There’s a lot of hype around retinol and its abilities, but does it really live up to its promises? What is it about this power ingredient that has women across the world singing its praises?
A potent form of vitamin A, retinol is your go-to ingredient for just about every skin concern. Whether you’re looking to minimise fine lines and wrinkles, reduce pigmentation or treat and prevent blemishes, retinol is your knight in shining armour. A powerful antioxidant, it works by increasing the skin’s cell turnover, stimulating the production of collagen and stimulating new blood vessels in the skin. This means that surface skin cells die faster, making way for new healthy cell growth.
In this process, retinol also unclogs pores and improves the skin’s texture, giving you an overall healthier and more youthful complexion. Plus, unclogged pores mean no more blackheads!
Are all retinols created equal?
Not exactly. Retinol is converted into retinoid acid for the skin to be able to absorb it. A true retinoid is a powerhouse: the skin will take some time to build tolerance to it and slight sensitivity and flakiness is common when you first start using it. This soon subsides as the skin gets used to the ingredient.
There are various retinol derivatives on the market such as retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate. These are common in department store products, but their results are not comparable to that of true retinoids. They are much less powerful, which makes them “gentler” on the skin, and as a result they are less likely to cause irritation. But don’t be fooled – only a true retinoid will deliver the results we’ve been telling you about.
Can anybody use them?
Like with all cosmeceutical products, we recommend talking to a professional before applying retinol to your skin. While the benefits of using retinol are pretty much guaranteed, it’s important to find one that’s suitable for your unique skin concerns, and to start with a lower strength and work your way up to a higher strength.
How do you apply it?
Retinol can be applied all over the face, as well as other areas that are known to show the signs of ageing, like the neck, hands and décolletage. It’s best applied at night and should not be used at the same time as other active ingredients.
It’s very important to wear a good quality SPF every day whilst using retinol (though everybody should be wearing SPF every day regardless!) and to avoid spending prolonged time in direct sunlight.
If you experience mild flakiness or irritation, apply your retinol product every second or third night until your skin gets used to it.
Want to incorporate retinol into your skincare routine? We recommend a visit to Skin Renewal – their team of experts will be able to advise you on the various options suited to your skin.
This post was sponsored by Skin Renewal.
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