Retinols, more than just anti-ageing.

We hear so much about Retinol, and it's anti-ageing benefits but it is more than that. It is a type of 'retinoid' which derives from Vitamin A.

It is important to understand how to use it, when to use it and what strength is most suited to 'your' skin type.

From an anti-aging perspective, retinoids can help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. Dependant on the ingredients and strength, some will help cell turnover, prevent photo damage and used correctly can be safe enough for delicate skin as well as skin prone to breakouts, blemishes and skin imperfections and marks.

It is important to note that it often comes prepared in 3 different strengths, 0.25%, 0.5% and 1% and different brands can work differently on our skin due to the active ingredients added. So if you are used to using a 0.5% and change brands it maybe that the new brand causes some side effects the previous one didn't. I always recommend to start off 'low and slow'.

It must only be applied at night and washed off in the morning, as it can increase your skins sensitivity to sun and should always be used with a daily SPF of 30 +.

You do not need to use retinol every night for it to be effective. It can be used 1-2 nights a week for the first two weeks, then gradually build it up to 2-3 nights a week, it is rare that clients should be using it every night.

You can also layer it on to the skin for the first few weeks until your skin gets used to it. What I mean by 'layering' is use a small amount of moisturiser suited to your skin type first onto cleansed skin, let this fully absorb for at least 10 minutes and then apply the retinol, this can help with any skin irritation when you first start to use it.

Another noteworthy point to make when using retinol is it is advisable to stop using it at least 3 days before and 3 days after any facial treatments including waxing, chemical peels and skin needling.

I would always suggest to go and see a trained aesthetic therapist or practitioner, one who is qualified to give the best advice for your skin and one that can ensure you get the very best cosmetic outcome.

Our clinics are stockist of Tebiskin, Skinbetter Science and Allskinmed.

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