How Does Retinol Work on the Skin?


Aging is a natural process, and it is a natural sign of our humanity. Aging shows that we've smiled, laughed, and lived under the sun. So, while being human is nothing to be ashamed of, there are times where we want to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin texture, and dullness. There’s no reason to panic about aging, especially when there are products with exceptional ingredients at affordable prices from the Ordinary.


The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% (STRONG!!!) -$13.90



There’s a wide breadth of scientific research that presents retinol as antiaging, especially for wrinkles. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative, and it is very potent to the skin. Vitamin A is used for acne, but it can also be used to fight wrinkles. Retinol can program your skin to renew a bit quicker. This sounds extreme, but not to worry. Retinol is much more gentle than a retinoid so it doesn’t cause itching or stinging during this process. Retinol simply goes onto the skin and coats the hair follicle as well as the sebaceous unit. From there, it trains the skin by triggering receptors that deal with cell renewal.


Vitamin A can help turnover the top layer of your skin. And as a result, your body sends a bunch of blood and a bunch of immune cells to the area impacted by retinol, and this can have a nice plumping effect on some of those wrinkles. This is why retinol products are said to “promote circulation” within their descriptions. However, they don't exfoliate per se. Exfoliation refers to the process of lipid bonds being broken so old skin cells can come off. Conversely, retinol binds to receptors in the skin and triggers old cells to turn themselves over.


We shouldn’t expect a facelift in a bottle when it comes to retinols. But as mentioned before, retinol can program the skin to renew itself in a better fashion. When a lot of people get older, their skin slows down its renewal process, and likewise, the top of the skin can get a little bit of build-up. Because of this, our skin may look a little less luminous. However, the Granactive retinoid can help that top layer of dead skin remove itself. In turn, the brighter layer of skin beneath can shine through. This Granactive can be used in the morning and the evening, and you should always apply sunscreen during the day upon adding it to your routine.


The Ordinary Buffet -$14.80





This peptide serum has a variety of soothing effects in addition to many other beneficial ingredients that can diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Our body is made of protein, specifically collagen. Collagen is what gives structure to our skin. Along with elastin, collagen makes our skin stretchy, but as we age, so does our collagen. In turn, many skincare companies seek to create products that boost protein production within the skin, and therefore, combat wrinkles.


When certain ingredients like peptides are applied to the skin, it’s theorized that the skin can make more proteins. Peptides compose proteins, and amino acids make up peptides You can get amino acids from your diet, your body makes some of them, but applying amino acids topically can also be helpful.


Amino acids are placed together in a chain called peptides. Both peptides and amino acids are small enough to penetrate the skin, but whether or not they truly stimulate collagen production is contentious. At any rate, though, amino acids and peptides generally have a very soothing effect on the skin. They make the skin feel buttery, but they don’t leave it feeling oily.


In particular, the Ordinary Buffet has peptides and glycerin which gives the skin a smoothness. It’s got lactobacillus ferment which helps to rehydrate the skin and to create a protective barrier. It’s also got sodium hyaluronate which is a form of hyaluronic acid. Sodium hyaluronate is an awesome humectant meaning it holds onto moisture and makes your skin look luminous and glowy. The buffet can be used in the morning and evening; however, it does work best when the skin is at a pH level of around 5.5.


Although doing so is not detrimental, avoid using any acids, basic cleansers, or products around the same time as this so you can go get the most out of this product.


The Ordinary Caffeine EGCG (Yes, It's An Eye Product)-$6.70




This is one of the best products that the ordinary has for antiaging. Although the following advice for application differs from the manufacturer’s directions, it is very effective. The Ordinary Caffeine EGCG is sold as an eye cream, but it also does wonders when it is applied to the entire face. While this product helps with under-eye puffiness and circles, the ingredients indicate a lot of potential for the entire face. Many have seen results from mixing this in a moisturizer or from using it as a serum. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor (constricts veins) so when you put it on the skin, it can create a tightening effect. Ergo, it’s used in under-eye creams because it prevents the skin from having too much blood up under the eyes and becoming puffiness.


Likewise, this can work all over your face to decrease puffiness, but even more importantly it can give the skin a slightly different texture. Caffeine is also a fantastic antioxidant. Antioxidants protect our skin specifically from things that cause aging like the sun and free radicals. Because caffeine is such a fantastic antioxidant, it deeply nourishes the skin and provides that antioxidant boost. This boost helps your skin function more optimally, and it provides the kin a shield to fight against the outer world.


This has EGCG or epigallocatechin-3-gallate is a wonderful antioxidant that comes from green tea leaves. EGCG is great when taken internally and also when applied topically to the skin. EGCG has been shown to help with wrinkles, fine lines, aging, overall skin firmness, and texture. It helps glow, revitalization, and hydration.


It should be taken into account that this product does not contain pure EGCG, but it contains Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside and Gallyl Glucoside, which is slightly different, but functionally more or less the same.


This product also contains urea and lactic acid which are mildly exfoliating. These two ingredients help reveal the lower layers of the skin so it looks brighter and fresher. Overall, the ordinary uses very pure extracts but provides them to us at affordable prices.


You can view a video explanation of these products  here.