Retinol Beginner Guide to Beautiful Skin



You have probably heard a lot about Retinol and how it is a great supplement to your daily skincare regimen.  Retinol is a wonderful addition to your armamentarium against premature aging and yet, it is still underutilized and misused.


Most Dermatologists would agree that in an ever-changing world of anti-aging products, retinoids and retinol are mighty components to prevent and correct skin damage.  To understand more about retinoids and retinol we turn to the expert, Board Certified dermatologist, Dr. William Schweitzer.  He explains that “Retinoids have a chemical structure similar to Vitamin A and have a variety of uses in medicine where they regulate epithelial cell growth, improving the health of the skin. Retinol, also known as Vitamin A1, is a vitamin found in food and is also used a dietary supplement.  Retinol is metabolized in the body to its’ active form, Retinoic acid.  Retinoids are available in prescription strength such as Retin-A and Renova and Retinol can be found in over the counter products.”


Retinol is essential for our eyesight and in maintaining the health of the skin.  Retinoids are one of your best defenses against fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, improve acne and help with uneven pigmentation.  “As we age our dermis becomes thinner and our epidermis thickens, the long term use of retinoids can help us delay the skin aging process” Dr. Schweitzer notes.  Retinoids increase cell turnover, inhibit collagen breakdown, have anti-inflammatory qualities, regulate sebum production and promote collagen synthesis.


Retinoids are often misunderstood and therefore misapplied.  “Retinoids are usually best applied under the supervision of a dermatologist as they can cause dryness and redness of the skin” Dr. Schweitzer warns.  Often, retinoids can cause minor irritation, redness and even peeling of the skin. The skin usually becomes adjusted to irritation and inflammation improves or disappears.

Dr. Schweitzer’s tips to get you on your way to beautiful and healthy skin:

  1. WHEN TO START USING A RETINOID OR RETINOL:  your early 30’s is the best time to get started.  At this age, you start to notice skin changes such as thinning skin and less elasticity.  This is the best time to work on boosting collagen deep into the dermis to maintain your skin.
  2. START SLOWLY:  You might start with a low dose retinol that is available over the counter.  Apply a small amount to the face every other night to get your skin used to the product.
  3. SET UP A ROUTINE:  your goal is to apply retinol nightly but give it a couple of weeks of every other night application to give the skin time to adjust.
  4. BE PATIENT: retinol is not something you rush!  It can take up to 10 weeks to start to see improvement.  Be patient and over time you will begin to see great changes on your skin.
  5. TRANSITION SLOWLY:  after 8-10 weeks of your first retinol regimen you can move up to a higher dose or use a Retinoid under the supervision of a dermatologist.  Patience is key with this mighty ingredient!


For more information:

Book your next appointment with Dr. Schweitzer:

ProDerm Image – Cosmetic Dermatology
960 South Westlake Blvd., Suite 208
Westlake Village, CA 91361




More From