Retinol 101 What it is. How it works.

Curious about retinol? Perhaps you’re interested in what it can do for your skin. Or maybe you’ve heard there can be potential discomforts, so you want to know more before you move forward. Read on! The information below will reassure you that this ingredient IS for you, even if you haven’t seen a wrinkle yet (and most definitely if you have!).
Photo of Mary Kay Clinical Solutions™ Retinol 0.5 on mirror with three pea-sized drops of the product

What is retinol? Retinol, Retin-A and other retinoids are part of the vitamin A family. Our bodies produce vitamin A naturally, and it’s critical for healthy cell development. In fact, topical application of this vitamin has been shown to help maintain skin’s integrity by supporting natural production of collagen and elastin, along with improved skin cell turnover.

If you’ve come across retinol in the doctor’s office, you may have seen it referred to as dermatology’s gold-standard ingredient for both preventing and reversing the visible signs of aging. Beginning in your early 20s, you produce approximately one percent less collagen in your skin every year. Collagen depletion will continue FOREVER, unless something is done to combat it. Retinol IS that something.

What Does Retinol Do

Decades of scientific study by universities and dermatologists around the world have supported the remarkable benefits of this ingredient, demonstrating its ability to deliver younger-looking skin by:

• Preventing signs of visible aging you can’t see yet.
• Reversing advanced visible signs of aging. 
This potent form of vitamin A doesn’t impact just one aspect of skin health. The vitamin has been clinically shown to help reverse multiple visible signs of aging like:
• Wrinkles
• Skin firmness
• Skin tone evenness
• Skin texture (smoothness)
• Skin elasticity
• Radiance
It achieves this by helping you regain the collagen that your skin loses every year:
• It supports natural elastin and collagen production, improving the appearance of collagen-depleted skin.
• Plus, it stimulates surface skin cell renewal, so skin appears more as it did when you were younger. (And if you’re not yet seeing visible signs of aging, it can actually delay their appearance!)

How to Use Retinol 

Pure retinol is a powerful ingredient to supplement your nighttime skin care routine. However, it’s important to understand that when starting out with a pure retinol product, it takes time for skin to adjust to the potency. The introduction of a new, high-concentration formula can cause temporary redness, dryness and flakiness. These temporary discomforts will likely disappear once skin is retinized.

What is retinization? Retinization is the adjustment period during which skin becomes acclimated to vitamin A. During retinization, skin may experience some temporary discomforts like redness, dryness and flakiness. Once your skin is retinized, these temporary discomforts should disappear. Mary Kay has designed a unique eight-week retinization process to help minimize potential discomfort that can occur when you first start using pure retinol at 0.5% concentration. The retinization process was developed in association with dermatologists to support the amazing benefits of this product, regardless of the user’s age, ethnicity or skin type.

During the retinization process, Mary Kay recommends avoiding physical and chemical exfoliation products, acne products and products with high concentrations of vitamin C since they may contribute to temporary dryness or irritation.

Final Thought
Retinol increases skin cell production (proliferation). It helps unclog pores. Retinol also exfoliates your skin and increases collagen production, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving your skin a fresher, plump appearance.
CLICK HERE to learn more about retinol and products for your skin