Retinol is arguably the best anti-aging skin care ingredient you can use. But despite it’s growing popularity, it’s not always easy to understand. There are plenty of names for retinol, which itself is actually just a name for one of its derivatives. But here we explain how to use retinol and avoid a skin irritation.
Vitamin A is the umbrella term that represents many other retinol derivatives. These can all be grouped together by the term ‘retinoids’ which refers to forms of vitamin A such as retinol, retinaldehyde, retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate. In reality, some of these forms are more powerful than others, some are more irritating than others, and some are better proven than others.
When it comes to using this anti-aging hero, it’s best used at night to avoid excessive sun exposure. In saying that, you should always wear SPF when using any kind of active in your routine but it becomes even more important with vitamin A in the mix.
The great thing about the growing popularity of retinol is that there’s a formula to suit every skin type, condition and concern. Follow our easy guide to scope out the best retinol for you.
The truth is if you’re using a potent retinol it will more than likely cause some sort of irritation or flaking skin to start with. It takes time for your skin to build a tolerance to it. Don’t give up though, just ease yourself into it by using it once every 3 days, then increase it to once every second day, until your skin can tolerate it being used every single day. Retinol is such a great resurfacing ingredient that strengthens the skin, stick with it and you will reap the benefits.
FOR RETINOL ROOKIES
Retinol Brulee is a gentle vitamin A serum made with two different derivatives including Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate that assist with retexturizing and smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The gentle combination along with the addition of nourishing vitamin E and a signature blend of antioxidants, it’s great for first time vitamin A users who want to ease their way into their retinol journey.
FOR SIGNS OF AGEING
This hero from Cosmedix means business. Serum 16 is formulated with an encapsulated blend of vitamin A derivatives that make it the closest match-up to prescription strength retinol on the market. It’s great for all skin types, from dry to oily and combination and helps to smooth out fine lines, improve skin texture, pigmentation and elasticity. It’s lightweight and comfortable to wear and despite its strength, doesn’t cause irritation.
The beauty of this powerful serum is in the combination of retinol and a blend of AHAs, BHA and antioxidants to provide some serious resurfacing. The dual-action of the retinol, that works in the deeper layers of the dermis, with the exfoliation ensures surface pigment is no match. It also helps to smooth texture on the skin’s surface while targeting fine lines.
FOR BLEMISH-PRONE SKIN
This medium strength retinal is perfect for people whose skin is accustomed to vitamin A but are still struggling with blemishes. Formulated with 0.03% stabilised retinal, also known as retinaldehyde, it’s shown to improve fine lines, texture and surface pigmentation 11 times faster than your average retinol. What makes this particular vitamin A great for blemish-prone skin is the fact that retinaldehyde has antibacterial properties to help prevent acne while clearing scars and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.