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Retinol 101; Top Tips for Maximum Benefit

Let’s dive deep into a topic that’s commonly discussed int he skincare world- retinol. This anti-ageing ingredient has so much to offer your skin, I know for many it can be daunting to start actives like Retinol but when the right retinol is used for your specific skin and applied correctly it can really elevate your skin . Known as the gold standard for anti-aging, retinol has an array of benefits, but there are some lesser-known facts I’m going to share to help you get the most out of this powerhouse ingredient.

The Benefits of Retinol

Retinol is not just any skincare ingredient; it’s a multitasker. As a potent form of vitamin A, it:

  • Stimulates skin cell renewal, promoting healthier skin cycles.
  • Unclogs pores, making it a boon for acne-prone skin.
  • Suppresses pigment cells, aiding in even skin tone.
  • Boosts collagen production, combating signs of aging.

Its comprehensive benefits make it a favorite among skincare experts. However, there’s more to using retinol than meets the eye.

What They Don’t Often Tell You

1)The Type of Retinol Matters: The effectiveness of retinol largely depends on its ability to penetrate the deeper layers of your skin. Over-the-counter retinol products often lack the purer form required for this deep penetration, being more diluted with preservatives than active ingredients. On the other hand, cosmeceutical retinol, available through professional clinics contains the active form needed to absorb to the skin’s deeper layers and instigate significant skin changes.

2)Consistency Over Strength: It’s a common misconception that higher strength retinol yields better results. Think of it like gym training – working out several times a week consistently benefits your muscles more than an intense session once a fortnight. Similarly, for retinol to effectively stimulate skin cycles, regular exposure is key. Using a lower strength retinol that your skin can tolerate 2-3 times a week is far more beneficial than a higher strength that leads to irritation and infrequent use.

3)Layering Products: Another aspect often overlooked is the art of layering skincare with retinol. Always ensure your skin is cleansed before applying retinol. Follow on with any corrective serums you may be using such as a pigmentation serum or blemish serum then apply retinol. Allow 15 minutes for retinol to fully absorb before then applying hydrators such as  a hyaluronic acid serum or moisturiser. This approach ensures you’re getting maximal absorption of retinol and by following on with a moisturiser you reduce dryness or irritation that can be associated with retinol.

4)Always use Retinol at night. This is because you have an optimized Skin Cycle at night.During the night our skin shifts into a mode of repair and regeneration. The absence of environmental stressors like pollution and sunlight allows the skin to focus on healing. Retinol supports this natural process by encouraging cell turnover and collagen production, leading to more effective results.  Another reason is that Retinol can increase sensitivity to the sun. Using it at night significantly mitigates this issue. It’s during the day that your skin is exposed to UV rays, so by applying retinol in the evening, you avoid this heightened sun sensitivity.

5) Avoid sensitive areas. When applying Retinol avoid areas such as the under eyes, nose to mouth and mouth to chin lines and the neck as these areas are more sensitive and can be irritated by retinol. A top tip I often recommend is to first apply a moisturiser to these more sensitive areas to act as a ‘barrier’ before you then apply your retinol.

Personalised Skincare Is Key

Remember, skincare is personal. What works for one may not work for another.

If you’re curious about incorporating retinol into your skincare regimen or looking to optimize your current routine, feel free to contact us for a personalised consultation.

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