Retinol review:

At Total Body Care, we’ve been working with Retinol for many years, and see the benefits it can bring to our patients.  Retinol 0.3% from SkinCeuticals is a particularly popular choice amongst the patients of Dr Fayaz Hasham, Medical Director of the Total Body Care Clinic.   In the following paragraphs of this article, we share the views from other skincare practitioners about Retinol and its uses.


What is Retinol and do I need to use it?

If there’s one hero ingredient beauty editors hear about time and time again from dermatologists and facialists, it’s retinol. They swear by its ability to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduce the appearance of large pores and refine the skin’s texture like nothing else. So for the uninitiated, what exactly is retinol, and how should you be using it?

Retinol is, in the most simplest sense, an antioxidant derivative of vitamin A. The powerful ingredient speeds up cell turnover for existing skin damage, and cleverly interrupts the free-radical damage process – from the environment, and general ageing – to prevent the likes of wrinkles and spots from forming.

Retinol 0.3% by SkinCeuticals is available from Total Body CareShop Now

Retinol is effective because when absorbed into your skin, it is broken down and converted into retinoic acid – this is genius because retinoic acid is the compound that can actually affect the chemistry of skin cells and their behaviour. Retinol has had a bit of a bad reputation for causing drying and flakiness, and is a no-no for sensitive skin, but it really is a key ingredient in skincare.

The aesthetic skin therapist, Jasmina Vico, says, “retinol is a hero in terms of skincare. It increases collagen production in order to prevent wrinkles forming by improving elasticity of the skin. This is exactly what we want. In addition, retinol can also help to manage other skin conditions such as acne and eczema, as well as improving discolorations to the skin. And if you have sun damage, retinol can also help to reverse some of the side effects, too.”

Dr Marco Lens agrees. “Retinol promotes skin renewal. It increases skin thickness, improves skin texture and tone leading to smoother and firmer skin. It also evens out skin tone and helps with skin discolourations.”

Vico recommends to her clients to use retinol post-summer and during the winter months for a period of one month at a time, or apply it as a booster for a special occasion to give your skin an instant glow. This will regenerate your skin without going over-board. She recommends that complete beginners should try SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3, moving up to 0.5 once they’ve finished that.

But here’s the thing with retinol: it’s not that nice to use. Any of the very effective ones are quite chemical-smelling and don’t have the best texture. But you really do get over that once you see the difference it can make to your skin. If you don’t mind using oils, then there are a few brilliant retinol face oils that keep the skin fairly hydrated.


Three handy tips before you buy

Before you buy a product with retinol in, here are three handy tips from the American skin expert, Paula Begoun:

1. Buy retinol products only if they are packaged in opaque containers meant to minimise or block air exposure. This means no jars, because all forms of vitamin A break down and deteriorate when repeatedly exposed to air or light.

2. Look for vitamin A listed as retinol, retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, or retinyl aldehyde (also called retinal or retinaldehyde).

3. If you are just starting to use retinol, don’t apply it daily. Rather, apply every other day or mix it with your usual moisturiser before applying. That lets your skin gradually acclimate to it.

Article by Sonia Haria, Beauty Editor.  First published in Telegraph Lifestyle and Beauty

If you’d like to find out more about Retinol or SkinCeuticals or are interested in your skin being analysed by one of our specialists, please feel free to email us at [email protected]