7 Crazy Myths About Retinol

Retinol MythsEveryone knows retinol is one of the most amazing skincare ingredients on the planet.

But what you might not know is there are a lot of myths and incorrect assumptions about it.

Let’s take a quick look at seven of those myths right now…

Myth #1:  The Skin-Softening Benefits of Retinol Ceases After 6 Months of Use

While this myth may seem true at first, I’m happy to tell you it’s not!

Retinol doesn’t quit working but, after a certain period of time, it can become a little less effective. This is actually a good thing, however, because it simply means you’re ready for a stronger strength.

The truth is, retinol’s impressive skin smoothing effects have been known to work consistently, showing significant changes in your skin for well over 12 months.

Myth #2:  Don’t put Retinol Around Your Eyes

Whatever you do- don’t put retinol near your eyes; unless you want them to burn like mines of sulfur!

If you’ve heard these crazy warnings before; you can now rest easy knowing your eyes aren’t going to burn profusely if you get retinol near them.

In fact, the skin around your eyes is one of the places you want to apply retinol the most!

Studies show those who apply retinol around their eyes actually get better results.

Myth #3:  Stop Applying Retinol if Irritation Occurs

It’s common sense you should always stop applying something to your skin if it gets irritated, right? -wrong.

With retinoids, irritation is actually sometimes simply part of the process and believe me- it’s totally worth it!

Sometimes this irritation stems from the process of adding a profound amount of Vitamin A to your skin.

Studies actually show after 2 to 3 weeks of applying retinol, your skin cells adjust to the retinoic acid and the irritation will subside; so if you’re skin gets a little irritated at first- hang in there!

Your skin will thank you later.

If it’s extremely irritated, however, you may want to consider only applying the skin care product to your skin once a week or switching to a weaker strength.

Myth #4:  Stay Away From the Sun

If your friends are telling you to become a hermit, lounge under shade trees while you’re outside or to simply leave the retinol behind while you head out for vacation- I’ll let you in on a littlesecret.

Once your skin adjusts to the current strength of retinol you’re applying, you should no longer have any irritation and it’s doubtful it will flare up again at all, even after you move on to a stronger strength.

It’s a good idea to apply lotion over the retinol if you’re going on vacation or plan on being in the sun for an extended period of time, but I’m sure you’ll be glad to know retinol does not increase your risk of sun damage.

And while you shouldn’t apply retinol in the morning because sunlight deactivates it, using it does not mean you must stay out of the sun!

So relax, keep up with your skin care freely and enjoy the sunshine at the same time!

Myth #5:  Gentle Retinol Products Are Just As Effective As Stronger Ones

Gentle, or low concentrations of retinol can often be found in skin care products labeled for sensitive skin.

It’s a myth that gentle retinol products are just as effective as higher concentrations.

They may, however, be an excellent candidate if you’re just start your journey to firmer and smoother skin through retinoids.

It’s sometimes best to start out using a product with a low concentration of retinol then gradually move on to products with an increased strength of retinol as your skin adjusts.

Myth #6:  It Will Take Four To Six Weeks For Retinol To Work

I wish I could tell you this isn’t a myth and you’ll see significant results this quickly.

However, you actually probably won’t see results for double this amount of time.

Patience is virtue though, you’ll see results soon enough and the wait will be worth it.

Even though some skin products may claim you’ll see results in as little as a week, studies have shown it usually takes at least twelve weeks to see a significant difference in your skin.

Myth #7:  Always Apply Retinol While Your Skin Is Dry

There’s no evidence showing retinol is more effective when applied to your face while dry instead of wet.

Feel free to apply retinol whether your face is dry or you’ve just washed it and it’s still damp; it really doesn’t matter.

Well there you have… seven pre-conceived ideas about what retinol can and can’t do for your skin.  Now that we cleared that up, be sure to take a look at our ranking of the 10 best retinol creams on the market!

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About the Author ()

Jessica Jones is the Executive Editor of Retinol.com. At age 23, Jessica began seeing a few fine wrinkles and decided to make it her life's mission to stop them in their tracks! When she's not trying out the newest retinol creams, Jessica can usually be found at the gym, or at happy hour!