What Does Retinol Do for the Skin?


Quick Answer

Retinol is effective in treating acne, wrinkles and other conditions. It has been used since 1971 for treating various skin conditions.

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What Does Retinol Do for the Skin?
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Full Answer

The most common use for retinol is the treatment of acne, when used in combination with other acne medications, according to WebMD. Retinol helps to open and unclog the pores, which allows the topical acne medications or cleansers to penetrate the skin. It also removes dead skin cells which may enter the pores if not removed. When used on a regular basis, it can help reduce acne scarring and inflammation.

Retinol is also used as an anti-aging product. Retinol works by stimulating the blood vessels which can help reduce discoloration, sun spots and age spots. It also increases the skin's ability to produce collagen, which can greatly reduce the appearance of wrinkles when used over a period of time.

Other skin conditions retinol is used for include psoriasis and warts. Excessive skin growth can lead to both of these skin conditions, and retinol helps to slow down or halt their growth.

Retinol comes as a topical cream, and different strengths are available. While some forms of the product are sold over-the-counter, stronger forms are only available with a doctor's prescription.

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