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Here's What You Need to Know About the Benefits of Adding of Retinol to Your Skincare Routine

You’ve probably heard of retinol or seen it on the ingredient list of certain skin care products, and wondered why people rave about it being a must-have for every woman. But what exactly is it, and what does it do?

Retinoids are a chemical compound that is related to Vitamin A, and it can often be found in skincare products because of its anti-aging and acne-fighting properties. Shape reports that retinoids include both retinol — the OTC form — and prescription-strength versions, which are used to benefit the skin in a number of different ways, including preventing breakouts, stimulating collagen and reducing the signs of wrinkles and fine lines, and helping with skin discoloration.

According to Retinol, when choosing a product, be sure that it targets your specific skincare needs, and also consider the form that it comes in (creams, lotions, serum, etc.). When first using these products, the publication claims you should start with a gentle concentration to give your skin time to adjust to the product — you can increase the concentration once your skin is able to tolerate the retinoic acid in the formula. This is because it can cause irritation to your skin initially, and Debra Jaliman, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine, told Shape: "If you're not careful, retinoids can cause redness, peeling, burning, or itching.”

The effects of retinol take time, and according to Vichy USA, don’t be discouraged if you do not notice a change in your skin immediately. As mentioned above, this is also a process that takes place over several months because you need to build up your skin's resistance to Vitamin A, eventually getting to the stage when you can use it on a nightly basis.

But why a nightly basis? Does this mean you cannot use retinol during the day? Interestingly, Retinol reports that doing so would be pointless and you should use the cream at night because it’s not as effective during the day because of the exposure to the sun.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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