Skincare Ingredient Series – Retinol

As the new year begins, I wanted to take a new approach to the ad hoc blog posts of the previous years. I remain hopeful that the regular posting will continue well into 2019 to help you achieve your new health and beauty goals.

My aim in the skincare ingredient series is to educate you a little bit more about some of the ingredients that can be found in your skincare products.

 Retinol

You have probably heard about Retinol if you keep yourself up to date with the latest beauty trends.  2018 saw the explosion of this super vitamin, but do you really know much about it? And do you know how it works on your skin?

I thought I would explain some of the myths around it and how it works so that the next time you book a facial or invest in a product you’ll be properly clued up about one of the industry’s most popular ingredients.

What is retinol?

Derived from vitamin A, retinol is part of a group of chemicals called retinoids. Retinol may also be referred to as retinaldehyde.

Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant which has some impressive results when it’s used to treat skin conditions like acne. The type of retinoid you’ll find in a prescription acne treatment is different to the type you will come across in a salon treatment or an over the counter skincare product. The effects are similar.

Retinoids work by unclogging your pores when you apply them to your skin. It allows other products to penetrate deeper and also helps to reduce the number of flare ups you have because they stop the dead skin cells from building up.

You can buy retinol creams to treat acne or provide anti ageing benefits without a prescription. The Dermaquest Retinol Peptide Youth Serum exfoliates, whilst encouraging the skins production of collagen to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Why is retinol so popular?

It actually works! Retinol has been clinically proven to improve skin elasticity and boost collagen production. Using retinol skincare products brightens up your skin even if you don’t suffer from acne, and many of the best known professional skincare companies use retinol in their best-selling anti-ageing facials and home care ranges.

Our “retinol infusion facial’ and “retinol infusion peel” will brighten up your complexion by boosting the amount of collagen made by your skin, helping to reduce fine lines. Retinol also speeds up cell turnover which freshens up your skin, balances any discolouration and smoothing your skin. A good retinol product will maximise the benefits at home.

Retinol dos and don’ts

  • If you are using a skincare product, don’t use it every night. Retinol can cause irritation – it’s potent. Build it up slowly. Always follow the product instructions or ask me for advice if you’re not sure.
  • It can take a while to see results with Retinol, whether you’re using it at home of having salon anti-ageing facials. Be patient – it can take up to least 12 weeks for retinol to produce noticeable changes in the skin. It’ll be worth the wait!
  • If you’re a sun bed lover, don’t even think about using one while you’re using a retinol-based product – it can make your skin photo-sensitive.
  • The same applies to sun worshippers; cover up and wear sunscreen.
  • Make sure you use a good quality SPF on your face every single day while treating your acne with retinol creams/lotions (if you don’t already.)
  • Don’t use a retinoid if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Benzoyl peroxide and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) can reduce the effectiveness of Retinol – use one or the other.
  • If you’re booking a wax, do not use a retinoid for several days before your appointment – it can make the redness worse.