Why Dermatologists Love Retinol (and You Should, Too)

The single skincare ingredient ALL derms love.
Michelle Villett
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The single skincare ingredient ALL derms love.

Last week, I interviewed no less than SIX dermatologists. And while I can't tell you what, exactly, we spoke about (that'll come out in a future magazine article I'm writing) I can say that there's one skincare ingredient ALL of them recommended as part of a good skincare regimen.

Any guesses?

It's retinoic acid. Otherwise known as Retin-A or Tretinoin (by prescription) or retinol (which is what you see in beauty products). It's a derivative of vitamin A, and the reason derms love it is because there's a heap of good research behind it—unlike most other ingredients you see on product labels. In other words, there's actual PROOF that it really does work.

And what does it do? Try all of the following:

- it helps smooth out wrinkles

- it can give skin a slightly firmer appearance

- it can diminish mild-to-moderate cases of acne

- it evens out skin tone and texture

Many people (including moi) thought retinoids might not be the greatest to use long-term since they thin out your skin. But let me bust that myth right now—they don't. I posed this question to all six derms, and they said it actually does the opposite—it makes skin slightly denser. Sweet.

If you've got sensitive skin, start with a product containing retinol (it's milder) and gradually work your way up to a higher concentration of it. (Or ask your derm for a prescription version.) One to try: RoC's new Multi-Correxion Anti-Age Intensive Serum Express Multi-Action. Apply it morning and night before moisturizing for a one-two punch against wrinkles, dark marks, sagging, dryness and uneven tone and texture.


Priced at $47. Available at drugstores across Canada.