Let’s talk about retinol. Skincare enthusiasts rave about it. Dermatologists have sworn by it for decades. But does retinol deserve all the hype? We’re here to tell you that, yes, it does. Retinol is one of the most effective over-the-counter ingredients in cosmetic dermatology. Retinol is what we would call a ‘superhero’ product. What qualifies it as a superhero is that if you only used retinol, and nothing else, you’d see dramatic improvements.

But how do you choose the right retinol-based product? Why is retinol effective? When should you start using retinol? How does it interact with other skin care ingredients like Vitamin C? Navigating through the world of retinoid-based skincare can be daunting. So, we’re here to make it easy for you, answering all of your questions about retinol!

What is retinol?

Retinoids is the umbrella term for a large family of Vitamin A derivatives. The cells in our skin are equipped with retinoid receptors that dictate how the cell functions. By communicating with these cells, Retinoids encourage cell turnover and support collagen production. They are scientifically proven to improve skin tone, texture, smooth lines and wrinkles and combat acne by helping unclog and prevent clogged pores, minimizing their appearance.  

There are different forms of retinoids and they vary in effectiveness and speed of results. Basically, when it comes to retinoids there are two categories: the prescriptive side, and the non-prescriptive side.

Prescriptive Retinoic Acid (Retin-A, or Tretinoin) is only distributed by dermatologists. Retin-A first grew in popularity 30 years ago as an effective acne treatment. However, early users of Retin-A also noticed a younger and more vibrant complexion. Retinoic Acid achieves faster results than non-prescription retinol, but like with many Rx-grade formulas, there are some side effects, like dryness and irritation.

Retinol is the purest and most widely known form of Vitamin A available in over the counter (OTC) products. When applied to the skin, Retinol converts to retinoic acid on the cellular level. Biochemically, Retinol and Retin-A are effectively the same - they differ in the speed of cellular communication. Retinol takes longer to synthesize on the cellular level, achieving results over a longer time period. However, the results are comparable with it’s Retin-A cousin while being more gentle on the skin.  

When it comes to picking an OTC retinoid, you should always look for Retinol in its purest form. Retinol derivatives, like retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate, are much easier to formulate but are significantly weaker than Retinol in its effectiveness. So make sure you check your labels when buying a retinoid product.

MD Complete’s Wrinkle and Radiance Remedy Plus is an advanced dermatologist-grade treatment that dramatically rejuvenates the skin. Wrinkle and Radiance Remedy Plus uses a proprietary blend of high-potency ingredients, including 40% more pure retinol than found in typical department store brands. It is the most effective non-Rx form of retinol available without the irritation and dryness associated with prescriptive retinoids.

Total Eye Treatment - Contains, NanoActive HA, Absorbs deeper into the skin's surface for visible improvements in lift,  firmness and crepey skin, and Helps even and brighten skin tone

How does Retinol interact with Vitamin C?

Combining retinol with vitamin C is a common concern. However, recent studies show that not only did combining retinol with vitamin C boost results, but the two working together helped protect skin against environmental aggressors.

It’s important to keep in mind there are many forms of Vitamin C. Many common forms, like l-ascorbic acid, can cause sensitivity. Most Vitamin C variants are also water-soluble, which does not easily penetrate our skin, which is more receptive to oil-soluble ingredients. So you need to choose the highest quality version and the one most suitable for sensitive skin, especially when using retinol.

Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD) is the most potent form of Vitamin C available on the market. THD is an oil-soluble version of Vitamin C that is extremely stable compared to L-Ascorbic Acid. It is known for its exceptional ability to penetrate the skin while still remaining gentle, making it ideal for sensitive skin.

Not only is Wrinkle and Radiance Remedy Plus formulated with pure, activated retinol, it also has a 30% higher concentration of THD. These two powerful active ingredients work beautifully together (along with a proprietary blend of other powerful ingredients like MD Complete’s own NanoActive HA complex - a new form of Hyaluronic Acid that is more readily absorbed by the skin), to deliver plump, firm and glowing skin.

