What is retinol
Retinol is a form of Vitamin A. When applied to the skin, it helps to break up the dead skin cells sitting on the surface of the skin but gently breaking apart the “glue” or bonds that hold the skin together. For everyone in the skin biz, it is known as the Anti-aging miracle ingredient or the gold standard in anti-ageing because of it’s proven track record and many, many scientific studies that show how effective it is.
What are the benefits?
The main benefit of retinol is that it speeds up the skin cell cycle. When skin cells come off the top of the skin, chemical messengers are sent to the bottom skin-producing layer, to speed up production. This pushes skin from the bottom up through to the top at a quicker pace.This means that newer skin is coming though all the time. The skin looks less pigmented as the old dark cells are lost, the skin is brighter, more luminous and also holds more moisture since moisturiser and other serums can actually get in. It is great for acne too, as the bacteria and skin cells holding the sebum(oil) in, are shed more frequently, meaning less breakouts.
Could you give us a rundown on the different strengths? Which is best for beginners?
Vitamin A has a whole bunch of different variations, so it might be better to talk about the different types.The weakest vitamin A is called Retinaldehyde (or retinal). This is really well tolerated and is the best type of vitamin a to start with. Each brand has different concentrations of this, so best to start with the lower concentration and move up to more potent ones as your skin gets used it it. This is important because if you start to strong, your skin cycle will not be ready, and you may experience redness and irritation because too much dead skin is coming off too early.The best type of vitamin a is Retinol. Lots of studies show how great this ingredient is for skin, but again move slowly through concentrations.Retinoic acid is the strongest type of vitamin a, and really should only be used if prescribed by your skin doctor.
What’s the best way to start incorporating retinol into your routine?
Retinol or vitamin a is best used at night. This is because when we lose some skin cells, our skin is a little more sensitive to the sun.I usually recommend that clients use the mildest form of Vitamin a every third night, and then move to every second, and finally every night if their skin shows no irritation. It is really all based around letting the skin catch up to the removal of dead skin cells that this great ingredient performs.
Anything you would like to add?
Vitamin A use for the skin is really well researched and I would highly recommend that you incorporate it into your routine. Sometimes clients with skin conditions like Rosacea or sensitive skin, are a bit worried. But there are so many encapsulated Vitamin A products around these days, you do not need to be concerned. Encapsulated vitamin a protects the skin by allowing very slow infusion, perfect for the more sensitive skins.
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