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Glow Up: Illuminating Your Skin Journey with Retinol

Elevate Your Skincare Routine: Exploring the Dynamic Impact of Retinol for Lasting Beauty

By Abeer AbbasPublished 16 days ago 5 min read

what exactly does retinol do?

it is one of the most Googled questions, it's the golden ingredient, the ingredient is going to deliver everything from solving acne, to improving the appearance of aging skin. retinol is perhaps the most frequently formulated retinoid, now retinoid is the family name and retinol is part of the family, we also have other retinoids like retinaldehyde, or granactive retinoid, but we're going to talk about retinol today. it's an ingredient derived from vitamin A and it's basically a hormone which means that when we apply it to our skin it gets absorbed and it interacts with receptors called retinoid receptors, now to interact with those receptors that retinal molecule has to be altered, so the key does not yet fit the lock, retinol goes through something called oxidation , twice, so one oxidation step gets it to retinaldehyde and another oxidation step gets it to something called All Trans retinoic acid or tretinoin. now that is the gold standard retinoid so a member of the family and the reason it's a gold standard is because that is the key that unlocks the retinoid receptor, so we need to get the retinol into the active form for it to have its effect on our skin. what happens when that occurs? well retinoid receptors combine with areas of our genes they're called retinoid receptor responsive genes, and they switched them on, or change their function in some way, now the fascinating thing about our skin is that within skin cells there are up to 3 000 possibly more genes that are influenced by the impact of that retinoid interacting with the retinoid receptor and there's different types of receptors as well, so let's look at the different genes that the retinoid receptor interacts with and what impact that has on the cell, and ultimately the skin.

smooth, bright looking skin

so the first area where retinoids have a really positive impact is on Cell turnover so improving the rate of cell turnover and this is in reference to the epidermis the outermost layer of our skin , it improve the way the stratum corneum "which is the outermost part of our epidermis" looks and functions, so it becomes more Compact, and it becomes thinner and more flexible, but equally the epidermis itself gets thicker and differentiation occurs more effectively, so the upshot of all of that means that we get a smoother brighter looking more even textured surface of our skin.

prevent wrinkles and get youthful looking skin

then the next major win is that retinoids binding to these responsive genes affect our fibroblast function, now the fibroblast is that hard-working cell , down in the dermis, which is the source of our collagen, it is where elastin is manufactured, it's where hyaluronic acid is created, and is really the building blocks of the Skin's deeper structure, and it's obviously loss of collagen and damage to elastin and lower production of hyaluronic acid that has an impact that leads the appearance of wrinkles , skin looking sagging, and generally losing that kind of Juicy plumpness that we associate with youth and really driving thickness of our dermis that's really the role of the fibroblasts, there's other things as well but those are really key in terms of the signs that we associate with premature aging.

so, retinoids have the ability to flip the switch and make the fibroblast move up a gear, producing more collagen, but also limiting the breakdown of collagen that we already have by a negative impact which prevents the extra production of something called Matrix metallic proteinases, now those are enzymes that are up regulated when you're exposed to UV rays that Chomp up our precious collagen, so our retinoids protect us from this happening so the net effect of that is thicker firmer more elastic skin who doesn't want that?

prevent hyperpigmentation

let's move on to pigmentation and melanin distribution, retinoids have an impact on that too, so Sun Exposed Skin tends to have irregular melanin distribution with the development of things like Sutherland tigers or age spots, which are these kind of fixed round flat Brown structures that appear on the skin typically on sun exposed sites, and very common on the face, but also on the backs of the hands and the decolletage, and retinoids help improve the appearance by improving the distribution of melanin through the skin, what that looks like to us is brighter more even toned youthful looking skin.

Acne prevention

next let's move on to cell adhesion now that's just a fancy way of saying how the cells stick together, now in acne we have a problem with that abnormal cell adhesion leads to comedone formation, so that's where skin becomes congested, the pores become blocked, and that's the precursor lesion that leads to eventually creating breakouts and inflammatory lesions like papules, pustules, cysts and so the reason retinoids are so fundamental to treating acne is because they prevent that primary lesion from happening in the first place by preventing that abnormal stickiness in the pores, the pores become clear which looks better, but also reduces the risk of breakouts in the future so that's why we're so reliant on retinoids for acne prevention.

healthy, beautiful skin

then perhaps the final group is the way that retinoids work to increase the circulation in our skin, so they actually build blood vessels that bring fuel to the dermis. so that's essential things like amino acids that are building blocks of structures ' like collagen', so more fuel equals better supply of essential ingredients to keep our skin healthy robust and looking beautiful.

so why waiting? do your researches and start as soon as possible if it is appropriate to you.


About the Creator

Abeer Abbas

I am a doctor with plenty of luck, and I love of science and beauty.

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  • Abeer Abbas (Author)16 days ago

    your path to timeless beauty how to use retinol

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