Retinol for Acne

What is retinol?

Retinol is a fat-soluble antioxidant type of vitamin A. There is a strong link between retinol and acne as it’s very successful in treating acne. It’s mostly found in animal based foods such as beef, eggs and liver. Retinol helps to destroy free radicals which are found in the skin as a skin with less of them is considered to be healthy. Hence, your skin will not have acne breakouts and will also be smooth.

Vitamin A is available in two forms:

  • Beta-carotene, which is found in plant based food.
  • Retinol, which is found in animal based food.

The retinol used for treating acne is manufactured artificially, in labs. Recently, it has been found that it can be used for the effective treatment of acne. Also know more about other Best Vitamins for Acne.

How it Works

  • Acne is formed when a superficial layer of skin emerges over the follicles of hair. This skin layer clogs the pore, resulting in the trapping of pus in the pore. This results in whiteheads or acne breakouts.
  • Retinol treats acne by destroying the superficial layer of skin. It helps to separate dead skin cells from live skin cells and also speeds up their removal from the body. Hence, the hair follicles are cleared of all dirt that could clog the pores.
  • Retinol not only treats acne but also prevents it. If applied before acne is formed, it stops the superficial layer of skin from forming.
  • The reason for the high effectiveness of retinol in treating acne is that the human skin reacts quickly and positively to it.
  • Fish oil and Liver for example as rich foods in Vitamin A can be consumed by a person with acne to obtain retinol for the body.
  • Vegetables and fruits which are orange in color like oranges, carrots, tangerines and sweet potatoes provide your body with beta-carotene. Your body then converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A which smoothens the skins and gives it glowy youthful look. Retinol also reduces the outbreak of acne on your body by producing collagen.

Side Effects of Retinol:

As much as retinol is a great treatment for acne, it can have side effects on certain individuals. The side effects include:

  • Your skin can become much more sensitive to sunlight. Hence, you will need to apply sunscreen before leaving your house or else avoid over moving during sunny days.
  • Redness or warming of your skin. This can cause the skin to sting as the skin is adjusting to retinol. Some people experience irritation of skin when they use retinol.
  • The skin can dry up thereby making it to flake. The best way to control dryness is by using a good moisturizer.
  • Scaling and itching can occur on the surface of the skin due to improper use of retinol.
  • Retinol is known to cause birth defects and should NOT be used during pregnancy.

You should therefore follow instructions given to you by your dermatologist on how to use retinol in order to have a healthy link between retinol and acne. More so, do not persist and use retinol even when your dermatologist advices against it to avoid getting side effects. Using highly concentrated retinol will cause much damage to the skin.

Availability of Retinol:

Retinol products are available in three categories

  • Mass Market Products are available freely available over-the-counter in drugstores and cosmetic counters. They are manufactured for the general public. They contain small levels of retinol. They can only be used for minor problems.
  • Professional skin care products are manufactured for distribution to skin care professionals. These contain higher levels of retinol than mass market products. These are usually used by skin care professionals to treat their customers.
  • Medical skin care products are prescribed by doctors. These contain high levels of retinol. They cause adverse reactions if used unregulated. They are to be discontinued after the condition is treated.

Things to remember while using retinol products:

  • Apply retinol products only at night.
  • Apply only after cleansing.
  • Use sunscreen during the period of retinol usage.
  • Watch how your skin is reacting to retinol.
  • Do not apply in high doses.
  • Look for products which have glycolic acid, hydroxy acids or vitamin C in conjunction with retinol.
  • If after a few weeks of usage you do not find high improvement, contact a skin care professional or a doctor.

Acne can affect people of any age group, however it occurs most commonly among teenagers. So, if you are one among the million teenagers, who are suffering from acne or pimples, we suggest you to read our articles on Teenage Acne.

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