How to Diminish Wrinkles

A woman seeks advice about how to diminish wrinkles.

Beauty Queen

Getting Rid of Wrinkles

Dear Beauty Queen: Can you tell me the effects of pure retinol on the skin? Is it safe to use and will it really stop wrinkles?

Beauty Queen: It’s important to know that retinol is just one form of a vitamin A derivative used in skin care. Retinol is found in over-the-counter products at drug and department stores while prescription products usually contain a stronger more potent version called tretinoin. You asked about the effects of pure retinol, but you’re not going to find a pure
retinol. You will find it in varying concentrations, and you can compare the levels in different products by checking the ingredient list to see how far down the retinol is (it may be listed as retinyl palmitate). The lower on the list, the lower the concentration, so keep that in mind.

Retinol is a great skin-care ingredient, and yes it really works. It softens wrinkles in two ways. First, retinol and tretinoin stimulate the skin’s rate of turnover, which means it speeds your skin’s natural exfoliation. Shedding the dull upper layers can smooth the appearance of
wrinkles. These ingredients have also been found to stimulate the skin’s natural collagen production, which has a plumping effect on the skin. As the skin produces more collagen, lines appear less deep. But these products take time, and although you may notice a difference after a month or two, you should wait six months to see the full benefits.

Retinol and tretinoin are safe to use, as long as you’re not pregnant or nursing. Although stronger prescription retinoids can cause irritation (which usually subsides in a matter of weeks), those with especially sensitive skin may want to look for a gentler active ingredient such as peptides.

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