For more acne-prone skin, we recommend MD Complete’s Citrus C Healthy Complexion. Formulated with Retinol and a blend of Vitamins B, C and E, Citrus C this multitasking formula effectively fights breakouts, diminishes the appearance of post-acne dark spots and smooths tone and texture.

To improve the appearance of your eyes, we recommend MD Complete’s Total Eye Treatment. This treatment is comparable to professional eye creams costing over $150 and helps deliver complete care to the delicate skin around the eye, improving the look of fine lines, skin tone, radiance and firmness. In fact, when used in conjunction with Wrinkle and Radiance Remedy Plus, it matched the skin rejuvenation results of three in-office laser treatments.

Wrinkle & Radiance Remedy PLUS

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Wrinkle & Radiance Remedy PLUS

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MD Complete Citrus-C Healthy Complexion for Clear Skin

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What goes on first?

When working with several different products in your skin care routine, a common question is in what order do you apply these products? The rule of thumb here is to apply the lightest to heaviest. What we mean by this is to apply the most liquid products first. This would be your serums and hydrogels, followed by your treatment moisturizing creams, boosters and sunscreens.

Is retinol safe in the sun?

One of the greatest myths about retinol is that you should only apply it at night since it reacts negatively with the sun. It’s true that retinol makes you more sensitive to sun exposure, but most powerful active ingredients are going to make you a little more sun sensitive. However, there is no scientific reason you cannot apply it in the morning as well as at night. Retinol takes about 15 minutes to be fully absorbed into the skin, so it’s not just sitting on the surface of your skin. As long as you are using sunscreen (which you should be using on a daily basis with or without retinol), it is unlikely that you will experience photodamage.

In fact, applying retinol morning and night gives your skin a healthy diet of retinol and helps your skin get accustomed to it.

Is retinol safe for all skin types?

Not only is retinol a great anti-inflammatory (making it ideal for acne-prone skin), it is an incredible sebum regulator. If you have oily skin, it'll make it less oily. If you don't have oily skin, it will help restore the healthy oils. Retinol is an epidermal growth factor, but it is also an epidermal growth regulator. If you produce too many skin cells, it'll slow it down. If you don't produce enough, it'll definitely uptake more cells.

Retinol also works great on sensitive skin, it might just take a longer while to build up a tolerance to it. If you have sensitive skin, we recommend applying it every couple of days to see how your skin reacts. After a short time, you can increase to daily use.

How do I keep my skin's moisture barrier intact while using retinol?

MD Complete was born in a place where we were developing skin nourishing formulas for chemotherapy and radiation therapy patients with weakened skin moisture barriers. These people, by virtue of the health condition or by the treatment they're undergoing, their skin was not working correctly and their skin barrier is damaged. So everything becomes irritating for these patients.

The key to tracking your results with retinol is by having a really strong skin moisture barrier. That is why MD Complete invests in ingredients that nourish a strong and healthy skin barrier. Our retinol products are all formulated with a combination of nutrient-dense ingredients that help maintain a healthy skin barrier for sustainable and consistent results. Vitamin E, as tocotrienol is an extremely important ingredient when it comes to nourishing the skin barrier. Carotenoids derived from fruit seed extracts are also immensely beneficial to the moisture barrier. MD Complete’s multi-tasking formulas provide the perfect foundation to increase your skin improvement with retinol use.

When should I start using retinol?

As soon as possible! Retinol is good for any age! Remember that retinoids were initially introduced as an acne treatment, so it was prescribed to patients in their early teens. When compared to people who never used retinol, people who started using retinoids at an early age and continued into their 30s and early 40s tend to have firmer skin with less signs of aging.

We like to consider retinol like an investment in your 401k. The earlier you start investing, the greater your benefits will be in the long run.

How do I start incorporating retinol into my skincare regimen?

Like we mentioned, Retinol is a superhero ingredient and one of the most effective over the counter anti-aging treatments you can use. It is backed by decades of research and proven results. Now that you know all the benefits of retinol, we hope you are excited to start integrating it into your routine! If you are completely new to retinol and have sensitive skin concerns, we recommend applying it every couple days until your skin builds endurance.

