing components, its function gets boosted and thus its effectiveness, offering long term positive effects to the skin.

Retinol at Low Concentrations

Retinol is one of the most active agents and therefore even at the lowest concentrations of 0.03% to 0.01%, it is enough to significantly improve the texture of the epidermis. However, it is not tolerated by all skin types since it may cause mild irritation to very sensitive types of skin.

Therefore, it is recommended to use products with low concentrations of retinol until your skin gets accustomed to it. If after the first week of use, no irritation occurs, you can use this concentration of retinol every night.

Retinol at Moderate Concentrations

For dark spots, intense wrinkles and skin sagginess, the ideal levels of retinol vary from 0.04% to 0.1%.
The use of retinol at a concentration of 0.1% results to a significant reduction in fine lines, crow´s feet, wrinkles and discoloration.

Retinol at High Concentrations

In mature types of skin, when photo-aging and biological aging signs are visible, it is recommended to use retinol at higher concentrations in the range of 0.5% to 1%.

In this case, even seven days of retinol use are enough for a visible improvement of the appearance of the skin.

Nevertheless, always keep in mind that the higher the percentage of retinol is in a product, the more possible it is for your skin to react negatively to it. In this case, it is better to get back to using a lower concentration of retinol, always having in mind that the continuous use of retinol, no matter what its percentage is, is proven to be the most effective solution for dealing with skin aging signs.

In conclusion, the amount of retinol that you need to use depends on different factors as we have seen before, but keep in mind that no matter what the percentage of retinol in a skin care product is, the continuous use of it is probably the most important factor for getting some long term positive effects.