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Everything you need to know about Retinol

Retinol! Skincare’s holy grail! Why are so many people adding retinol to their skincare regimens? “What’s the hype about? We call retinol the “magical product” because of its benefits- it gets “all skincare done!” From boosting collagen production to diminishing acne, anyone can use it!

What is Retinol?

Retinol is derived from Vitamin A and is technically a retinoid. Let’s touch base on both.

A nutrient and antioxidant the skin needs for its overall health benefits, and for keeping skin firm and radiant.

Retinoid: An agent that assists in speeding up cell turnover, while increasing collagen production.

There are different forms and strengths of Retinoids, Retinol being one of them, they’re all derivatives of Vitamin A.

What are some forms of retinoids we need to look out for?

Two of the most popular over the counter names you will find are Retinol and Retinyl palmitate, which tend to be more mild and easier for the skin to adjust to. Retinol is a medical esthetician’s first choice for these reasons along with its efficacy.

Prescription Retinoids include Retin-A, tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapalene, and tend to be stronger, more aggressive, and some have been associated with heightened risks to overall health.

What are the benefits of Retinoids?

The reason we call Retinoids/retinol the Magical Ingredient, is for its many benefits. Here’s a list of what you can see when using a retinoid:

  • Improved Texture

  • Boost Collagen production

  • Cleanses pores and minimizes pore size

  • Diminishes acne

  • Clears pigmentation and acne scars

  • Smooths fine lines and wrinkles

  • Boosts cell turnover

  • Brightens complexion

  • Improves overall skin health

How and when to use Retinol?

Due to its anti-aging properties, its best to start using retinoids during your mid 20s to early 30s. Scientifically, this is the time collagen starts to deplete and using retinoids will help boost collagen. The earlier you start the easier it is to maintain collagen production. If you are suffering with severe acne, we also recommend using a form of retinoids at any age. If you are below the age of 20, start with a lower form and work your way up. Retinol is great for any skin type, but if you suffer with rosacea or skin sensitivities discuss with a medical aesthetician prior to use, as you will need a more gentle form of in your regimen. Retinols and retinoids are not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers. For all skin types ready to start retinol it’s best to begin slowly and build up your frequency and product strength with time. When starting retinol you will experience dehydration, flaking, congestion and breakouts, and slight sensitivities; what industry leaders call the ‘retinol uglies.’

What are the retinol uglies?

This is the adjustment phase when your skin begins to experience breakouts, a dull complexion, dry, flaking skin and sensitive areas. These symptoms are different for everyone and can last anywhere from 1- 2 months depending on how often you are using your retinol. How to use retinol?

Retinol is considered the foundation of a great skincare regimen, although it is a very strong ingredient, which is why its best to not mix this product with a complicated regimen in the beginning phase. Use your retinol in your nighttime regimen, as the resurfacing and regenerating aspect of it makes you photosensitive. It is therefore as important as ever to remember your mineral-based SPF in the mornings.

Start with a gentle cleanse and dry skin thoroughly, as the excess water can dilute the retinol and affect its efficacy. Use only a simple moisturizer based with ceramide properties, as other ingredients can counteract the strength of your retinol.

Once your skin gets used to your retinol, you can add your full line into your regimen, which would include:

Cleanser Eye cream Serum Retinol Moisturizer Know your skin!

Listen to your skin when using retinol, as applying skincare and knowing which ingredients are needed and when is an art! Play with the ingredients by adding and removing products to create your perfect regimen. If you’re feeling sensitive or becoming irritated while on retinol, add in a hyaluronic based serum to increase hydration and don’t be afraid to skip a day or two of retinol in your regime.

When do you start to see a difference in your skin?

When adding any new product to your regimen, it takes time to see results. On average it should take about 6 to 8 weeks to start seeing a difference. The hardest part is getting through your ‘retinol uglies’ stage. Due to the increased cell turnover, retinol cleans out the pore, removing dead skin cell build up and within the 1st 2 weeks you should start to see a healthy glow. When treating acne with retinol, it can take up to 12 weeks to start seeing a difference. Skincare is the game of patience, amazing things will come in due time!

If you have any questions regarding your skincare regimen, fill out the online consult form found at Lets get glowing!

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