My most asked beauty question? What's the best product you can use on your skin? Without hesitation, I answer: An effective retinol cream or serum.
Why retinol? The sometimes-controversial ingredient, which is also known as vitamin A, works deep into your skin on a cellular level to help damage skin cells return to their normal function. Every time you step out the door, your skin is exposed to the sun's harmful UV rays, absorbing free radicals that attack healthy cells (which is another important reason to wear sunscreen). This is where retinol comes into play -- it attaches itself to these damaged cells to help them act like healthy cells again.
While most products only work on the surface level -- say to exfoliate the dead skin cells off your face -- retinol works by boosting collagen production, evening out pigmentation and smoothing your skin from the inside out. Over time, retinol can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Though retinol is literally the fountain of youth in a jar, there are some key rules to follow.
Especially if you have sensitive skin, retinol should only be worn at night. But if it is part of your morning skincare routine, always make sure to wear sunscreen.
If your skin is sensitive to retinol serums and creams, try using it only three times a week in the beginning and work your way up to using it daily.
And lastly, while you may not see results overnight, don't give up! It takes a couple of weeks to see results after starting a new skincare regimen.
Check out the list below for retinol products that AOL beauty editors love.