What is Retinol?

What is Retinol?


This is Martha Thomas, head of customer care for Tree of Life Beauty, and I want to welcome you to our weekly newsletter where we discuss important ways to age gracefully, “how-tos” for keeping skin healthy as you age, and so much more about your skincare regimen.

Please be advised that we are not doctors or dermatologists, and this article should not be taken as medical advice or any medical statement. Any questions or issues involving your skin-care needs should be discussed with a physician, and we highly recommend you consult with your doctor before taking up any skin-care regimen.


Retinoids- In several thousand published studies on the skin-saving effects of these vitamin A derivatives, the overwhelming consensus is that retinoids increase collagen production - firming and plumping your skin, speeding up cell turnover - smoothing your complexion, and unclogging pores - reducing breakouts. People who use retinoids report a significant reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and brown spots.

Retinol is the over-the-counter version of Retin-A, a vitamin A compound. Retin-A is available in several prescription strength compounds. These Retinoids, Retin-A and Retinol, prevent the compounds that break down collagen from even forming, and with continued use, Retinoids can spur new collagen production. Non-prescription Retinol minimizes lines and discoloration more slowly than its prescription counterparts, taking up to 12 weeks to see improvements vs. 6 weeks with prescription Retin-A.

Benefits of Retinol

  • Preventing the breakdown of collagen and promoting the production of new collagen. Retinol is a powerful antioxidant that helps repair skin damage by penetrating the deepest layers of your skin. Retinol gets to the root of where wrinkles are just beginning to form, slowing their growth and preventing the breakdown of collagen while stimulating the body’s production of new collagen.
  • Promoting skin cell rejuvenation. Retinol causes dead skin cells to be sloughed off, speeding up cell turnover and leaving behind beautiful new healthy skin. Your skin looks younger, smoother and more radiant. It also leaves your skin more evenly toned while lessening the impact of sun damage such as brown spots and discoloration.

  • Providing a defense against acne. Retinol keeps pores clear by unclogging follicles and exfoliating skin cells. It also helps to eliminate pimple causing bacteria. This helps to prevent breakouts making, Retinol an effective treatment for acne.

    How to use Retinol

    Because Retinol is a powerful ingredient it can be harsh on sensitive skin or skin that is not used to it. As a result, you will want to start out using Retinol slowly in order to allow your skin time to get used to it’s powerful anti-wrinkle effects. Apply it 2 or 3 times per week for the first couple of weeks. If you are not experiencing any redness or flaking you may increase to every other night for the next two weeks. If after a month you are not having any issues you can increase to using it every night. If you have any reactions, go back to using it every other night or two to three times a week.

    Some Precautions

    • Because Retinoids are so powerful they should be used only at night as they can cause one’s skin to be more sensitive to sunlight.
    • It is best to use sunscreen during the day while using any form of Retinoids.
    • Vitamin A compounds (Retinoids - Retin-a and Retinol) should be avoided while pregnant as a Vitamin-A overdose can be harmful to your baby. 

    Our Products Containing Retinol

    Retinol Serum

    Retinol Moisturizer

    Ultimate Nighttime Serum

    We hope this was helpful. If you have any further questions about our products, please feel free to ask anytime. We are here to help you get the most out of your skin care regimen.

    Until next time, have a wonderful week!