An Introduction To Retinol For Acne: The Hottest Skincare Ingredient

As a potent skincare ingredient, Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A and comes from another family of compounds – Retinoids. 

It is a medium-strength over-the-counter drug prescribed commonly to treat acne marks and minimize their appearance.

In recent years, Retinol has gained popularity for being an effective anti-acne treatment

More so for being an active ingredient in serums, wrinkle creams, or moisturizers that help fight acne. 

How Does It Work?

Retinol promotes cell turnover by working on the skin’s outermost layer by unclogging pores. It helps regulate oil production which in turn prevents increased breakouts. 

Retinol is strongly effective due to its ability to get under your skin to treat acne formation.  Excess sebum buildup can often lead to breakouts, and retinol penetrates the skin’s middle layer to stimulate collagen production. 

This helps acne scars fade and prevents inflammation, healing the skin’s texture. 

Treating Acne Woes

OTC retinol gels, serums, and creams contain a low-to-moderate dosage typically for sensitive skin. Dosage varies depending on any side effects with the use of this ingredient. 

A few side effects of high-dosage retinol might be redness, dryness, or skin peeling.

On an important note, choosing products that have retinol in combination with other anti-acne ingredients (Niacinamide or Vitamin C ) can help achieve visible results. 


Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face. Pat dry.

Take a pea-sized amount to spread evenly over the face, letting it absorb into the skin’s layers. 

Retinol can also increase sun sensitivity, and completing your skincare routine by applying a broad-spectrum SPF 30 can shield your skin from hyperpigmentation. 

Additionally, a cool gel-based moisturizer will help combat any skin dryness or irritation caused by retinol. 


For sensitive skin that’s dealing with a severe form of acne, it is best to consult a dermatologist before adding retinol to an anti-acne skincare routine.

Retinol helps to treat scarring and minimize the appearance of pores over time, but it can work in tandem with only a few skin types. 


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