It’s true, retinol transforms skin, but do you know how to use it properly? An essential ingredient to even out your skin tone, (I’m talking a reduction in fine lines, pigmentation and even the healing treatment of acne), retinol is a big deal in the imperfection skincare category.
For all of the mystery that surrounds retinol, it’s actually a lot simpler to slip into your routine than you think. I understand it tends to be an ambiguous ingredient to consider using, but don’t let the uncertainties get in the way. If you apply correctly, retinol could be the answer to all of your skincare dreams and more…
In a nutshell, retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A that speeds up your skin’s cell renewal process and collagen production. After a few days of using a retinol skincare treatment, skin desquamation is accelerated and the surface of your skin will become more even and smooth.
If your concerns are largely related to lines, pigmentation, and acne, then retinol is definitely a skincare ingredient to consider. In a recent training session with La Roche-Posay, I learnt that from the age of 30 onwards, our skin’s fibroblasts (connective tissues that produce collagen and other fibres and are key for skin healing) tend to decrease. This is why retinol is a vital option for ageing concerns.
Retinol strengths vary on prescription and over the counter, and so do the tolerances of different skin types; choosing the ideal retinol strength is really is all about you and what your skin can handle.
Low retinol strengths (around 0.1%), are perfect for beginners to experiment with and for those prone to sensitivity. Or, if fine lines and pigmentation marks are of huge concern, or maybe your skin is comfortable with retinol, moderate retinol strengths (0.3% – 0.5%) are where to start. High retinol strengths (1%+) are more tailored to the needs of skincare savvies and those with deep wrinkles/imperfections. My advice? It’s always best to start lower and build your tolerance.
A good all-rounder is La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] Anti-Ageing Concentrate Intense (0.3%), which caters to the needs of sensitive skin, as well as refining the texture of your skin for smooth, glowing results. Intrigued to find out more? You can learn all about the Redermic [R] Range from La Roche-Posay with our Editor Emma, here.
If your concerns are more body related, the Hand Chemistry Retin-Oil (1%) targets scarring and firmness within two weeks – Pat from our customer service team is a big fan!
Retinol Rule #2 – Always Use SPF
UVA and UVB rays are one of the worst ways to induce ageing. As retinol makes your skin more sensitive towards sunlight, not using SPF alongside retinol is pointless, as you’re undoing the hard-work your skin is doing to defend your skin from premature and photo-related ageing. No ifs or buts, even if the sun isn’t shining, SPF and retinol have to be used together.
To keep your skin healthy, it’s recommended that you use a minimum level of SPF 30 the day after retinol application. One of the easiest ways to protect your skin is to use the Vichy Idéal Soleil Solar Protective Water – Hydrating SPF30. This instantaneous face mist won’t feel tacky or disrupt makeup, it will literally protect and set your makeup with minimal effort. If you’re looking for a higher SPF that’s still easy to apply, give the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine Invisible Fresh Mist Spray SPF50+ a try instead.
Retinol Rule #3 – Soothe Your Skin
It’s important to take time to soothe your skin during the retinol process. If you’re a beginner, try using a replenishing cream after retinol application at night to keep your skin calm and moisturised. A great option to consider is the Avène Tolérance Extrême Cream, it only consists of 7 comforting ingredients that relieve irritations and re-build your skin’s tolerance levels overnight.
Other ingredients like vitamin b5 (panthenol) will also aid the retinol healing process. The new La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Cream combines both the soothing powers of vitamin b5 and a moisture boost from hyaluronic acid to repair, hydrate and slow down the ageing process – which is also good for both beginners and experts whose concerns are related to fine lines.