retinol cream retinoids retin-a wrinkles acneHeard of Retinoids, Retinol Cream or Retin-A? We think aging is a beautiful thing, but we also like keeping our skin in the best shape possible. And when it comes to anti-aging, few products are as good as retinol creams. Unlike the overwhelming amount of anti-aging products on the skin care market, retinol creams are fully backed by science. Want to find out why retinol cream is so good, how it works, and how to use it? Let Spa Sophia tell you! 

1. How Retinol Cream Works

While there are many nice anti-aging creams on the market, many only improve the way  your skin looks superficially and temporarily. Few beauty ingredients have actually been proven to slow down skin aging on a deeper level. But retinol creams do exactly that. Retinoids – the active ingredient in retinol creams- work by increasing the turn over and shedding of outer skin cells. By doing this, deeper skin cells are stimulated to increase cell growth underneath. The process also leads to a decrease in the breakdown of collagen and thickening of the deeper layer of skin, which is where wrinkles start.

2. Retinol Cream Benefits

Many people use retinol for wrinkles, and retinoids indeed have many anti-aging benefits. Retinol cream lightens discolorations, decreases fine lines, evens skin complexion, increases skin elasticity and smoothes skin.

On top of retinol cream anti-aging benefits, retinoids are also great for acne. Retinol cream helps acne indirectly by unclogging pores, so other medication can penetrate the skin better and be more effective. Retinoids also help acne directly by decreasing infection and increasing skin appearance.

3. Prescription Retin-A vs Retinol Over the Counter

There are a variery of products with retinoid ingredients available. The prescription version contains retinoic acid, also know as Retin-A, while over the counter retinol creams contain retinol. What’s the difference between Retin-A and retinol? Retinol is a derivative of Retin-A/retinoic acid, and needs to be broken down to Retin-A/retinoic acid by your skin cells. Because of this it takes longer for retinol creams to take effect compared to prescription Retin-A, but it also decreases side effects and irritation.

4. How Long Does it Take for Retinol Cream to Work?

Despite what over the counter products may advertise, retinol creams takes about  three to six months to show visible results, with the best results showing after twelve months. Retin-A gives quicker results, but isn’t available without a prescription, and can be harsh on your skin.

5. How to Use Retinol Cream

Irritation is part of the process when starting with a retinol cream, so you have to push through. Don’t worry thoug; in about three weeks your skin should be used to the retinoids. If you have very sensitive skin, you can start out with a retinol cream for sensitive skin. These have a lower concentration of retinoids and decrease initial discomfort.

Retinol creams are best worn at night, since the sunlight breaks retinoids down, decreasing effectiveness. Contrary to popular belief retinol cream doesn’t increase sunburn though.

As we stated before, the best results are achieved using retinol cream for a year. After that your skin will have built a tolerance, so switching to a cream with a  higher concentration of active ingredients is recommended.

The Best Retinol Creams

Not all retinol creams are made equal. One of Spa Sophia’s favorites retinol creams is Epicuren’s Retinol Complex. Buy it online in our webshop, or at the spa!