Benefits: Retinol is a vitamin A derived retinoid that increases the skin-cell turnover rate of the top layer of skin cells. It promotes the growth of new collagen and healthy new skin cells. Retinol can reduce the size and frequency of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and deep pustules, due to its promotion of a high skin-cell turnover rate. It also improves the overall texture and tone of your skin.
A 2017 review published in Dermatology and Therapy stated that retinoids should be a mainstay treatment for acne since it has been shown to be effective in treating different types of acne in thousands of patients.
Use: Retinol can be used in a gel form. Typically, it is recommended to start with a small concentration and go slow, as retinoids can cause redness, itchiness, dryness, and sun sensitivity. Applying every other night when first starting out and then slowly increasing frequency is recommended. It is best to apply retinol at night before bed along with a moisturizer afterwards to combat dryness. Do not use during pregnancy. Retinol is often used to treat facial acne.
Concentration: Concentrations can range from 0.01% to over 1% depending on tolerance and previous use. Due to potential dryness and sun sensitivity, a good starting target of Retinol is a concentration of 0.1%, as higher concentrations do not mean higher effectivity.
Results: Retinol will likely take around four to six weeks to see results.