Everything You Want To Know About Retinol!

We’d love to save you a Google search and answer your questions right here: “What is retinol, and what amazing things can it do for my skin?” 

How do we define retinol? 

Care Skincare Head of Product Innovation Debbie D’Aquino has a wealth of experience in the prestige beauty industry and is our go-to skincare scientist. According to Debbie, we start with “retinoids” in defining retinol. The term “retinoids” refers to Vitamin A and the various compounds derived from Vitamin A. So when you hear the term retinoids, that includes both cosmetic brand retinols and prescription retinoic acid. Dermatologists believe that these derivatives are the most effective rejuvenating creams in the global beauty market. In Debbie’s words, “retinoids can transform the skin like no other singular ingredient can.” 

Why do retinoids work so well? 

The reason? Your skin is a major retinoid-responsive tissue. Cells in both the epidermis and dermis contain proteins and receptors that facilitate the biological effects of Vitamin A in the skin. By increasing cell turnover, retinoids refresh the skin’s surface more quickly. The skin usually sheds every 28 days, but with a retinoid treatment, cell turnover will occur faster. 

What will retinoids do for my skin? 

We’re talking brighter, smoother, healthier looking skin with a reduction in the look of wrinkles, dark spots and more refined pores. Retinoids also work at a much more profound level by affecting gene expression and causing enhanced collagen production. 

And did you know that retinoids are for all ages — from 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond? Your 20’s are the perfect place to start. It’s a great way to rejuvenate skin at the surface and prevent the signs of aging early on. 

How do I get the best results? 

Any dermatologist will tell you — if you don’t consistently use your retinoid treatment every night, you won’t see proper results in your skin. Real benefits come from continued use — a minimum of 12 weeks is suggested. I know a lot of us are pressed for time — but a few self-care seconds at the end of the day (for a better, brighter complexion) are well worth adding to our schedule. SPF of 30 or higher with retinoid use is a must. 

Will retinoids irritate my skin? 

We know some of you have avoided retinol (or retinoids) because of reactions in the past and completely empathize. Care Skincare’s multi-tasking Tireless Retinoid Night Serum offers the same benefits without the irritation of traditional retinol products. It is formulated with Granactive Retinoid™️ which is a delivery system for the active ingredient hydroxypinacolone retinoate (HPR), the newest retinoic acid ester. As mentioned earlier, retinoic acid, also known as tretinoin or Retin-A, is the active form of Vitamin A, which binds directly to the skin cells’ retinoid receptors. HPR is said to be similarly active, since it does the same thing (and does not need to be converted, like retinol does). And unlike Retin-A and retinol, HPR is unique in that it produces little to no irritation. 

Per Debbie, this means that you can receive the beneficial aspects of a Vitamin A boost: collagen production, increased cell turnover, diminished discoloration and a brighter skin tone without severe irritation. This ingredient works wonders on pesky dark spots or sun spots plus has been shown to unclog pores. It’s safe to use on the neck as well to improve firmness and smooth lines (but again, wear SPF there, too). 

What is also special about Tireless Retinoid Night Serum is the inclusion of other skin beneficial ingredients — Hyaluronic Acidcaffeine as a potent antioxidant, especially for skin exposed to UV light, a stable, penetrating form of Vitamin C that helps build collagen and defend against free radicals and Alpha-Arbutin, or bearberry extract, to reduce the look of hyperpigmentation. 

A last thought from Debbie. Not all products — especially retinoid products — are created equal. “Strength, purity of the ingredients, stability of the formula, the method of delivery, and even the packaging of the product — all of these factors play an important role when choosing your product.” 

Thank you Debbie for your knowledge and insights! 

With Care, 


Second photo by Di Maitland

Bio: Michelle is a former beauty executive who loves being part of the Care Skincare Team. She’s married with two young children who have more energy than all the drinks on a Starbucks menu.