What is Retinol?
Retinol is simply another name for vitamin A. It’s a type of retinoid, the family of chemical compounds related to vitamin A. In addition to being a trusted treatment for acne, retinol is famous for its anti-aging and skin-brightening properties.
What does it do?
When retinol and other retinoids come into contact with skin, enzymes in the body convert the retinol into retinoic acid, the active form of the vitamin. Retinoic acid works to increase cell turnover, stimulate collagen and elastin production, fade hyperpigmentation, and help skin stay hydrated and glowing without irritation. Thanks to all this healthy turnover, retinol can treat and prevent everything from stubborn cystic acne and eczema to sun-induced wrinkles and dark spots.
Can it be used on sensitive skins?
Pure retinoic acid applied directly to the skin, can cause irritation. Retinol is a milder yet equally effective alternative. Finding a formula that straddles the gentle vs. effective divide is key: dermalogicas overnight retinol repair, for example, is designed to minimise irritation by combining their retinol treatment with a buffer cream to introduce the product to the skin until you reach the your personal skin tolerance.
Can any retinol product treat acne and wrinkles?
Regardless of the reason for using a retinol, you will see all the benefits. Don't get me wrong whatever retinol product you buy, if its targeted for a specific skin condition it may have other ingredients for that specific concern. Dermalogicas Overnight Retinol Repair contains bioenergized copper amino acid complex shown to reduce visible wrinkles and improve skin firmness, the Age Reversal Eye Complex contains exclusive UGL complex which helps retexturize the skin, while Oat Proteins and Fraxinus Extract firm the eye area. Both products although they have been developed to tackle skin ageing they will have a significant effect on pigmentation due to sun damage and would help with improving the skin condition for acne sufferers.
Are there any side effects?
Retinoids have come a long, long way, and there are plenty of options out there that won’t upset your skin. However, any retinol product will make skin more sensitive to UV exposure. When you’re treating skin with retinol, always follow with sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
Are all Retinol creams the same?
No. Some products will state they contain retinol but the percentage is so low it will not have any advantages to the skin. Retinol can irritate some skins so microencapsulated retinol delivers the retinol slowly to causing less irritation and delivering it to were its needed. Then what else is in the product, has it got other active ingredients to help support the skin?