Other, Skincare

Retinol – Vitamin A

Quick heads up – if you can’t be bothered to read, scroll to the bottom for the video version!

It seems that retinol has become very well known in the social media world, especially within the last 2 years. And yet, there are still people out there who don’t know the full benefits of it! Or, even the knowledge needed to carefully apply this ingredient to their skin. I’ve gathered some info to get you started off, because this is definitely something that needs to be incorporated into your skincare if it isn’t already.

If you have reached your late twenties or even early thirties and you still haven’t started using retinol, fear not! There is still time to correct this! The prime age to start incorporating retinol into your routine would be around your mid-twenties. Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A. If you are checking your current products to see if they contain this ingredient, look out for “retinyl acetate,” “retinyl palmitate,” “retinaldehyde” or it might just tell you on the front that it contains retinol!

Benefits of using retinol in your routine:

Retinol actually actively encourages your skins exfoliation process to speed up cell renewal. It can stimulate collagen production – which naturally drastically reduces as you get older – loss of collagen is the cause of loss of elasticity in the skin.

It can smooth your skin out by reducing fine lines and wrinkles, tightening pores and can even reduce the look of scarring, acne marks and blemishes on the skin.

Retinol can also neutralise free-radicals – these can cause skin damage which speeds up the skins aging process. Use a Vitamin C serum the morning after using retinol and it will actually help fight free-radicals even more! Vitamin C & retinol work amazingly hand in hand! Extra anti-aging benefits, YAY!

It is basically a miracle Vitamin and has actually been hailed as the only proven anti-aging ingedient! It can take up to 12 weeks to see complete results, however I started seeing a ‘glow’ within 2 weeks!

You can get retinol eye products too. Be careful applying to your undereye as the skin there is paper thin. However it can have amazing results as it does reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles there!

What not to do:

If you use acids (AHA’s) in your routine, be careful using retinol at the same time as these. If unsure, see here. These can cause reactions on the skin including redness and inflammation as they are both strong exfoliators.

Do not start at the highest % you can find. Retinol comes in many different strengths and concentrates, so if you are unsure please consult a skincare professional. 1% doesn’t sound much, but it is an extremely high strength of retinol, especially if you have sensitive skin or have never used Vitamin A or acid products on your skin before.

Do not apply retinol to your skin in the morning or during the day time, Retinol actually makes your skin quite sensitive, therefore it can possibly be easier to burn. Only apply retinol during your night time routines. That being said, always apply sunscreen everyday, as you could still burn easily or get a reaction.

Do not apply retinol 7 nights a week to start with! I got too excited with my first night results and used it multiple nights in a row and I peeled like a bitch! Start off once a week and build yourself up gradually to 3-4 times per week. It will feel tingly and you may go slightly pink, – if it feels too much, maybe mix with a moisturiser or an oil to dilute it to begin with.

Never use retinol or any products containing Vitamin A if you are pregnant.

A few products containing retinol:

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream – This is a strong retinol product at 1%, however it does contain a lot of nourishing fruity ingredients too. This is the first retinol product I purchased and the tube has lasted me 18 months. You only need a pea sized amount for your whole face. Again, you can purchase it at Cult Beauty in full size or travel size.

Pixi Retinol Tonic – This could be a nice starter for someone who has never used retinol before and is unsure about where to start. It’s not a bad price and as it is a tonic, it will be a lot more diluted. Find it on Cult Beauty

AlumierMD Retinol Resurfacing Serum – This is the same brand as the Enzymatic Peel I have discussed here. This is brilliant as it can come in three different strengths – 0.25%, 0.5% & 1%. This retinol is different to over the counter/online retinol products as it has a micro-encapsulated delivery system which means a slower release into your skin. This gives a true % delivery to your skin. A 1% drugstore retinol won’t be a true 1% due to the different delivery system between the two. If you aren’t sure where to start or want a consultation pop to @Salt__Beauty & drop them a DM. They’ll give you an online consultation plus can deliver these products anywhere straight to your door!

Don’t be intimidated by retinol, it can be your best friend and keep your skin looking young and in tip top condition if you use it correctly. It is definitely my favourite ingredient in skincare – I even have a layer of vitamin A applied when I receive my chemical peels – my favourite part! If you use any other retinol products that you love or have any questions, leave a comment!

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Video version of blog for the lazy ones…


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