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What is retinol and why is it in skin care products?

ANSWER

Made from vitamin A, retinol is added to creams that go on your skin. It boosts the amount of collagen your body makes and plumps out skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It also improves skin tone and color and reduces mottled patches.

Many dermatologists prescribe retinol's stronger counterpart -- tretinoin -- or similar products to slow skin aging, improve irregular coloring, and clear up acne. Over-the-counter products that have retinoids may be weaker, but they can still improve how your skin looks.

Using a retinol-based product may make the top layer of your skin dry and flaky. It’s best to apply it at night and wear moisturizer and sunscreen the next morning. Ask your dermatologist about alternatives.

SOURCES:

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Acai.”

Marilyn Berzin, MD, dermatologist, DC Derm Docs, Washington, DC.

Hoppe, U. , 1999. Biofactors

Blatt, T. , 1999. European Journal of Geriatrics

University of Maryland Medical Center: ''Alpha-lipoic acid.''

Kawasumi, M. , August 16, 2011. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Kaczvinsky, J. , September, 2009. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology

Blatt T. , April 1999. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on December 4, 2018

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Acai.”

Marilyn Berzin, MD, dermatologist, DC Derm Docs, Washington, DC.

Hoppe, U. , 1999. Biofactors

Blatt, T. , 1999. European Journal of Geriatrics

University of Maryland Medical Center: ''Alpha-lipoic acid.''

Kawasumi, M. , August 16, 2011. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Kaczvinsky, J. , September, 2009. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology

Blatt T. , April 1999. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on December 4, 2018

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