When applying it to the eye area you may want to start slowly. The skin around the eye is thinner and more sensitive. With a product like Wrinkle and Radiance Remedy Plus, we suggest gradually applying it closer and closer to your eyelash line each time you use it. Some people can take it all the way to the eyelash line without any issue. While some might find that it irritates their eyes. So just ease your way into your retinol routine and do what feels right for you and your skin!

What is retinol?

Retinoids is the umbrella term for a large family of Vitamin A derivatives. The cells in our skin are equipped with retinoid receptors that dictate how the cell functions. By communicating with these cells, Retinoids encourage cell turnover and support collagen production. They are scientifically proven to improve skin tone, texture, smooth lines and wrinkles and combat acne by helping unclog and prevent clogged pores, minimizing their appearance.  

There are different forms of retinoids and they vary in effectiveness and speed of results. Basically, when it comes to retinoids there are two categories: the prescriptive side, and the non-prescriptive side.

 Prescriptive Retinoic Acid (Retin-A, or Tretinoin) is only distributed by dermatologists. Retin-A first grew in popularity 30 years ago as an effective acne treatment. However, early users of Retin-A also noticed a younger and more vibrant complexion. Retinoic Acid achieves faster results than non-prescription retinol, but like with many Rx-grade formulas, there are some side effects, like dryness and irritation.

Retinol is the purest and most widely known form of Vitamin A available in over the counter (OTC) products. When applied to the skin, Retinol converts to retinoic acid on the cellular level. Biochemically, Retinol and Retin-A are effectively the same - they differ in the speed of cellular communication. Retinol takes longer to synthesize on the cellular level, achieving results over a longer time period. However, the results are comparable with it’s Retin-A cousin while being more gentle on the skin.  

When it comes to picking an OTC retinoid, you should always look for Retinol in its purest form. Retinol derivatives, like retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate, are much easier to formulate but are significantly weaker than Retinol in its effectiveness. So make sure you check your labels when buying a retinoid product.

MD Complete’s Wrinkle and Radiance Remedy Plus is an advanced dermatologist-grade treatment that dramatically rejuvenates the skin. Wrinkle and Radiance Remedy Plus uses a proprietary blend of high-potency ingredients, including 40% more pure retinol than found in typical department store brands. It is the most effective non-Rx form of retinol available without the irritation and dryness associated with prescriptive retinoids.

Total Eye Treatment - Contains, NanoActive HA, Absorbs deeper into the skin's surface for visible improvements in lift,  firmness and crepey skin, and Helps even and brighten skin tone

How does retinol interact with Vitamin C?

Combining retinol with vitamin C is a common concern. However, recent studies show that not only did combining retinol with vitamin C boost results, but the two working together helped protect skin against environmental aggressors.

It’s important to keep in mind there are many forms of Vitamin C. Many common forms, like l-ascorbic acid, can cause sensitivity. Most Vitamin C variants are also water-soluble, which does not easily penetrate our skin, which is more receptive to oil-soluble ingredients. So you need to choose the highest quality version and the one most suitable for sensitive skin, especially when using retinol.

Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD) is the most potent form of Vitamin C available on the market. THD is an oil-soluble version of Vitamin C that is extremely stable compared to L-Ascorbic Acid. It is known for its exceptional ability to penetrate the skin while still remaining gentle, making it ideal for sensitive skin.

Not only is Wrinkle and Radiance Remedy Plus formulated with pure, activated retinol, it also has a 30% higher concentration of THD. These two powerful active ingredients work beautifully together (along with a proprietary blend of other powerful ingredients like MD Complete’s own NanoActive HA complex - a new form of Hyaluronic Acid that is more readily absorbed by the skin), to deliver plump, firm and glowing skin.

For more acne-prone skin, we recommend MD Complete’s Citrus C Healthy Complexion. Formulated with Retinol and a blend of Vitamins B, C and E, Citrus C this multitasking formula effectively fights breakouts, diminishes the appearance of post-acne dark spots and smooths tone and texture.

