Retinol is another name for vitamin A. It’s an ingredient which is extremely effective and has the ability to connect to almost any skin cell receptor and tell it to act like a healthy, younger skin cell. This function alone lets Retinol be the a key driver for youthful looking skin, reversing the effects of ageing.
Retinol also functions as an antioxidant, interrupting the free-radical damage process that causes wrinkles and fine lines.
Continued use of retinol infused products have also been shown to increase collagen production, which helps with skin elasticity. Retinol also promotes an increase in the amount of substances that improve the skin’s structural elements, stimulating the collagen and creating firmer yet softer skin.
There are a few key areas above, such as anti-ageing, pores and acne, but if you suffer any of the above then you might want to understand in a little more depth. Here’s the area’s it can really improve, and how it does just that…
Retinol is mostly known for it’s anti-ageing super powers, which is why you’ll find it talked about a lot by women from their mid twenties. The regular use of Retinol improves skin texture and reduces dark spots by speeding up skin cell turnover that slows down as we age. As mentioned above, the most powerful effects of retinol is what it does to our collagen, the building blocks of the skin. Retinoids have a dual effect here: they not only help to reduce the amount of collagen breakdown from sun exposure and they also help to stimulate the production of new collagen. This is what makes it such a powerful ingredient in our anti-ageing products!
Retinol also assists with clearing up and preventing acne. Retinol breaks down into retinoic acid once it is absorbed into the skin.
Non-prescription Retinol is delivered in skincare products in a way that is more tolerated by the skin, which leads to less irritation and side effects. When applied to the skin, retinol works straight away to unclog pores and prevent any build up of dead skin cells clogging up the pores. As Retinol acts as a messenger to cells, once absorbed, it kicks any lazy, sluggish cells into action, improving pore function. This is why a lot of people notice a reduction to the size of their pores when using Retinol.
Is it too harsh for me?
There is always a possibility that your skin may take a little bit of adjusting when you first introduce Retinol. Because it is highly active and starts to work right away, communicating to your cells, some people may experience slight redness at first. Here’s some pointers to bear in mind before you start using it:
All skin types benefit from vitamin A, but especially non-sensitive, oily and acne prone skins benefit the most.
Start off small – just apply a little bit to begin with
Retinols can make the skin sensitive to the sun so keeping your face out of the sun is better.
There’s a rumor you should stop using Retinol after a couple of months to let your skin have a break – but this is purely just a rumor. As long as your skin seems happy with Retinol, you can keep going with it
Retinol should NOT be used in Day Creams so do watch out for creams which have it in.