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A Beginner’s Easy Guide to Retinol: Everything You Need to Know

Ah, retinol. When it comes to defense against fine lines, wrinkles and maintaining a healthy glow, there's no ingredient in skincare more praised. The irony? Even though the revolutionary youth-enhancing active is a mainstay of med spas and dermatologists alike, it still manages to mystify. And thus, is often misused or underutilized.

To bring it back to the basics, retinol—alongside other retinoids, such as retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate—is essentially a derivative of vitamin A, which is one of the body's key nutrients for boosting cell turnover. It's added to topical skincare products to promote skin renewal, brighten skin tone, reduce acne, and boost the collagen production. It also functions like an antioxidant to help address free radical damage, which leads to visible signs of aging. Let’s break down how to carefully incorporate the powerhouse ingredient into your regimen to achieve a supernaturally fresh-faced complexion, now and for decades to come.

Begin in Your Mid '20s or Early '30s

Thirty has long been the banner year for introducing retinol into one's routine, often motivated by early signs of aging, such as sun spots or crow’s feet, or simply eager to get a head start and utilize the latest technologies.  Many women are starting before then and under the careful watch of their skin care specialist. Your mid-twenties are a great time to start using retinol and many patients at Defy Nature who have used it for years swear by it. Kristin, RN at Defy Nature recommends integrating Retinol Replenix All-trans-Retinol Smoothing Serum in your skin care routine at bedtime. It is time released since balance is critical. Retinol can be very irritating if used too frequently or if the formulation is too strong for your skin. This medical grade brand offers four different strengths. Replenix Retinol is a good option for people who have sensitive skin or if they are a first time user of Retinol . It releases the active ingredient over time and offers  less irritation than other brands.

Don't Stop At Your Face

When applying a retinol don't neglect your neck or décolletage, which are areas notorious for showing the signs of aging, yet often neglected. It may even help with fines lines in this area when applied regularly.

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