Retinol is found in numerous over-the-counter (OTC) products but is frequently prescribed in higher, more directly impactful doses by your board-certified dermo. However, while I wholly endorse incorporating it into your nightly regimen, I don’t advise doing so without the prior consultation of your dermatologist—because retinol can also make the skin extremely sensitive to sunlight and prone to peeling if misused or in excess.
Still, there is a lot you can study up on about retinol before that conversation with your doctor.
Men’s serum with retinol is easy to sell because of its numerous benefits for your complexion. This is why most dermatologists readily prescribe it or recommend an OTC product for any patient with skin-firming or complexion-clearing goals.
The best retinol serum for men can prevent the formation of wrinkles. For one, retinol improves collagen synthesis in the skin to keep it firm while also decreasing the degradation of existing collagen. Then it even inhibits skin metalloproteinases, which are induced by UV radiation and can further skin degradation.
Improves Skin Textures
Retinol fortifies your skin’s barrier functions, its defenses against skin-aging toxins and pollutants, as well as its ability to absorb and retain moisture. This leads to firmer, smoother skin—and fewer rough patches, wrinkles, fine lines, and the likes.
Improves Skin Discoloration
Men’s serum with retinol encourages the disappearance of dark spots and blemishes faster by expediting the turnover of your outermost skin cell layer. In addition, it prevents hyperpigmentation like melasma and age spots.
Prevents Acne Formation
Retinol “promotes comedolysis,” which is to say, it prevents the formation of comedones, better known as acne, caused by the trapping of oil and skin cells inside a pore.
Anyone who suffers redness or irritable bumps—namely, those suffering from rosacea—will appreciate retinol’s ability to mitigate the matter.
Reverses Sun Damage
The sun’s UV rays work against your skin in many ways, including thickening the outer layer of the skin. In addition, it is noted that men’s serum with retinol stabilizes the skin’s natural turnover of cells, which is thrown out of whack by sun exposure. In turn, it prevents cells from progressing into squamous cell carcinomas, that is, skin cancer.
When you use the word “retinol,” we’re referring to everything in the vast family of retinoids. But that’s technically a misnomer because “retinoids” is that singular term. Whereas “retinol” refers instead to the low-grade, OTC version of the Vitamin A derivative.
“Retinol must be converted into tretinoin by your body before it can be used.” “As a general comparison, tretinoin is 10 times stronger than retinol. Retinol is a great place to start when adding a vitamin A product to your skin care regimen.”
The key to starting retinol serum is low and slow. “If you use too much, you will stimulate too much skin turnover leading to dry skin, peeling, scaling, flaking, burning sensation, and erythema (redness). You can also have increased photosensitivity (to sunlight) when first used, due to thinning of the outer layer of skin.” For this reason, it is imperative to wear SPF every day when you use retinol serum.
Best retinol serum for men should be used at night—and really, should be reserved for it. Because it can be neutralized by sun exposure, and because it works aggressively on your skin, it’s best absorbed while you slumber and experience cellular regeneration. In the morning, you’ll rinse it clean and apply an SPF moisturizer for healthy skin.