Retinol: Your Ultimate Guide to Beautiful Skin

Greetings, skincare enthusiasts! Today, we have an exciting topic to discuss – retinol. You might have come across this term while browsing through the endless array of skincare products, but what exactly is retinol and why is it considered a skincare superstar? Let’s dive in!

What is Retinol?

Retinol belongs to the family of retinoids, which are compounds derived from Vitamin A. Retinol is the over the counter version that you can buy from your skincare provider. It is a powerful ingredient cherished by dermatologists and skincare experts due to its remarkable ability to address a wide range of skin concerns. Retinol also has the most scientific data to support its use in treating acne and signs of aging.

How Does Retinol Work?

Retinol works by increasing the rate of cellular turnover, ie. how fast old skin cells are shed from the surface and are replaced by fresh new cells. This process tends to decrease in frequency as we age, meaning our skin will need some help in this department as we get older. Cellular turnover is also important in treating acne and hyperpigmentation.

Benefits of Retinol

1. Reducing Wrinkles and Fine Lines: Retinol stimulates collagen production, a crucial protein responsible for maintaining skin’s firmness. By encouraging collagen growth, retinol reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, making your skin smoother and more youthful-looking. This is a slow process, and results from retinol use occur over the long term. It can take 3-6 months to see improvements from consistent use!
2. Improving Skin Texture: Retinol increases cell turnover, accelerating the process of shedding dead skin cells and promoting the growth of new, healthy skin. This results in improved skin texture, a reduction in rough patches, and a brighter complexion.
3. Treating Acne and Clogged Pores: Retinol possesses exfoliating properties that help unclog pores and reduce acne. It aids in regulating oil production and minimizing the formation of blackheads and whiteheads, leading to clearer skin.
4. Evening out Skin Tone: Retinol’s ability to accelerate cell turnover also helps in fading dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma. It promotes a more even skin tone, leaving you with a luminous and youthful glow.

How to Incorporate Retinol into Your Skincare Routine:

1. Start Slowly: If you’re new to retinol, it’s essential to begin with a low concentration and gradually increase usage over time. We would recommend starting with 0.3% or lower. This helps your skin adjust and minimizes the chances of irritation or sensitivity. Start by applying your retinol once per week. After a few weeks, move to twice a week, then every other day, and eventually daily if your skin handles it. Then, repeat this process with the next higher percentage of retinol when your tube is complete.
2. Apply at Night: Retinol is photosensitive and can break down in sunlight, so it’s best to use it as part of your nighttime skincare routine. Apply a pea-sized amount to clean, dry skin after cleansing and toning. You may want to consider ‘sandwiching’ your retinol, meaning you apply moisturizer first, then the retinol, and moisturizer again. This greatly helps with sensitivity from retinol.
3. Moisturize and Protect: As retinol can sometimes cause dryness or irritation, it’s crucial to moisturize your skin after applying, and possibly switching to a heavier moisturizer to aid in replenishing your skin.

To start your medical-grade skincare journey, book a complimentary consultation to determine what products are right for you and how to incorporate them into your routine.