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Skincare 101: Retinol

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD



A good skincare routine isn’t all one needs to look ageless. For example, have you heard of retinol? It has been around for decades, proven to help improve the function of your skin to look and work its best, especially when it comes to your face.


Retinol is derived from Vitamin A, an ingredient in skincare products designed for aging and acne treatments. It is also an antioxidant that can help prevent certain skin cancers, and studies have even shown it can improve the skin’s elasticity and thickness with increased collagen production. Retinoic acid and retinoids are other forms of retinol used in skincare products.


As we age, our skin sheds, changes, and evolves with us in all stages of life. New skin cells are formed from birth up until we enter our twenties, when the rate of new skin cells begins to slow down—a time when collagen starts to decrease. You may notice fine lines, wrinkles, new texture, pigment, and a lack of elasticity.

Starting retinol use in your twenties is great for prevention. Later use, in one’s 30s or 40s, will be categorized as corrective, or for maintenance. Young teens who struggle with acne use different forms of retinoids to treat their skin. No matter what age, the results can be phenomenal. But this also depends on consistency, so the goal is to use it every night.


At Richland Aesthetics, we carry different doses to begin your retinol journey. The ideal use of retinol is a pea-sized amount applied to dry skin after cleansing every night, followed by moisturizer the following morning. This routine should be carried on for six weeks straight. To avoid irritation, redness, and peeling, you can start with low doses in strength. You can also use a layering technique of using a hydrating serum, retinol cream, and moisturizer.

SkinCeuticals, available at Richland Aesthetics, supplies increasing dosages from 0.3%, 0.5%, and 1.0%. Each dose is meant to help guide the transition to daily use and increased strength. 0.3% is good for new skin, 0.5% is for skin that has been pre-conditioned with a 0.3% dosage. Once you’ve reached the point of using 0.5% dosage nightly, you can increase the strength with 1.0%, intended for more experienced users.

ZO Skin Health has its own retinoids and retinoic acids in its skincare products. They are based on a system and are meant to work cohesively. When I’ve had clients use their retinols, the results are great for pigmentation.

So what’s the secret to looking ageless? Retinol. No matter when you start, the results of using retinol products will aid in refining your skin, and minimizing those fine lines and wrinkles. Aided by the use of neurotoxins, and consistency in skincare, your skin will age less.

Please note that this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Before making any changes to your treatments, please consult with your healthcare provider to discuss the appropriateness and safety of such changes.


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