What is Retinol?

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Retinol has a whole load of benefits for your skin! With the tons of information about skincare out there, it can be difficult to understand which one is the best for you.

Here’s the Retinol lowdown…

After the age of 30, renewal of skin cells becomes increasingly slow. Retinoids switch the skin cogwheels back on. Skin regenerates at a cellular level causing multiple benefits:

  • Improvements of wrinkles
  • Brightening of skin
  • Acne recovery
  • Fading of dark spots
  • Increased collagen production thickens skin by improving the structure and elasticity.

So it is the ultimate skin active!

What’s the difference between Rotinol and Retinoids?

There are many different types of retinoids (a family of vitamin-A derivatives) that are on the market. Retinol is just one.

  • Retinyl palmitate is the weakest of the retinoids.
  • Retinol is the next strongest and most tolerable.
  • Retinaldehyde and adapalene are even stronger.
  • Tretinoin, a prescription medicine, is the strongest retinoid.

Retinol is converted to retinoic acid. Tretinoin is already retinoic acid. This is the substance that talks directly to cells In the skin stimulating increased activity and production of good skin stuff!

The stronger formulations work faster and more effectively. But on the downside, they are also extra irritating to skin. Because retinoids cause skin to shed cells faster than normal, you might experience a few weeks of redness, flakiness, dryness and/or breakouts, until your skin gets through the adjustment period. If these are problematic, it is better to reduce the frequency of use rather than stopping altogether as you will build tolerance over time.

Starting with the gentlest of retinoids, like retinyl palmitate (for sensitive or dry skin) or retinol (for all other skin types) is a good idea. You can move up to a higher strength formulas over time. It is also sensible to build up how much you use gently over time whilst minimising the use of other irritating products. Use retinoids at night and slop on generous sunscreen in the daytime after your other products to reduce sun exposure which potentiates skin irritation.

Important to note

It is not all about the strength of product either. It also depends on the size of the molecules and its delivery, with encapsulated products penetrating deeper and having a less irritating effect. Do not use retinoids if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Also, retinoids will improve the skin…but it will be 12 weeks before you see significant change, so patience is key!

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