Is Drinkable Retinol Worth the Money?
The first drinkable retinol product has officially hit the market. While the brand, Dirty Lemon, claims that its product stimulates collagen production in the skin, people are left wondering if this really works and whether or not it’s worth spending money on.
In short, the answer is no, ingestible retinol is ineffective and expensive. Here is the science behind why your topical retinoid cream is a better choice.
What Is Retinol?
Retinol is the most-proven topical ingredient to treat and prevent wrinkles. Topical retinol is also commonly used to treat acne and dark spots on the skin. Retinol is a type of retinoid, or vitamin-A derivative, that works by activating the genes that make collagen while also deactivating the genes that make the enzymes that break down collagen.
Retinol is available in both cosmeceuticals and prescription drug forms, but it works the same way in either type of product. The best type and strength of retinoid for you will depend on your Baumann Skin Type and the specific skin concerns you are treating.
Does Drinkable Retinol Work?
It does not make sense to pay extra for a retinol drink or supplement. The current brand of drinkable retinol on the market costs over $10 per one 16-ounce bottle.
Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, so you can get the same benefit eating foods that are high in this vitamin, such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mangoes, papayas, and eggs. It is safer to stick with foods rich in vitamin A because more than 10,000 IU of vitamin A a day makes your hair fall out. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that it builds up in your fat and can become toxic.
Additionally, taking retinol orally does not ensure that it gets to your skin. Much like collagen drinks and supplements, drinkable retinol is not an effective way to improve your skin’s health and appearance.
Don’t Topical Retinoids Cause Irritation?
They do not have to! In a well-designed regimen, side effects of topical retinoids such as dryness, flaking, and redness can be easily managed. Introduce retinoids to your regimen slowly, starting every third night and working your way up to every other and then every night. For some people with sensitive skin types, every-other-night applications work best. If you are using a prescription retinoid cream, your dermatologist can gradually increase the strength of the product as your skin adjusts.
You can read my guide on how to begin using retinol for step-by-step information, but here are a few quick tips:
- Apply retinol to dry skin. If you put it on wet skin, it increases the absorption rate and can increase side effects.
- Start by applying retinol over top of your moisturizer. This slows its penetration and minimizes side effects.
- Dilute retinol by at least 50% if you are going to use it on the eyelids. The skin in this area is delicate and thin and is therefore more prone to dryness and irritation.
Skip expensive retinol drinks and stick with topicals. If you want to give your skin an extra boost from your diet, choose orange- and yellow-colored fruits and vegetables, which are naturally high in vitamin A.
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