A beginners guide to Retinol
To many, Retinol is the holy grail of skincare. When applied topically, the Vitamin A derivative does everything from stimulating collagen production and cell turnover to reducing the appearance of fine lines, acne scars and pigmentation. It’s the exfoliating, anti-ageing, anti-breakout ingredient which skin doctors and aestheticians swear by. But for many people, the idea of slathering our faces in this skin-transforming ingredient can be a little daunting, especially with side effects such as dryness, redness and flaking being common to experience as a result.
Many people put off by the side effects that can occur with retinol. While they only last a couple of weeks while the skin acclimatises, they can be difficult to manage, making people feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. However, there are a few things you can try to help ease the process as your skin adjusts. Just be sure to regularly apply a broad-spectrum SPF every day as retinol can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays.
Integrate it slowly and gently
Retinol can be very irritating if used too frequently or if the formulation is too strong for your skin. Start off with a pea-sized amount of retinol and use it two times per week, slowly increasing the usage to allow the skin to acclimatise. Skincare technology has developed at lightning speed over the last several years and with that in mind, there are now a variety of retinol formula’s available for skin types prone to redness or breakouts which are a good option for people who have sensitive skin.
Use it at night and wear an SPF daily
Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays and sunlight decreases the efficacy of the product. Use retinoids at night and be diligent about applying a daily broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher during the day.
Don’t stop at your face
When applying a retinol-infused elixir, don’t neglect your neck or décolletage, which are notorious for showing the signs of ageing. But, if those zones seem too sensitive for your current formula, pick a separate retinol designed specifically for the area in question. They typically contain a lower dose of vitamin A and plenty of soothing ingredients.
Combine it with a barrier-strengthening moisturiser
Combining the use of retinol with a moisturiser packed full of repairing ingredients – try the SkinCeuticals Lipid Restore 2:4:2 which offers a powerful combination of ceramides, natural cholesterol and fatty acids – will help to alleviate the signs of dryness and irritation that commonly occur. A nourishing product will help draw moisture back into the skin to provide a plump and radiant complexion.
If you would like to embrace the hero ingredient, here are a few of our favourite retinol products…
This product is ideal for more sensitive skin types. It’s designed to exfoliate the surface of your skin and also speed up cellular renewal. Sounds intense, but the reason it’s known to be less irritating is that the ingredients are developed to break down gradually. This, theoretically, allows the skin to better deal with each ingredient and its common side-effects. It’s also made with hydrating and soothing ingredients like bisabolol and portulaca extract, as well as hyaluronic acid, to counteract any dryness and keep skin moisturized.
SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3%
A less invasive version of the brand’s original cult retinol formula, this gentle evening treatment is designed for first-time users to deliver slowly released anti-aging benefits. Formulated with soothing bisabolol to minimize irritation and specially packaged to preserve its potency, this retinol cream for face helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, blemishes, and pores by accelerating cellular turnover.
Formulated to synergistically build skin’s matrix to lift and firm, diminish the appearance of age spots, and smooth lines and wrinkles from the inside out. his high strength complex delivers 0.5% pure, stabilized Retinol along with patented NeoGlucosamine® (NAG) to amplify and intensify the volumizing and firming effects versus Retinol alone.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.