Retinol 101: Get Rid of Wrinkles & Combat Acne

If you’ve ever walked down any grocery store skincare aisle, the word retinol probably rings a bell. It’s one of the most well known ingredients on the market and is used to treat many common conditions from acne, to sagging skin, to uneven tone. How can one ingredient have so many uses? What are the benefits? Keep reading to learn all about retinol!

What is Retinol and How Does it Work?

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A: a less intense, over-the-counter member of the retinoid family. It acts as a chemical exfoliant, plumper, and more, all while being accessible without a dermatological prescription (in doses up to 2%). You can find it in serums, moisturizers, and most other topical skincare products. 

Unlike other skincare ingredients, Retinol penetrates the skin instead of working on the epidermal surface. It works its way into the dermis to increase collagen production and neutralize free radicals. This leads to skin cell renewal and improved elasticity. 

What are the Benefits?

 Anti Aging

Retinol is perhaps best known for its anti aging properties. By increasing collagen production from underneath the skin, it provides a plumping effect that has been proven to lessen the appearance of wrinkles in just 8 weeks. It also combats sagging skin and significantly decreases the appearance of fine lines around the eyes and neck. 


Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting 85% of people ages 12-24. Studies have found that regular use of retinol can help treat multiple forms of mild acne, including:

  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Cysts
  • Enlarged & clogged pores

Stop using retinol if you continue to experience side effects or are pregnant, lactating, or plan to become pregnant. Visit a dermatologist if you notice any swelling, blistering, or other prolonged side effects. While it can be used to combat sunspots, retinol also increases sun sensitivity, so it’s essential to use a daily SPF. 

Retinol is one of the best known skincare ingredients for a reason. If you’re looking for an OTC way to treat signs of aging, mild acne, or surface level scarring, it may be the solution you’ve been looking for!