I Added Retinol to My Skin Care Routine and Noticed Some Major Changes: Here’s What Happened

When it comes to aging skin, anti-aging skin care products are a must for reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and more. That said, they can also be used to prevent these signs of aging from showing up earlier than expected. That’s why I decided to add an anti-aging ingredient, retinol, to my skin care routine.

A derivative of vitamin A, retinol is a powerful anti-aging ingredient that dermatologists and celebrity estheticians swear by for youthful-looking skin. That said, the skin care benefits of retinol are also quite promising. Curious to know more? See what happened to my skin after adding retinol to my routine, ahead.

1. My skin’s texture improved

young woman with clear complexion in the bathroom

Retinal can make your skin smoother. | iStock/Getty Images

After adding retinol to my skin care routine, one of the biggest changes I noticed was a change in texture. After just a few weeks of use, my complexion felt softer and smoother than before. This could be due to vitamin A’s (aka retinol) ability to kickstart the skin’s natural exfoliation process.

2. My complexion looked brighter

Woman cleans the skin coffee skrub

Retinol reveals newer, fresher skin. | iStock.com/MishaBeliy

In addition to softer skin, my complexion appeared brighter, too. My skin tends to err on the dry side of the spectrum, which can cause my complexion to look lackluster in tone. That said, a little restoration goes a long way. Thanks to its rejuvenation properties, the retinol seemed to help my dull skin and give it a natural-looking inner glow.

3. I had fewer breakouts

beautiful caucasian woman with charming smile

Retinol is a good option for breakouts. | Janifest/iStock/Getty Images

While I have fairly clear skin, I tend to breakout on my chin and nose a lot. That said, after using retinol for a few weeks, I noticed a significant change in my breakout patterns. Thanks to its ability to exfoliate the skin naturally, retinol can help unclog pores, which in turn makes it easier for other treatments and creams to work their magic.

4. My pores were less noticeable

beautiful black woman with big curly hair in white top, isolated on grey background

Concerned about your pores? | iStock.com/UberImages

Another bonus to adding retinol to my skin care routine? My pores shrunk (well, sort of). Because retinol can help with breakouts, my pores appeared much cleaner than before, causing them to look unnoticeable.

5. Some hyperpigmentation vanished

Nose piercing

Say goodbye to spots and scars. | AkilinaWinner/iStock/Getty Images

Another skin care benefit of retinol? It can fade hyperpigmentation. Again, this superpower is due to vitamin A’s ability to support the skin’s natural rejuvenation process. And the good news about most forms of hyperpigmentation is that it is often very shallow. Meaning, over time, the skin’s renewal process can shed the affected cells and make hyperpigmentation less noticeable.

6. The clarity of my skin

woman applying cream to her face

Get that fresh glow with retinol. | fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

In addition to brighter, less breakout-prone skin, the clarity of my skin changed, too. Now, when I look in the mirror, I see a healthier-looking skin tone and an inner glow that wasn’t there before.

Want to add retinol to your skin care routine? See some of the best retinol products to try, next.

7. Retinol products to try

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One of the most challenging parts of adding retinol to your skin care routine is choosing a retinol that works for you. Luckily, retinol comes in all different packages. From serum to night cream, take a look at some of my favorite retinol products, ahead.

The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane
Price: $5.30

If you’re looking to try a retinol product, but don’t want to break the bank, give The Ordinary’s Retinol 0.2% in Squalane a try. This is one of my favorite retinol products because it is easy to use and affordable. And although the bottle is small, it actually lasts a long time.

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Anti-Aging Moisturizer
Price: $72

This one is a little more expensive, but I promise it is worth it (and actually not that expensive compared to other retinol products). Formulated with retinol, ferulic acid, and the brand’s own ECG Complex, this anti-aging moisturizer not only hydrates the complexion, it works to smooth out the skin’s texture and fade the look of fine lines and wrinkles, too.

EmerginC Vitamin C + Retinol Mask
Price: $50

Another great way to experience the skin care benefits of retinol? With a weekly face mask! Formulated to improve collagen production, fight skin-damaging environmental aggressors, fade hyperpigmentation, and more, the EmerginC Vitamin C + Retinol Mask is one of my favorite ways to wind down and fight premature signs of aging.

However, it’s important to mention that not everything about retinol is amazing. Before using a retinol-infused skin care product, take a look at the precautions, ahead.

8. Precautions

Elegant fashion woman

Make sure you’re protected from the sun. | iStock.com/RossHelen

While adding retinol to your skin care routine can boast many anti-aging benefits, there are a few things to be cautious of. For starters, your skin may become more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays, so it is imperative that you apply (and reapply!) sunscreen to your complexion daily and only use retinol-infused products in the evening.

In addition to sun sensitivity, retinol can make your skin sensitive, too. One way to counter this is by easing into your retinol use. Start by diluting your retinol serum into your moisturizer until your skin builds up a tolerance to it.

As always, consult with your dermatologist before adding a new product into your skin care routine.

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