Urban You Edu: Retinol

Retinol is known as the ingredient that can turn back time. Ask anyone you know whose aged beautifully - it’s likely they’ve taken care of their skin and have used retinol in their skincare routine. If you’re wondering what exactly brands mean when they say “retinol is anti-aging”, we’re here to provide you with knowledge so you understand how the product should be used and how it will help your skin look more youthful.

men at Urban you getting facials

What is Retinol?

Retinol is Vitamin A!

What does Retinol do for your skin when applied topically?

Retinol, vitamin A, boosts collagen production in the skin and promotes cell renewal. More collagen in the skin means it’s more plump. Fuller, more plump skin reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which makes your skin look more youthful

Over-the-Counter VS. Prescription Strength Retinoids

Over the counter retinol come in these three forms: Retinol, retinaldehyde, and retinyl esters. If you’re sensitive, look for ‘retinyl esters’ in the ingredient list of skincare products you purchase. 

Prescription strength Retinoids come in 4 forms: tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene, and trifarotene. Prescription retinoids are more potent. In order to get a prescription for these, you’d need to visit a dermatologist. ‘Retin-A’ is the brand name for tretinoin which is what people hear more often than it’s generic name.

When should you start using Retinoids in your routine?

Most will say you don’t need to start using a Retinol until you start to notice signs of aging. Because our skin ages depending on your lifestyle and skincare habits, you could start using a Retinol as early as 25 or wait till your early 30’s.

Should I use Retinol in the AM or PM?

Because retinol is photosensitive, it’s best to use products with retinol in them at night. Be sure to wear a broad spectrum SPF if you’re using retinol in your routine. Because retinol speeds up cell renewal, your skin has less dead skin on its surface which in turn makes your new skin susceptible to sun damage. 

RETINOL AND FERULIC ACID at urban you doctor dennsi gross wrinkle reducer gets rid of wrinkles

I heard retinol can dry out my skin, is that true?

Retinol can cause dryness and irritation, so when introducing it into your routine, you might want to start out only using it 3x a week and build up to nightly.

Prescription strength retinoids tend to be more aggressive, while over-the-counter retinoids are gentler.

How do I know if the retinol product I’m buying is worth spending money on?

Retinol degrades when exposed to light and oxygen, so be sure when you’re buying a retinol product that it’s in airless pump packaging and kept in a solid color bag or cupboard! You’re going to want to steer clear from products that are in tubs or droppers because the constant interaction with oxygen will make the ingredients inactive.

Other things I should know about retinoids?

Some products have retinol and lactic acid (to remind you, Lactic Acid is a form of AHA. AHA’s exfoliate dead skin cells by dissolving the bond between dead and live skin). While Retinol isn’t an exfoliant, it renews cells which makes it a peeling agent. Because retinol and lactic acid are hardworking active ingredients, use with caution if they’re in the same product. Typically when brands do this, the two ingredients are diluted so they’re not irritating. However, if you have sensitive skin it might be best to stray away from products with both in them.

Retinol Products at Urban You

An overnight serum that features a trifecta of retinol, ferulic acid and niacinamide to improve the appearance of wrinkles and firm the look of skin for an even, instantly smoother-looking complexion.


Retinol Complex

Enhances skin tone and texture and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and coarse wrinkles.

A unique combination of an AHA and a retinoid that leaves skin looking rejuvenated with little-to-no irritation.

On September 9 through 11, Urban You is throwing our annual Flawless Fall Event!

If you’re interested in purchasing some of our medical grade retinol, you’ll receive 10% off SkinMedica products and 15% off SkinBetter products. If you’re a member, you can stack your 20% off on top of these discounts!

Want a FREE FACIAL during our Flawless Fall Event?!

Call us at 616-570-0228 to book an Express DDG Facial on Monday or a Dermalinfusion Facial on Wednesday during our Flawless Fall Event!