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The Yin and Yang of Skincare: Retinol and Sunscreen

It seems like the skincare craze lately has been products containing retinol, but what is it exactly? 

According to WebMD, retinol and retinoids are a vitamin A derivative that encourages skin cell turnover and has effects in reversing sun damage and signs of aging. Retinoids are more potent and are classified as a pharmaceutical, so they require a prescription from a physician or dermatologist. Retinol is a weaker, over the counter version, commonly found in skincare products. Retinol is still effective, but regular use will take longer to see results. Retinoids and retinol also stimulate production of collagen and inhibit the breakdown of collagen already in the skin, increasing the elasticity of the skin. With all these benefits, what’s the catch?

Well, retinol should never be used during the day! Even though it seems like retinol is in everything: cleansers, sunscreen, lipsticks, foundation; it should only be used at night. This is because, according to Stanford Medicine, in the daytime, retinol has the opposite effect and actually makes skin more susceptible to the sun and thus causing it to age faster. So, never purchase a product with both SPF and retinol - the two are not meant to be combined!

Sunscreen really is the yin to retinol’s yang because while retinol initially increases the skin’s sensitivity to UV light, sunscreen should be used daily during the daytime to protect the skin. Remember: retinol with the night time skincare routine, and SPF in the day time skincare routine daily!

Do you have retinol products included in your skincare routine? We want to know!

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