What Are the Benefits of Retinol Cream?

Vitamin A isn't just consumed orally in vitamin pills. Retinol, a form of vitamin A, is one of many ingredients found in various topical skin care products. It's widely used because it has many applications and uses for the general improvement of your skin's health. Check prospective skin care product labels to see if this influential ingredient is listed. It can be a factor in the efficacy of your chosen skin cream, serum or lotion.

Clears Acne

Topical forms of retinol effectively treat acne, according to the Mayo Clinic 3. It works by unplugging your follicles and exfoliating your skin cells to keep pores clear. Simultaneously, retinol also helps eliminate bacteria that cause pimples, creating a two-pronged acne-destroying situation.

Diminishes Wrinkles

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Retinol creams work as a powerful antioxidant to help "repair skin damage," according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 2. Retinol can help rejuvenate skin and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It's commonly found in over-the-counter anti-wrinkle treatments.

Lightens Discolorations

Skincare expert Paula Begoun, in her skin health guidebook, "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," says retinol and its derivatives are "extremely effective" in helping to even skin tone and fade skin discolorations 1. This may be due to its exfoliating properties, helping to slough off dark cells to reveal lighter skin underneath.

Fewer Side Effects

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Retinol can be used as an alternative to tretinoin, the latter commonly used in prescription skin treatments. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that retinol can have the same effects without the negative side effects associated with tretinoin, such as a burning sensation or scaling of the skin 2.

Shrinks Pores

Your pore size is set by your genetics, but retinoids such as retinol can help improve your pore's shape and size, according to Begoun. This may be due in part to its exfoliating, which removes debris that may stretch your pores open.