To improve the appearance of your eyes, we recommend MD Complete’s Total Eye Treatment. This treatment is comparable to professional eye creams costing over $150 and helps deliver complete care to the delicate skin around the eye, improving the look of fine lines, skin tone, radiance and firmness. In fact, when used in conjunction with Wrinkle and Radiance Remedy Plus, it matched the skin rejuvenation results of three in-office laser treatments.

Wrinkle & Radiance Remedy PLUS

Sold out
Wrinkle & Radiance Remedy PLUS

Sold out
Wrinkle & Radiance Remedy PLUS

Sold out

What goes on first?

When working with several different products in your skin care routine, a common question is in what order do you apply these products? The rule of thumb here is to apply the lightest to heaviest. What we mean by this is to apply the most liquid products first. This would be your serums and hydrogels, followed by your treatment moisturizing creams, boosters and sunscreens.

Is retinol safe in the sun?

One of the greatest myths about retinol is that you should only apply it at night since it reacts negatively with the sun. It’s true that retinol makes you more sensitive to sun exposure, but most powerful active ingredients are going to make you a little more sun sensitive. However, there is no scientific reason you cannot apply it in the morning as well as at night. Retinol takes about 15 minutes to be fully absorbed into the skin, so it’s not just sitting on the surface of your skin. As long as you are using sunscreen (which you should be using on a daily basis with or without retinol), it is unlikely that you will experience photodamage.

In fact, applying retinol morning and night gives your skin a healthy diet of retinol and helps your skin get accustomed to it.

Is retinol safe for all skin types?

Not only is retinol a great anti-inflammatory (making it ideal for acne-prone skin), it is an incredible sebum regulator. If you have oily skin, it'll make it less oily. If you don't have oily skin, it will help restore the healthy oils. Retinol is an epidermal growth factor, but it is also an epidermal growth regulator. If you produce too many skin cells, it'll slow it down. If you don't produce enough, it'll definitely uptake more cells.

Retinol also works great on sensitive skin, it might just take a longer while to build up a tolerance to it. If you have sensitive skin, we recommend applying it every couple of days to see how your skin reacts. After a short time, you can increase to daily use.

How do I keep my skin's moisture barrier intact while using retinol?

MD Complete was born in a place where we were developing skin nourishing formulas for chemotherapy and radiation therapy patients with weakened skin moisture barriers. These people, by virtue of the health condition or by the treatment they're undergoing, their skin was not working correctly and their skin barrier is damaged. So everything becomes irritating for these patients.

The key to tracking your results with retinol is by having a really strong skin moisture barrier. That is why MD Complete invests in ingredients that nourish a strong and healthy skin barrier. Our retinol products are all formulated with a combination of nutrient-dense ingredients that help maintain a healthy skin barrier for sustainable and consistent results. Vitamin E, as tocotrienol is an extremely important ingredient when it comes to nourishing the skin barrier. Carotenoids derived from fruit seed extracts are also immensely beneficial to the moisture barrier. MD Complete’s multi-tasking formulas provide the perfect foundation to increase your skin improvement with retinol use.

When should I start using retinol?

As soon as possible! Retinol is good for any age! Remember that retinoids were initially introduced as an acne treatment, so it was prescribed to patients in their early teens. When compared to people who never used retinol, people who started using retinoids at an early age and continued into their 30s and early 40s tend to have firmer skin with less signs of aging.

We like to consider retinol like an investment in your 401k. The earlier you start investing, the greater your benefits will be in the long run.

How do I start incorporating retinol into my skincare regimen?

Like we mentioned, Retinol is a superhero ingredient and one of the most effective over the counter anti-aging treatments you can use. It is backed by decades of research and proven results. Now that you know all the benefits of retinol, we hope you are excited to start integrating it into your routine! If you are completely new to retinol and have sensitive skin concerns, we recommend applying it every couple days until your skin builds endurance.

When applying it to the eye area you may want to start slowly. The skin around the eye is thinner and more sensitive. With a product like Wrinkle and Radiance Remedy Plus, we suggest gradually applying it closer and closer to your eyelash line each time you use it. Some people can take it all the way to the eyelash line without any issue. While some might find that it irritates their eyes. So just ease your way into your retinol routine and do what feels right for you and your skin!

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