R is for Retinol. Have You Started Your Journey With Retinoids Yet?

Ah- Retinol! The ‘fountain of youth’ in a bottle that promises a range of skincare goodness. If you’ve been paying any attention, you’ll know that every brand and dermatologist is now backing Retinol as a key ingredient in anti-ageing skincare.

Still new to using Retinoids? Here’s why you need to start that journey, and pronto!

What is Retinol?

A derivate of Vitamin A, it can be found in many forms including the stronger version of Retinoids that are usually available only on prescription from a doctor.

Known for their ability to increase the rate of cell turnover, Retinoids have long been used as a prescriptive acne medication. But, the benefits of Retinol don’t just stop there. It can also help with minimising fine lines, evening out skin tone and fading pigmentation!

In fact, Retinoids stimulate the growth of collagen in the skin, thereby giving you a thicker(and hence younger) complexion and plumping out those wrinkles.

Retinol and the skin

How to Use Retinol?

Retinol newbies often complain of skin flaring up and that’s mostly down to not using it properly – remember the rule of low and slow! Vitamin A should be slowly built up in the percentage of concentration – meaning start from the lower percentage and make your way to stronger versions once your skin has adjusted. You should also not use a retinoid every night – start with twice a night and slowly build your way up to more frequent usage.

When it comes to application, general recommendations are to use retinol at night as that’s when your skin cell turnover takes place.

If you are scared of using Retinol, you can always start by using your moisturiser first and then follow it up with your product. This should help to lower the concentration further. Sun protection when using it(and otherwise too!) is essential – so make sure to invest in a quality and broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Which Products Do I Buy?

While choosing the right retinoid products for your skin, always look at percentages, especially if you are new to Retinoids. As you get comfortable, you can start adding night creams, serums, eye creams, masks and more to your routine.

Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

ROC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

The ROC range of products are best-sellers at Cosmetics Now and worldwide too. Their Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream is an intensive oil-free anti ageing moisturiser that is formulated with pure ROC Retinol and an essential mineral complex. This popular cream also contains a mix of squalane and shea butter to provide hydration through the night.

Another hot-selling product from the same house is ROC’s Retinol Correxion Eye Cream. It helps to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet and dark circles to reveal firmer, softer and more vibrant skin under your eyes.

Peter Thomas Roth’s Retinol Fusion Night Serum

Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Night Serum

If you prefer a serum version to add before you use your own favourite moisturiser, Peter Thomas Roth’s Retinol Fusion Night Serum is a winner. Containing pure and powerful microencapsulated Retinol, this serum works to revive skin tone and texture while minimizing fine lines and wrinkles.

Shiseido’s Benefiance Intensive Revitalizing Face Mask

Shiseido revitalising face mask

For power-packed retinol infusion, get Shiseido’s Benefiance Intensive Revitalizing Face Mask. Containing exclusive liquid Retinol technology, these masks deliver larger amounts of ingredients in a faster and stable manner. They also come enriched with Vitamin C, E and collagen fortifying compounds.

Who Shouldn’t Be Using it?

While retinoids are great for most skin types those with sensitive skin should tread with some caution. Rosacea, dry and irritated skin could all react to stronger doses of Retinoids. You can find gentler versions suitable for sensitive skin but the right person to consult is your dermatologist or skin doctor.

Taking care of your skin

How Often Should You Be Using Retinol?

With retinol, consistency is key to seeing results. Having stated that, you should always start slow. Use your retinoid product only 2 to 3 times a week and choose one with hydrating ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid. Make sure you slather moisturiser on your skin after and continue to keep it hydrated day or night.

Reactions or a purge is pretty common and also a reason why most get turned off by retinoids. When you see breakouts, redness or peeling skin, you may be purging. As long as this is not extreme or painful, keep with your skincare routine. Once your skin adjusts to retinol, the dryness and irritation should go away.

Some people prefer to increase their retinoid strength as their skin adjusts. You can do that or stick with your low-percentage product but consistently apply it week after week. Results

What If Your Skin Gets Irritated?

As mentioned above, retinol purging is very real and pretty common. Retinoids in general exfoliate the skin and you are likely to notice weeks of dryness, irritation, breakouts and peeling. This is called the adjustment period.

If you want to help your skin during this time, stick to the gentlest of retinoid formulas and make sure to apply only once or twice a week. Slowly build to thrice and if needed more times a week. Use a very small amount and add extra moisturiser on top if you need it. Face oils are great company for retinoids!

Do keep in mind that your skin is already irritated, so try not to use any other acids on the nights you have applied a retinoid. Sunscreen is non-negotiable on most days but even more so when you are on retinol.

What About Retinoids for the Body?

We’ve said it often enough and we’ll say it now – age shows up everywhere, not just on your face! This is why investing in effective body care is as important as that face cream. Retinol can also help with stretch marks and any texture on your body. Just make sure to start slow as always and slather as much moisturiser as you can.

It is also important to keep any exfoliating products like scrubs at bay and ease your way into a retinoid routine – same as you would do for your face.

If you like what you see, you may even want to book an appointment with your dermatologist for a clinical strength retinoid!