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are you ready to retinol?

Retinol has become a hot commodity on the skincare market for some time now—everyone’s talking about it, and most skincare companies have formulated some type of serum to keep up with the market. What is this multitasking miracle worker? We’re laying out everything you need to know.

First things first— what IS retinol? Retinol is typically used as a universal term for any topical product containing some form of vitamin A, but technically retinol is a type of retinoid. Are you still with me? Good. Hang in there—this is important!

Retinoids come in multiple variations from over the counter to medical grade, & even prescription formulas that work and penetrate the skin at different levels. Over the counter retinol (anything not sold at a physician or clinical office) has a lower concentration that’s usually pretty diluted, less effective and usually won’t get you where you want to be. Medical grade retinol products are highly concentrated and will penetrate your skin deeper and quicker. The crazy thing? Some over the counter retinols cost just as much as medical grade retinols, so if you are ready to invest, don’t hesitate in going straight to medical grade. 

The entire retinoid family of products are often marketed solely as anti-aging products, but there are so much more to retinoids than making wrinkles disappear.

The main job of a retinoid is to increase the rate of skin cell turnover and increase collagen production. “Skin cell turnover” is a technical phrase for skin regeneration, meaning it penetrates your pores to kick out the bacteria & gunk and shed dead skin. This process is what makes retinoids multitasking miracle workers— retinoid use treats acne, improves your overall skin texture, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, evens out your skin tone and makes your pores smaller. Hello, flawless face!

Since retinoids have been marketed often only as an anti-aging serum, a lot of people assume they need to be, well, aging before they start using retinoids. Wrong! Retinoids are good for acne patients and are also a great preventative measure to combat aging in the future as well as brighten and even out your skin tone and texture.

As with most good things in life, using retinoids comes with a few mild and temporary side effects—think about it as “shedding a layer” to unveil new, gorgeous & glowing skin. Dryness, irritation, and peeling are the three main side effects of using retinoids, but that also means that the retinoid is effectively turning over your cells.

Another kd skin hero and squad favorite is our very own kd retinol serum. This serum is formulated with bakuchiol, a natural complement to retinol, and boosts antioxidant activity to increase benefits and reduce irritation associated with retinol use.

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