Retinol has a rather fabulous reputation for being an anti-ageing miracle worker courtesy of its multi-tasking abilities to treat acne, ditch the dullness, champion plumper, firmer skin, and minimise fine lines and wrinkles.
But with great power comes great responsibility – and possible side effects – so here's what Retinol is, what it does, and why it's worth adding to your cart and your skincare regime.
What is Retinol?
First things first, Retinol is potent stuff. A type of Retinoid made from Vitamin A, it's one of the most well-known skincare ingredients on the market for treating a wide range of mature-looking skin concerns and acne. Rather than removing dead skin cells, like other products for mature skin do. Retinol's small molecules work deep within the skin, penetrating below the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) to neutralise free radicals within the middle layer of your skin (dermis).
What does Retinol do?
As one of the most widely used and well-studied anti-ageing ingredients on the market, Retinol's claim to fame is its ability to jumpstart your collagen and elastin production, reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores by plumping the skin from within. Retinol also has an exfoliating effect, stimulating cell turnover, which – over time – replaces dull and dry skin with a brighter, more even-toned complexion. For those with treatment-resistant acne, Retinol is a game-changer – clearing skin and preventing further outbreaks from occurring by unclogging pores and amplifying the efficacy of the effects of topical medication.
Should you be using Retinol?
If you're looking to look younger, reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture, or combat breakouts and acne, then incorporating Retinol into your skincare regime is definitely worth a closer look. While its primary benefit is younger-looking skin, it promotes increased cell turnover, which unclogs pores and clears acne. These benefits make it a must-have for breakout-inclined teenagers and 20-somethings as it is for those in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. It's as powerful in preventing signs of ageing as it is at treating them.
What are the side effects?
While Retinol has a long list of skin-boosting, age-reversing benefits, the use of this skincare ingredient can cause side effects like flaking, and dryness, which those in the know refer to as 'retinol burn', and increased sensitivity to the sun. This makes moisturising and applying sunscreen religiously super important. But don't let these side effects deter you; your skin will build a tolerance over time. Over weeks and months of regular use, the redness and irritation you experience as a Retinol' newbie' will subside as your skin starts to love the increased skin turnover, swapping the limited downsides for the unlimited upsides.
Which Retinol product is right for you?
Most retinoid gels or creams are available in .025 percent, .05 percent, and 0.1 percent concentrations. Simply put, the higher the concentration, the stronger and more effective the product will be. That being said, regardless of potency, Retinol will deliver results – a weaker concentration will just take longer, getting visible results in months rather than weeks. What you choose will depend on your Skin Renewal therapist's advice on your skin's sensitivity and unique skin concerns and goals.
Ready to give Retinol a go?
We have a wide range of Retinol-containing and Retinol-based products available in our Online Skin Shop so take a look at all the info provided on each product – across our various ranges – and, if you’ve got questions, chat to us online or pick your Skin Renewal therapist’s super-knowledgeable brain at your next appointment.