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retinol & collagen : skincare myths

Retinol & Collagen: Decoding the Skincare Dilemma/myth


“Aging Is Just Another Word For Living” 

~Cindy Joseph

Aging is often associated with looking old and weary which people never like. But did you know that aging doesn’t come with age only? It is possible that maybe you are still in your 20s but you look like you are in your 40s. It is because aging or premature aging is affected by many factors such as stress, genetics, UV exposure, pollution, etc. To address them at their root levels & #AgeGracefully, natural skincare including Retinol & Collagen are introduced! But there are so many myths surrounding these anti-aging ingredients that people often have misconceptions & avoid using them. Let’s clarify them so that everyone can make informative decisions for their skin & skincare regime.


1. Myth: Stop using retinol, if the skin experiences redness or peeling

Whenever a new natural skincare product is introduced, the skin requires time to get adapted to it. While there can be few side effects, it doesn’t mean that an individual should stop using the product altogether. While using retinol initially, it is common to see side effects that are often mild to moderate and usually only last a few weeks (during the adjustment period as your skin gets used to your treatment ), such as: 

  • Redness
  • Skin peeling or flaking 
  • Skin irritation
  • Dryness 
  • Itching or burning 

Hence, it is advised to start using retinol 2 times a week, on alternate days, gradually increasing it to 5 times a week, but not exceeding the timeline. It’s best to have patience as the skin acclimates and gets used to the retinol product. However, stop using it, if there is intense skin irritation.

2. Myth: Retinol, Retinoid, Retinal- They’re All The Same

Retinol, retinoids, retinal & all the other similar-sounding ingredients belong to the same family but are different. 

The term retinoid is an umbrella term for several vitamin A-based ingredients used in skincare. Many different retinoids are effective in different areas of skincare. For example, 

  • Tretinoin is best for clearing troublesome acne
  • Retinol is best for improving skin texture, hyperpigmentation, dryness, fine lines, forehead lines, and wrinkles on foreheads & near eyes.  
  • Retinal is best for improving the texture of skin and the appearance of fine lines
  • Tazarotene is best for psoriasis, acne and hyperpigmentation
  • Retinol is known to help increase skin cell production and collagen production which can improve things like blocked pores, rough skin, and signs of photoaging.

3. Myth: Retinol causes sun damage

Retinol works by increasing cell turnover which leads to the eradication of dead skin cells & the production of new ones. As these cells are completely new, they can be vulnerable to sun damage. However, the risk of experiencing redness or sunburn is relatively low. Therefore, a broad spectrum SPF 30 is recommended to be used the next morning of applying retinol, to protect the new cells from damage.

4. Myth: A lot of retinol serum should be used to make it effective

There’s always this misconception that slathering skincare products will lead to increased results within a shorter time. In reality, it’s not about how much one uses, it’s about the frequency. It is always recommended to use a pea-size retinol serum to be applied to the skin. 

P.S.- Anti-Aging products take at least 9-12 weeks to see visible changes.

5. Myth: People with sensitive skin SHOULDN’T use retinol 

The first and foremost thing to remember is that Retinols are not harsh ingredients that cause redness or peeling. As mentioned above, there are certain side effects that one can experience while the skin gets adapted to the new ingredient. The truth is, they are excellent at tackling signs of skin aging. There are many different types and strengths out there, and many people find there is a retinol product available to suit their skin concerns and needs – even with sensitive skin. They can get a consultation with a Skin Expert first to ensure the right frequency is used.


1. Myth: You cannot restore your body’s collagen

Collagen is a protein that is produced within the body. As one’s life progresses, the body's natural collagen production tends to drop as we begin to age, leading to growing aging signs such as wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. Many misconceptions state that the overall production of collagen is stopped, but in reality, it's the rate of collagen production that gets reduced. They need to be stimulated with active ingredients applied to the skin in the form of serums or creams.

2. Myth: Taking collagen supplements gives you radiant skin

The oral consumption of collagen-enriched products leads the stomach to recognize it as food and start digesting instead of firming the skin. Therefore, skincare products infused with collagen-boosting ingredients should be incorporated that trigger the internal cells to start producing collagen of their own. Taking collagen supplements will not boost collagen levels in your skin.

3. Myth: Collagen serum & skincare products with collagen work immediately 

Anti-aging skincare requires 9-12 weeks and sometimes even more to see visible results. While many want youthful skin after just one use, it is not possible in reality. One can feel immediate hydration or may have a temporary plumping effect, but for a rejuvenated complexion, consistency & patience are key elements. 

4. Myth: Collagen creams can penetrate the dermis layers

Collagen molecules are so large that it makes them unlikely to deeply penetrate the dermis layer. The only way to boost internal collagen by skin mechanisms is to have active ingredients in the natural skincare products they use in their regimen that signal the cells to start producing their skin’s collagen.

5. Myth: Youthful skin can be maintained solely by collagen skincare products

There’s no doubt that skin care products with collagen-boosting ingredients are a great part of a comprehensive skincare routine that helps to maintain youthful skin. However, several other factors will help to support the skin's collagen. UV protection, a healthy diet, adequate hydration, regular exercise, and other lifestyle factors are crucial in promoting skin health and preventing premature aging.


Starting an anti-aging routine can feel like a big decision. It is always recommended to assess your skin history for any irritations or allergies, skin goals, acquire skincare world knowledge along with debunking common myths or misconceptions. Because a well-informed decision for thy skin & thyself leads to clear & radiant skin.

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