Ask any dermatologist, and they’ll be quick to tell you that, after sunscreen, retinol is still the most proven and effective time-fighter on the block. Aside from encouraging your skin to produce more collagen, this potent form of vitamin A is also an excellent antioxidant and can help fade the look of pigmentation. The results are firmer skin, softer lines and a more evenly-toned complexion. What’s not to love about that?
Choose only the best
Due to retinol’s outstanding reputation for delivering visible results, many skincare products – particularly those you’ll find on the counters in department stores - will be quick to tell you they contain retinoids. The thing is, most of these products include retinol derivatives like retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate. These are much milder forms of retinol, so they’re not likely to irritate if you use them every day – or even twice a day – but they’re much less powerful. Ideally, you want to be using pure retinol or as strong a form as you can tolerate and use it less often, like three times a week, instead of something ultra-mild every day.
One of our favourite retinol products you’ll find in our online store’s retinoid department is SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream. This product is enhanced by the latest technologies to stabilise the retinol and ensure optimal delivery so your skin can reap the most benefit. It also contains calming bisabolol, a German chamomile derivative, to help soothe your skin and minimise the chance of peeling and redness while you initially adjust to using such a powerful form of vitamin A.
Another of our top retinol picks is NeoStrata Skin Active Retinol + NAG Complex. It also contains 0,5% retinol along with NeoGlucosamine (NAG). The latter is a gentle exfoliating complex exclusive to NeoStrata that helps enhance retinol’s effects.
Just remember that, much like other exfoliating actives, retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. That is why it’s best to use it at night and then, in the day, ensure you never set a foot outside without sunscreen.
Easy does it
If you’ve got sensitive skin but still want to benefit from retinol, you can. The trick is to start with a low concentration and use it only every other day to build up a tolerance. This is where something like SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 Refining Night Treatment comes in. It’s essentially the same formulation as its 0.5 counterparts but contains a lower concentration of pure retinol – not a retinol derivative. Once you adjust to that, you should then find it easy to step up to using a 0.5% product.
Alternatively, you could use a retinol derivative, but a powerful one. These will be much more potent than those ultra-mild beauty counter retinoids we mentioned earlier and will work similarly to retinol but without the increased potential for irritation. We like Lamelle Correctives 5.0 RA Serum. It contains a retinoic acid (RA) ester called hydroxypinacolone retinoate, a form of retinol that’s very well tolerated.
Ultimately, if you’re serious about anti-ageing, your skincare regime should include a retinoid product. So, if you’re not already using one, let’s change that today!
Read the full April 2021 Online Skin Shop Newsletter here.