Retinol is a popular anti-aging ingredient that is included in many anti-wrinkle creams in today’s skin care cream industry. Retinol is the term used to refer to the animal form of Vitamin A.
Retinol has important functions in bone and vision health but it is also essential in maintaining a healthy skin. Retinol keeps epithelial cells (skin cells) from excessive drying. A deficiency in retinol leads to a common skin condition called xerosis or excessive drying of skin.
In acid form, retinol can treat and prevent acne and keratosis pilaris (or rough bumps on the skin). According to a dermatology research in 2007 by top dermatologists from Stanford University and University of Michigan, retinol can stimulate the growth of skin collagen and help in skin regeneration. This ability of retinol to increase skin turnover was attributed to the fact that retinol helps skin cells retain essential amounts of water and other fluids that are important in cell repair
Also in 2007, Dr. Sewon Kong, MD and his University of Michigan team have proven retinol’s ability to ease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on elderly epithelial cells. Kang’s team tested retinol’s effects on 36 healthy elderly people. The 80-year olds were given lotions that either contained retinol or not for a six-month period. Reductions to wrinkle appearance started to emerge after just 4 weeks of regular retinol use.
When using retinol for a long time, however, skin irritations may occur but this is very rare. A good anti-wrinkle cream only contains a healthy amount of this substance. When buying anti-wrinkle creams that has retinol as their active ingredient, always make sure that there are other active ingredients that can further moisturize your skin. If there are other skin conditioners in the ingredient list, you can be sure that the product will not irritate you, unless it contains other ingredients that are known to irritate sensitive skin.
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