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If All Else Fails, Will Retinol Work For Acne? The Secret of This Vitamin A Derivative Will Amaze You!

Raise your hand if you’ve been suffering from acne since you were a teen. Chances are, you have read about the right ingredients for your skin type, and usually, tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide are suggested – but if these worked, you wouldn’t have been frustrated by now.

If you have been buying products with these ingredients with the hopes of clearing your skin but still don’t see any improvement, it may be high time you try retinol. How does this help you achieve an acne-free face?

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that promotes skin cell turnover, dermatologist Marisa Garshick said. This means that it is responsible for taking away the dead skin cells, which cause acne.

Dekazigzag/Shutterstock — Talk to your derma for the right diagnosis

It benefits the user because removing the dead skin cells cleans the pores so that other topical acne products can enter the skin effectively. As such, retinol is usually part of a treatment plan rather than the sole cure for the problem.

How Does It Help the Skin?

Salicylic acid, meanwhile, also cleans clogged pores and exfoliates dead skin cells while benzoyl peroxide kills the bacteria that causes acne. Unlike these two, retinol and retinoids work from the inside.

Geinz Angelina/Shutterstock — A mix of benzoyl peroxide and retinol can be drying

The retinoic acid reaches the cells and connects to nuclear receptors, which are in charge of cellular metabolism, inflammation, and proliferation as well as cell death. Now, retinol advises the receptors to start the turnover process.

How to Use Products with Retinol

Karen Hammerman of Schweiger Dermatology Group warned using retinol products with benzoyl peroxide. This combination is atypical for acne treatment programs but it can be irritating and extremely drying.

But, there are certain benzoyl peroxide concentrations that deactivate retinoids and salicylic acid is known for reducing the efficacy of the vitamin A derivative. The key here is to know when you should apply these products to your skin.

Thoughtsofjoyce/Shutterstock — Salicylic acid exfoliates dead skin cells

The trick is to use salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide in the morning and the retinol at night. However, it is always best to talk to your dermatologist first to know what you are dealing with – sometimes, people with papulopustular rosacea think they have acne and using retinol may exacerbate the condition.

Retinoids do work on different types of acne so if you naturally have oily skin or big pores, you will see the wonders of this vitamin A derivative. However, you should consider your sensitivity.

Sensitive skin should opt for a retinol product but those who have resilient skin may choose retinoid. Topical products with retinoid have varying concentrations.

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