One of the terms you hear thrown about constantly in the beauty world is Retinol. That term, along with other forms of the noun — retinoid, Retin-A, etc. — are a popular and highly-effective component of most night creams, smoothing the skin’s surface and preventing signs of aging on the skin. “But, I’m so young, I don’t need to think about that yet,” you say to yourself. Well, actually, that’s not true: NOW is when you should start using a night cream, when you’re young and cute and nothing’s freaking out on you.
We turned to one of our favorite dermatologists, Dr. Jeannette Graf, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, for the top five reasons you should start slathering your face in the good stuff before you go to bed at night. Here are her rather compelling arguments:
- Your skin really needs it. “Retinol is the most abundant form of Vitamin A in the skin,” says Dr. Graf. “In order for your skin to be healthy, you need to keep supplying it with that essential vitamin.” According to the good doctor, because of this fact — and the fact that your skin loves the stuff — it can literally repair your skin on a DNA level. Hence, it’s powerful stuff and if you want to make any major changes that don’t involve acid, a needle or a scalpel, this is the best way to get it done.
- You’re about to start, if you haven’t already, showing the signs of skin damage. “The earliest signs of aging show up in your 20’s,” advises Dr. Graf. “If you want to combat those signs and prevent them from showing up and getting worse, retinol is the key. It helps even out your skin tone and smoothes fine lines and wrinkles.” So, you know, to keep that youthful glow, protect it now…along with sunscreen and drinking water, of course.
- It’s readily available. “Retinol-based night creams are pretty much everywhere and they’re around at every price point,” she counsels. Literally, head to your local big box retailer or drugstore and just cruise the skin care aisle: there are easily a good fifty night creams containing some form of retinol available. Go expensive, go cheap: doesn’t matter. Just start using it.
- It’s simple to use. “It’s so easy to use it; just apply it at night before you go to bed on clean, dry skin,” Dr. Graf advises. We’ll also add another favorite of her tips and ours: sleep on a soft pillowcase that won’t pull at your hair and skin. Silk, satin: whatever gets it done.
- It’s harmless. “The forms found in stores are not harmful at all,” she advises. “If it’s formulated properly, it’s not harmful, and most of the products you find in drugstores and department stores are tolerated beautifully.” Meaning, you won’t even feel it working.
Enough to convince you? Start using a night cream with retinol now, and wake up to days, years and decades of brighter, better skin? Sound good to you? It certainly sounds good to us.