Ask The Doctor: When Should I Start Using Retinol

3 min
by Dr Dennis Gross
December 16, 2021
Dear Dr. Gross, I am 21-years old and obsessed with skincare! Recently I’ve become retinol-curious. I have seen SO many TikToks talking about retinol but feel like I am still too young. My mom is in her 50s and uses it. What age should I start using retinol?
Signed,
– Ready For Retinol

Dear Ready For Retinol,

You can absolutely start retinol now – in fact, you should! It is a complete myth that you need to wait until you see your first wrinkle to start incorporating retinol into your skincare routine. I advise all of my patients to start using retinol in their early twenties. Why? Because retinol not only corrects signs of aging – it also prevents them. The key word here is PREVENT. It’s much easier to prevent damage than repair it after the fact. 

Retinol increases cell turnover, attacks the enzymes responsible for collagen breakdown now, and keeps pores clear, treating and preventing breakouts. Consistent use of retinol over time increases collagen production in both the dermis and epidermis – ultimately thickening skin. As we age, our natural production of collagen decreases so ramping up collagen production when you are younger is key to healthy, younger-looking skin later down the line.

One area you want to pay extra special attention to is the eye area. The skin around our eyes is thinner than the rest of the face and is one of the first places to show signs of aging. 

You can start retinol now and challenge the effects of aging head-on – you’ll thank me when you have smooth, even skin in your 30s! Keep up the good work!

Best,
Dr. Gross


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Written By

Dr Dennis Gross

Dennis Gross, M.D., is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon who has been in practice for 25 years. Creator of award-winning Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare™, inspired by the skincare concerns of patients at his NYC practice.

Written By

Dr Dennis Gross

Dennis Gross, M.D., is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon who has been in practice for 25 years. Creator of award-winning Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare™, inspired by the skincare concerns of patients at his NYC practice.

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