4 Common Myths About Retinol That Are, In Fact, False

With all the misconceptions out there about retinol, it can be hard to know what to believe. Can you wear retinol during the day? (Eh, turns out you probably shouldn’t.) Is it better to get a prescription strength? How about that rumor about the results plateauing after six months? To find out the facts, we tapped dermatologist Jared Jagdeo, M.D., M.S. See below as he clears up four common retinol myths.

common retinol myths

1. All Retinols Are The Same

False. “There are many types of retinoids, of which retinol is one. How the product is formulated and manufactured, as well as any additional components of the product can make a difference in the experience and overall results,” says Dr. Jagdeo. “Additionally, how the product is presented to our skin makes a difference in regard to skin’s receptiveness, discomforts and efficacy,” he continues. For example, Mary Kay recently launched its Clinical Solutions Retinol 0.5 Set, which not only includes a pure retinol product but also a calming facial milk that can be used in tandem with the retinol to nourish and soothe the skin. The pairing and Mary Kay's unique retinization process were developed to ensure that retinol is presented to skin effectively while minimizing discomforts.

2. You Should Stop Applying Retinol If Your Skin Gets Irritated

It depends. “Some discomfort is common with retinol and retinoids, particularly when skin is not already retinized. If irritation is too substantial or significant, the user can discontinue use for a few days or as advised by their medical provider. Thoughtful retinization protocol, such as the eight-week retinization process Mary Kay developed in conjunction with their Clinical Solutions Retinol 0.5 Set, can help minimize potential discomfort like dryness and temporary redness that may occur when you first start using high-concentration retinol products,” says Dr. Jagdeo.

3. The Benefits of Retinol Plateau After Six Months

False. Dr. Jagdeo says, “The benefits of quality retinol or retinoid products continue as long as you use them. Even if the users reach a point where their skin has reached an optimal condition, they should continue use to see ongoing results.”

4. The Benefits of Retinol Happen Quickly

False. Dr. Jagdeo likes to educate his patients on this topic by explaining that while it is possible to see results as quickly as eight weeks it can take several months to see the best outcomes and that it is not an overnight process. “It's more important to remain consistent with the regimen to achieve your best result,” he states.

angela pares

VP, Design + Branded Content

Angela Pares is the VP of Design + Branded Content at Gallery Media Group, where she oversees the ideation and execution of sponsored content campaigns across PureWow, ONE37pm and...