Retinol is one of the most researched anti-aging ingredients used in topical facial skincare with decades of clinical research and real-world results. Found in some of the most trusted wrinkle creams and anti-aging serums, the powerful derivative of vitamin A possesses a multitude of benefits for the skin, including:
Smoother skin texture + radiant skin tone
Improved skin renewal for healthier skin barrier + minimized sensitivity
Increased exfoliation for reduction of clogged pores, breakouts + skin congestion
As one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients, retinol has the power to visibly transform your complexion. Even so, results take time. Whether you need a retinol cream for beginners or are an experienced retinol user, it is essential to gauge your skin’s tolerance for it and gradually increase use. A ZO® retinol skincare routine ideally balances skin tolerability with results you can see.
All skin types can benefit from retinol. The key to attaining visible results is to gradually build your skin’s tolerance for it. Depending on your ability to tolerate retinol, you may experience redness, flakiness, dryness and other common signs of irritation. Due to its potency, moderate sensitivity is to be expected.
As one of the most effective anti-aging actives, some sensitivity when using retinol is normal. You may ask yourself, “how long does it take for skin to tolerate retinol?” The truth is it varies from person to person. However, how your own skin reacts can be controlled by adjusting product strength and usage frequency. Over time, your skin will become accustomed to retinol, revealing a smoother, more even-toned and youthful-looking complexion.
If you are new to retinol, ZO® recommends starting with a lower concentration and limiting usage to your PM routine, 2-3x per week. As your skin adjusts, you may increase frequency to every other day. Once your skin’s tolerance has reached an optimal level for you, you may choose to step up the potency of your retinol treatment. Always wear an effective facial sunscreen, especially the morning after you have used a retinol cream, serum or treatment of any kind. Consult a physician for a custom retinol protocol.
WHICH RETINOL IS RIGHT FOR YOUR SKIN?
ZO® Skin Health provides highly effective and clinically proven retinol products in a variety of strengths to address skin concerns such as lines + wrinkles, uneven skin tone and rough texture. Our proprietary delivery technologies maximize the anti-aging benefits of retinol and enhance the product experience to improve compliance and tolerability over time.
RETINOL SKIN BRIGHTENER
Our popular Retinol Skin Brightener is available in three retinol strengths to meet your skin’s tolerance level and address your unique skin concerns, including the intensity and prevalence of dark spots and other forms of complexion discoloration.
Promotes exfoliation to eliminate uneven skin tone and improve skin smoothness
Supports skin’s resiliency against future discoloration aggressors
Specially encapsulated to deliver a targeted, controlled release of retinol for maximized brightening
Contains calming + soothing properties for improved product experience
Retinol Skin Brightener 0.25%
- For beginners
- For users with very sensitized skin
- Step up to Retinol Skin Brightener 0.5% after the first bottle
One of our highest strength retinol creams without the need for a prescription, Radical Night Repair is formulated for advanced retinol users with a potent concentration of 1% retinol to help improve the appearance of skin texture, uneven pigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles.
Features 1% high-potency microencapsulated retinols
Accelerates superficial exfoliation to mimic the effects of chemical peels
Helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Protocol: A 12-week independent third-party clinical study of 43 subjects to assess the efficacy potential of Wrinkle + Texture Repair. Subjects represent females, ages 42–67, with Fitzpatrick skin types II–IV. Supported with the use of Gentle Cleanser, Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 and Hydrating Crème during the study.
BEFORE + AFTER
RETINOL SKIN BRIGHTENER
Protocol: A 12-week independent third-party clinical study of 46 participants to assess the efficacy potential of Retinol Skin Brightener. Participants represent females, ages 40-64, with Fitzpatrick skin types II-IV. Supported with the use of Gentle Cleanser, Sunscreen + Primer Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 and Hydrating Crème during the study.
The visible effects of retinol will depend on the strength of the product, the consistency of usage and the overall skin condition.
1. Protocol: a 12-week independent third-party clinical study of 43 participants to assess the efficacy potential of Wrinkle + Texture Repair. Participants represent females, ages 42–67, with Fitzpatrick skin types II—IV. Supported with use of Gentle Cleanser, Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50 and Hydrating Crème during the study.
2. Protocol: a 12-week independent third-party clinical study of 46 participants to assess the efficacy potential of Retinol Skin Brightener. Participants represent females, ages 40-64, with Fitzpatrick skin types II—IV. Supported with the use of Gentle Cleanser, Sunscreen + Primer Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 and Hydrating Crème during the study.
Only you know your skin. As with a beginning user, it is essential to monitor your skin’s reaction and tolerance daily. The key to attaining the full benefits of Retinol is compliance. If you have taken a break, consider either starting with a lower strength treatment like the RETINOL SKIN BRIGHTENER .25%and/or limit your use of Retinol to 2-3x weekly.
Redness, flakiness, dryness, burning, or stinging are all normal, anticipated reactions when starting retinol. With regular product use, skin will acclimate, revealing a smoother, more even-toned and youthful-looking complexion.
You can use the following recommendations to reduce reactions to suit your lifestyle:
- If you are new to retinol, start with a lower strength retinol serum such as Retinol Skin Brightener 0.25%
- Start use slowly: 2-3 times/week. Then increase frequency as skin becomes more acclimated
- Incorporate an exfoliant such as ZO’s Exfoliating Polish or Enzymatic Peel to gently sweep away dead skin cells + improve dryness
- Add a soothing + hydrating product, such as Hydrating Crème, proven to relieve symptoms of severely dry skin while calming skin to soothe visible irritation
- It is imperative to wear a daily sunscreen the morning after Retinol use to moderate sun sensitivity and prevent redness and irritation. If possible, apply sunscreen every day, whether or not you have used Retinol the night before. We recommend a sunscreen from our Triple Spectrum Protection® portfolio.
- Stop retinol usage if irritation persists or becomes severe four days before a special event
It takes 2-6 weeks of regular retinol use for skin transformation to begin. The anticipated reactions will peak during the first 6 weeks and then gradually subside. By week 12, the anticipated reactions will significantly diminish as skin health is restored.
One of retinol’s many benefits is that it accelerates cell turnover, bringing new skin cells to the surface. These cells are more susceptible to sun exposure, so it’s essential to limit time in the sun, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and re-apply it every 2 hours and use protective clothing.
Consult a physician for customized retinol protocol. If new to retinol, start with a lower concentration 2-3 times per week. Increase product strength and frequency as skin becomes more acclimated and to achieve more profound skin benefits.
Although retinol is one of the most effective + researched skincare ingredients, it may not be right for everyone, at every season in life. Some common reasons include but are not limited to:
- Not wanting to experience the initial retinol acclimation period
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- If you have a chronically dry or reddened skin condition, such as eczema
- If you spend extended periods of time in the sun as retinol can cause photosensitivity
Yes, ZO® offers many non-retinol, clinically proven alternatives for people looking to minimize signs of aging. Options include: