Retinol: Who’s it good for and why
Ah, Retinol. If there is one special product or treatment I recommend to add into my patient’s skincare, its usually always Retinol. If you’ve heard a lot of buzz around this hero product, then its probably time to consider using it in your regular routine.
Retinol and Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A and are used on the skin for many different skin conditions. They target many concerns such as minimizing the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles, increasing cell turnover, stimulating collagen, smoothing texture and brightening skin tone. Retinol also helps to reduce acne breakouts, improves pigmentation and treats overall complexion.
Retinols are usually available over the counter and contain a lower concentration of the active retinoic acid ingredient. Prescription retinoids have a much higher concentration of the active ingredient, so they are easily available for the skin to use. Retinol is what you’ll find in serums and creams, while retinoids are available as prescriptions by your doctor.
Retinol works gradually in the skin compared to retinoids because of their difference in molecular structure and how they are processed in the skin. I always find Retinol more affective for my patients because of its less irritating side effects, and more comfortable experience while using.
However, when first using a Retinol 1-2 times a week, it is normal to experience redness, dryness, and flaking. As long as you are following proper instructions and directions of use, this process will pass. Once your skin is conditioned, you can start increasing use every other night to every night.
Is it for me?
I’ve had a lot of patients who see me for consultations and immediately turn down Retinol because they’ve either had a bad experience with using one before or they’ve heard horror stories from friends and the internet. As long as you’re using one thats best for your skin and recommended to you by a skincare professional, theres no need to be afraid. My favourite to recommend to my patients are by AlumierMD. Their cutting-edge Retinol serums are micro-encapsulated which allows for gradual time-release absorption into the skin overnight, eliminating irritation. By encapsulating the retinol and adding soothing and hydrating ingredients like niacinamide, honey, & sodium hyaluronate; you can achieve maximum results with absolute comfort!
Its important to listen to your Esthetician and not what you hear from others or read on the internet. Professional, medical-grade products are meant to be recommended individually for patients’ skin; because not everybody is the same. What works for your friend, might not be right for you. Retinol comes in different percent dosages, and during your skin health consultation you will be guided in the right direction and find whats best for you.
When do I use and how?
Retinol should always be worn overnight. You would start 1-2 times a week to condition the skin. Once the skin becomes accustom to use, its advised to increase use every other night, and then perhaps to every night, depending on the individual. Its best to apply 1-2 pumps to face and neck after cleansing, then follow with a moisturizer.
With Retinol, it’s especially important to always wear an SPF daily due to the photosensitivity it can cause. With the increase in cell turnover retinol provides, you may find your skin more sensitive to the sun. You want to decrease and limit sun exposure if you’re trying to achieve best results with overall concerns.
**Do not use Retinol if you are pregnant, lactating, or planning to become pregnant. Its always best to discuss the skincare products you’re using with your doctor.
Can I use it to treat my eye area too?
No, make sure to avoid applying your regular Retinol serum around the eye area because it’s such sensitive skin tissue and can cause irritation. To treat the eye area, it’s best to choose an eye cream designed to treat your specific concerns. Eye creams are specifically formulated to target the delicate skin around the eye area without causing harm or irritation, so your regular retinol serum is a no-go around the eyes. AlumierMD does offer a lower dose retinol eye cream for this very purpose.
Summary: What now?
All in all, Retinol is a must-have product in your skincare routine. I believe its best to start using a retinol in your mid 20’s -30’s and on to see the best results and protect your future skin. Even starting later is okay because with skincare, it’s better late than never! Skincare is a journey and a commitment to yourself, be consistent and you will see the results quickly.
Not sure where to begin? Book yourself a free Skin Health Consultation with me and I’ll help guide you in the right direction to find what products & treatments you need to get you started on a regular skincare routine designed specially for you!
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