The Ultimate Guide to Retinols: Benefits, Effects, and More

“The main function of retinol is cell turnover and growth, resulting in many benefits ranging from a more even and clear tone to the skin to diminished fine lines and wrinkles,” says skin expert Joie Tavernise, esthetician and founder of JTV Clinical Skin Care in New York City. “When retinol is applied topically, it breaks down into retinoic acid. This acid directly impacts the cell structure in the skin, which stimulates collagen production. In turn, increased collagen reduces the appearance of wrinkles, helps fade dark spots, and evens out tone and texture.”

Moy also says that retinol is not only safe but beneficial for those with darker skin tones. “There are a few common skin concerns that darker skin tones experience like hyperpigmentation, skin texture, and uneven skin tone. Retinol is a great ingredient to combat these issues and works well for those with higher melanin levels. As always, if using retinol, it’s important to wear a broad-spectrum SPF,” he instructs.