Have you heard that someone is using retinol to give them a youthful, glowing appearance?
Would you like to try it yourself, but don’t know much about it?
Here’s our essential guide to retinol and retinoids:
What is retinol?
It’s a form of vitamin A which stimulates skin renewal and the production of collagen in the skin. It is generally contained in serums or creams and used at night as sunlight can reduce its effectiveness.
How does it work? Here’s the science bit!
When you’re in your twenties and early thirties, your skin renews itself every 28 days.
When you get into your thirties, however, it takes longer to produce fresh, new skin.
Cell regeneration slows to between 50 and 70 days as we age. That leaves our skin looking dull and dry and contributes to lines and wrinkles.
The production of collagen in our skin also falls as we grow older, leaving our skin drier, less plump, and more prone to wrinkles.
Retinol acts to slow down and regulate the rate of skin cell death.
It also promotes the production of keratinocytes, the most common cells in the outer skin. These cells form a tight barrier which prevents foreign substances entering the skin and, importantly, minimises the loss of moisture.
They also stimulate the production of melanin cells which help to absorb UV rays and protect the skin.
So, retinol acts to protect the skin and helps to prevent wrinkles and lines.
How effective is it?
Many people who use it report dramatic improvements in the texture and appearance of their skin, particularly if they are in their forties and fifties.
Retinol fades dark patches, brightens the skin, and minimizes any lines or wrinkles you may have.
For clients in their twenties, it’s more about preventing issues such as wrinkles, and treating skin problem such as acne.
Which form of retinol should you choose?
You may see serums or creams with ingredients such as retinyl palmitate, which is the weakest of the retinoids, retinol which is the most tolerable for many skins and the next strongest, the stronger retinaldehyde, or the strongest over-the-counter option which is formulated to treat acne, adapalene.
It depends on your age and the sensitivity of your skin, so it’s best to consult a skin practitioner to get professional advice.
Different retinoids and retinols have different strengths, and some people can find they irritate their skin. So, it’s not advisable to purchase products yourself without advice and just start using them.
Are there any potential drawbacks?
Retinoids can make skin extra sensitive to the sun, potentially causing pinking, burning, or discolouration. So, ensure you wear sun screen with at least an SPF 30 every day.
Why not book a consultation with me to discuss whether retinol is the right choice for your skin? Book here.