Retinol is a very popular skincare ingredient and has many valid uses in the skincare industry and an anti-aging ingredient in creams, serums, and the like. But as with any heavily-hyped commodity, there is plenty of misinformation out there about it. So today, Vine Vera’s out to bust some myths, and maybe just confirm a few while we’re at it. Read on, and empower yourself to use retinol effectively by learning to tell the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to retinol.
Retinol Works Very Well in the Day—False
Retinol can break down in sunlight, which means it’s best used in a night cream, where it can work its magic unhindered as you sleep. This way, you’ll get the many benefits of retinol at a time when they can do what they do for hours on end as you lie still in one spot, in the dark of night.
You Can’t Use Retinol in the Day at All—False
That said, while it IS true that the best time to use retinol is at night, that doesn’t mean you should never ever use it during the day. Depending on how you use it, it might not be as effective, but it will still have some benefit. For that matter, research suggests that if you pair retinol with an effective broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher, it’s unlikely to break down very much, meaning you can still reap great benefit from it this way.
Retinol Helps with Several Aging Problems—True
This one is true on several levels. For one thing, because retinol facilitates effective communication between skin cells and causes them to behave like younger, healthy skin cells, it improves discoloration and wrinkles to a great degree. It also improves pore function, and eventually, with regular use, pore size. This means that it helps manage acne and eczema, and make skin look smoother by making pores smaller.
Retinol is All You Need—False
As is true of any skincare ingredient, you need more than one thing. Retinol is a very effective anti-aging ingredient, but you still need moisturization, antioxidants, cleansing, and exfoliating, none of which retinol does.
Retinol Irritates Your Skin—True
This one is very true, and because of it, we recommend you start with a low dose of retinol and gradually work your way up. If you use too much all at once, it can trigger a severe reaction. Use in moderation and with nourishing skin creams that will help mitigate irritation/
Retinol and AHA or BHA Exfoliants Don’t Mix—False
There is some confusion as to the way retinol works, and misinformation that suggests it cannot function in the PH levels AHA and BHA exfoliants create on the skin. This is decidedly not true. You can use any kind of exfoliant and still use retinol just fine. This falsehood was perpetuated as a result of misinterpretation of research.
You Shouldn’t Use Retinol with Vitamin C—False
By a similar token, it’s often thought vitamin C and retinol can’t be used together due to PH issues. However, vitamin C functions best in a low or no PH, and…so does retinol. To top it off, the skin is naturally slightly acidic, meaning both vitamin C and retinol can be used—together or separate—on the skin with no issue.