Curious about retinol? Perhaps you’re interested in what it can do for your skin. Or maybe you’ve heard there can be potential discomforts, so you want to know more before you move forward. Read on! The information below will reassure you that this ingredient IS for you, even if you haven’t seen a wrinkle yet (and most definitely if you have!).
Photo of Mary Kay Clinical Solutions™ Retinol 0.5 on mirror with three pea-sized drops of the product

What is retinol? Retinol, Retin-A and other retinoids are part of the vitamin A family. Our bodies produce vitamin A naturally, and it’s critical for healthy cell development. In fact, topical application of this vitamin has been shown to help maintain skin’s integrity by supporting natural production of collagen and elastin, along with improved skin cell turnover.

If you’ve come across retinol in the doctor’s office, you may have seen it referred to as dermatology’s gold-standard ingredient for both preventing and reversing the visible signs of aging. Beginning in your early 20s, you produce approximately one percent less collagen in your skin every year. Collagen depletion will continue FOREVER, unless something is done to combat it. Retinol IS that something.

What Does Retinol Do

Decades of scientific study by universities and dermatologists around the world have supported the remarkable benefits of this ingredient, demonstrating its ability to deliver younger-looking skin by:

Preventing signs of visible aging you can’t see yet.
Reversing advanced visible signs of aging. 
This potent form of vitamin A doesn’t impact just one aspect of skin health. The vitamin has been clinically shown to help reverse multiple visible signs of aging like:

Skin firmness
Skin tone evenness
Skin texture (smoothness)
Skin elasticity
It achieves this by helping you regain the collagen that your skin loses every year:

It supports natural elastin and collagen production, improving the appearance of collagen-depleted skin.
Plus, it stimulates surface skin cell renewal, so skin appears more as it did when you were younger. (And if you’re not yet seeing visible signs of aging, it can actually delay their appearance!)

How to Use Retinol 

Pure retinol is a powerful ingredient to supplement your nighttime skin care routine. However, it’s important to understand that when starting out with a pure retinol product, it takes time for skin to adjust to the potency. The introduction of a new, high-concentration formula can cause temporary redness, dryness and flakiness. These temporary discomforts will likely disappear once skin is retinized.

What is retinization? Retinization is the adjustment period during which skin becomes acclimated to vitamin A. During retinization, skin may experience some temporary discomforts like redness, dryness and flakiness. Once your skin is retinized, these temporary discomforts should disappear. Mary Kay has designed a unique eight-week retinization process to help minimize potential discomfort that can occur when you first start using pure retinol at 0.5% concentration. The retinization process was developed in association with dermatologists to support the amazing benefits of this product, regardless of the user’s age, ethnicity or skin type. Mary Kay Clinical Solutions® Retinol 0.5 Set includes Mary Kay Clinical Solutions® Retinol 0.5 and Mary Kay Clinical Solutions® Calm + Restore Facial Milk, which are applied with a gradually increasing frequency demonstrated to deliver successful results. Eight weeks to train your skin. Eight weeks to amazing! 

During the retinization process, Mary Kay recommends avoiding physical and chemical exfoliation products, acne products and products with high concentrations of vitamin C since they may contribute to temporary dryness or irritation. Click here to learn more about retinol’s compatibility with other ingredients and Mary Kay® products and to find out if retinol is right for you.

Maximize results. Maximize comfort.

This advanced dermocosmetic treatment includes Mary Kay Clinical Solutions® Calm + Restore Facial Milk. The first few weeks after applying pure retinol, you may need to moisturize skin more often than usual. This calming facial milk helps combat temporary dryness and can be used in addition to your normal, daily moisturizer. It features plant oils (coconut, jojoba seed, safflower and olive) to deliver a power shot of rich fatty acids that nourish and soothe skin, while glycerin and sugarcane squalane help prevent water loss. It can even be applied over makeup for touch-ups throughout the day whenever skin is in need of hydration. 

More You Need to Know

It probably won’t surprise you that an ingredient this potent requires special handling. For one thing, you’ll want to avoid the eye area. If contact occurs, rinse well with water. If you wear eye cream at night, it’s recommended you apply your eye cream first and ensure it’s absorbed before applying Mary Kay Clinical Solutions® Retinol 0.5

And while it’s true that temporary discomfort like redness, dryness and flakiness can be common, if you experience a more severe rash or irritation, you should discontinue use and consult a physician. Do not use Mary Kay Clinical Solutions® Retinol 0.5 if you’re lactating, pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Keep out of reach of children. And be cautious about spending time outside because the use of retinol can increase sun sensitivity. Apply retinol at night, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day. And always store retinol products away from extreme heat and/or direct sunlight. 
Pea-sized drop of Mary Kay Clinical Solutions™ Retinol 0.5 on a woman’s index finger

Pea-Sized Potency

High-concentration retinol is one ingredient where “more” doesn’t equal “better.” One pea-sized drop (one pump) applied on a consistent basis – even every other evening – will deliver visible improvement.

Of course, not all retinol products are created equal. When making the decision to purchase, you’ll want to look for clinical results that demonstrate effectiveness. A high-performance product will address the appearance of wrinkles, uneven skin tone and loss of facial firmness – basically all the things that make your skin look older.

Don’t Wait Until You’ve Seen Your First Wrinkle.

You don’t have to wait until you see wrinkles to try high-concentration retinol. It’s a proven ingredient for healthy-looking skin. And if you’ve avoided pure retinol face creams because you were worried about the potential discomforts, it’s definitely time to take a second look. Mary Kay has made it easy, delivering a retinol serum and facial milk power pair that delivers visible results while minimizing discomfort. It’s time to fall in love with your skin again!