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One of our favorite skin care tools is retinol (second only to our SPFs). Let’s talk about what a powerhouse it is and why we love it so much! Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A, one of the body’s key necessities for boosting cell turnover. Retinol helps reduce inflammation, diminish hyperpigmentation (bye-bye brown spots!!), accelerate skin cell turnover and stimulate collagen production. The result? Smoother, firmer and brighter skin (hello young and fresh face). I mean, what’s not to love about such a powerful skin care tool?

Application Methods

Now that you have a better understanding of retinol, let’s break it down so we can find the perfect retinol product for your skin. Everyone can benefit from a retinol product; the trick is finding a retinol product and schedule that works best for your skin care needs. You can start retinol at any age, so whether you are just starting to see the signs of aging or you want to use it as a preventative agent, it is a great product. Just remember- slow and steady wins the race! Everyone has a different reactive level, so start using it in your nighttime routine twice a week instead of every night. You can build additional days from there and if you notice that you are getting a reaction, just have patience- don’t abort the mission. A few quick ways to deliver a more controlled (think lighter) dose, is to use a serum such as GlyPro Retinol Drops. Just a few drops to start and then you can work your way up to 4-6 drops (full strength). Still thinking this might be too much? Just add a few drops to your moisturizer and it magically becomes less reactive. For those with super reactive skin, short contact therapy is a great alternative. Simply apply the product and then wash it off after 15 minutes.

Are all Retinols Created Equal?

There are so many different products to choose from, how do you decide what is best? It seems as though everyone wants to just compare retinol percentages of products, but it is important to understand that a higher percentage of retinol doesn’t always mean a stronger formulation. It’s actually all about how it’s formulated. Some other important things to consider: the product’s pH level (remember the skin is generally 4.7-5.5), other ingredients and if it’s anhydrous. (Side note, anhydrous means it is a waterless formula and those formulas actually boost the efficacy of those key ingredients-think less is more). For even better understanding, let’s break down my favorite Glo Retinols:

First up Retinol+ Resurfacing Serum 0.5% - it’s anhydrous so it’s actually the strongest retinol serum that Glo makes. If you are looking for a deeply smoothed, softened and brightened effect this is your go to.

Next up is our best-selling GlyPro Retinol Drops at 1.5% - this targeted serum focuses less on breakouts(yeah you can use Retinol for acne too!) and more on smoothing, fine lines and brightening the complexion.

The Beta-Clarity BHA Drops combines less than 1% retinol with other acne-fighting ingredients, such as those familiar names, salicylic acid and glycolic acid for a clarified and balanced effect. If you are just getting started on your retinol journey, I recommend this one.

If you are a busy mom like me (or just busy) and don’t have time to see one of our nurses or estheticians, then the Retinol + C Smoothing Peel is for you. It’s a great level 1 peel (think beginner or maintenance/in between appointments). Think you are past the beginner phase? Then try the GlyPro AHA Resurfacing Peel for a more refined radiant look.

The Bottom Line

As with any product you start with, less is more. Start with less and then you can build your tolerance up. Retinol can also make you more sensitive to sunscreen so remember to always apply sunscreen as part of your morning routine. Don’t know which sunscreen is best for your skin type? Be sure to check out our next blog….

Can’t wait to see those refined and brightened complexions!