One of the most well-known, thoroughly studied and highly respected substances for plumping skin and reducing wrinkles is “retinol” but due to the hype over substances like salicylic acid, glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide—all of which are effective—it may not be the first component that most people would consider. Retinol can help unclog pores, it can both treat and prevent acne, aid in the removal of extra sebum and has exfoliating properties to aid in the removal of germs and dead skin cells that can clog pores and result in breakouts but is it safe to use as you get ready for the Diwali party?
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Kashinath Nayak, Dermatogologist at KMC Hospital in Mangalore, revealed that it also can assist in removing acne scars and said, “Retinol reduces acne scars in the same way that it treats fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol fills the area with collagen in the same way that it would fill in fine lines since an acne scar is a depression in the skin, just like a wrinkle.”
However, he advised, “I would like to mention that it is to be applied only at the night with the small time titration to adjust to the individual as it has photosensitive property. So, it is usually started with small doses at night and then slowly increased with the duration so that they adapt to the sensitivity of that product. Technically it is very good to give resolution of acne over a period of time.”
He cautioned, “Retinol, which is available as an over-the-counter preparation, is what I was a little concerned about as it is usually used for preventing aging and has a very small percentage with fine preparation whereas when we use it for acne, we use it in a higher percentage and preparation can be a little more stinging and irritant compared to the fine retinol preparation which are there in cosmetic products.”
According to Dr Rashmi Shetty, Celebrity Dermatologist, Founder and Creator of Sol Skin Corp, you can use retinol for acne so, if you have a dry skin and an oily skin that definitely helps the skin getting drier and balances the oil. She said, “The multiplication of the self turnover increases and there’s also exfoliation of the top dead cells. Therefore the clogging of your open pores are also reduced and acne definitely reduces with retinol.”
She recommended, “It is a great idea to use for acne, in fact we even give oral retinoids for acne. Application of retinol is a wonderful thing to do. If you have extremely dry and/or already very sensitive skin due to other products you’re using for acne, then you may want to first repair the skin barrier and then start using retinol.”
Adding to the list of its benefits, Dr Poorva Shah (MBBS, MD Skin) Consultant Medical and Aesthetic Dermatologist, revealed, “Retinol, a potent active ingredient derived from vitamin A, is best known for tightening skin and minimizing the look of wrinkles. To produce plumper-looking skin, it can slow down collagen deterioration, boost collagen production, and increase elasticity. Along with all of these advantages, it also treats acne, reduces pigmentation, and brightens the skin. Retinol has exfoliating properties that can help lift away bacteria and dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. It can also help clear up excess sebum.”
However, she warned, “As effective as retinol is at reversing damage, how you apply it can have an impact on the results you see. Since this product can cause skin to dry out and sometimes turn red, you should consult with your dermatologist before beginning a retinol regimen. Every other night, start by putting a pea-sized amount of retinol on your entire face. It’s best to start out using it sparingly and then gradually increase your use over time because it takes a few weeks for your skin to adjust to the product. Consider cutting back to every third night, or even once a week, if your skin starts to feel dry or irritated.”