They Fight Off Free Radicals
Free radicals are those little buggers that break down our cells and cause aging in general. Retinoids are antioxidants and fighting off free radicals is what antioxidants do.
They’re formed by exposure to UV rays, certain medications, environmental toxins, radiation, processed food, smoke, and other forms of pollution. They are everywhere and impossible to avoid without a good antioxidant.
Retinoids are antioxidants and when coupled with others such as Vitamin C, you can give those radicals a run for their money!
What are Free Radicals?
Free radicals are atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons. These unpaired electrons break down other perfectly healthy molecules that form our beings. When this happens you begin to experience the signs of aging.
Tidbit: There’s a school of thought, the free-radical theory of aging (FRTA), that posits that we only age because of the accumulation of free radical damage over our lifetime and that if we could do away with free radicals, we could stop aging all together!
Maybe, or maybe not, but regardless, it definitely slows down aging in the skin.
They Reduce the Look of Wrinkles
(and help prevent new ones from happening!)
Retinoids jump-start the process of cell turnover (see # 3) and collagen production (see #5), promoting fresh new, thicker skin, which softens wrinkles and smooths out lines!
They Increase Cell Turnover
Cell turnover (cell renewal rate) is the rate at which our skin produces new cells. When you increase or speed up cell turnover you’re essentially pushing new, healthy skin cells to your skin’s surface. This improves or corrects:
- Skin Texture
- Enlarged Pores
- Dark Spots
- Acne Scars
- Fine Lines
Cell turnover slows down as we age. For example, when we’re babies our cells turn over every 14 days but by the time we’re teenagers it has slowed down to about 21 to 28 days. As we approach middle age it can take up to 42 days and past 50 as many as 84!
Retinoids help speed up the process, mimicking the skin of many years younger.
They Prevent and Treat Acne
For many years dermatologists have considered retinoids the gold standard acne treatment. As a matter of fact in 2016, a retinoid called Differin® was approved as an over the counter treatment for acne.
Retinoids, such as Differin, can reduce the size of the sebaceous gland and the amount of oil it secretes. This causes a reduction in the amount of bacteria in the skin, which is the main cause of acne.
TIP: Don’t use a retinoid product with your benzoyl peroxide. The retinoid deactivates the benzoyl peroxide so it’s just a waste of Clearasil®.
It Increases Collagen Production
Retinoids, when applied to the skin, convert to retinoic acid. The retinoic acid then communicates with our cells promoting the production of collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid and good will, all of which are responsible for keeping our skin tight and supple.
Those first three things are what deplete when we age making our skin old and saggy. So retinoids boost:
- Elastin for elasticity
- Collagen for plumpness and dimension
- Hyaluronic Acid for hydration, elasticity and reversing free radical damage
So, not only will your skin get tighter, it will be smoother and more youthful too.
Last but not least…
It’s Effortless, Affordable, and it Works!
Effortless, in that you only have to add it into your skin regimen (and it can even replace a couple products that you use now!).
Cheap, as in there are hundreds of over the counter options under $20 like the Roc® Retinol Correxion® Eye Cream for like $15.50 for the eye area (I’ve gabbed about that before).
And the Neutrogena® Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer which, at $17.99 lasting a couple of months, is more than a bargain.
The benefits of retinoids are ongoing and cumulative! Next, I will be publishing an article about how to choose the right retinoid for you!
Stay tuned for more on this guys…