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  • Retinol. Let's bust a beauty myth...

    We play true & false with skincare's 'saviour' ingredient...


    • 12 Sep 2017

    Q. Retinol & Vitamin A are the same thing.
    A. True

    “Also known as Retinol, Vitamin A can help increase the appearance of firmness, diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, significantly improve uneven skin tone, smooth and finally refine the surface of skin as well. Retinol is definitely a powerful multi-tasker.” Linda Blahr, Head of National Training at SkinCeuticals.

    Q. You should apply retinoids during the day.
    A. False

    Retinol breaks down in sunlight, which is why most retinol products are held in opaque packaging. Exposure to UV light renders the product less active, which makes the use of it less beneficial. “Retinol is prone to increase photosensitivity within the skin,” says Linda Blahr, Head of National Training at SkinCeuticals. “Always use a high, broad spectrum sunscreen when using this product.”

    Simon Emmett

    Q. Retinoids are for all skin types.
    A. True

    While retinol is suitable for everyone, different strengths are appropriate for different skin types.
    Retinol can by damaging if your skin is sensitive, enhancing inflammation and causing eczema, rosacea and peeling. Retinol can be quite drying, so it is recommended for those with dry & dehydrated to seal the product in with a moisturiser at the very least.

    Q. Retinol should be used once a week.
    A. True...to begin

    Retinol causes redness, dryness and even flaking - however this can easily be avoided or minimised by gradually introducing the ingredient into your skincare regime and building a tolerance to the ingredient. “Night-time only, apply a pea-sized amount of retinol to clean and dry skin, avoiding the eye area,” Linda Blahr, Head of National Training at SkinCeuticals. “For optimal results, wait at least 30 minutes before applying other skincare products. Limit initial use to once or twice a week, gradually increasing frequency as tolerated.”

    Simon Emmett

    Q. Retinoids thin the skin.
    A. False

    Retinol actually thickens the skin, increasing cell turnover and collagen production for thicker, more youthful skin.

    Q. Start using retinol in your 20’s.
    A. True

    While there is no set time to use retinol, most dermatologists advise introducing the product in your mid-twenties, particularly if you suffer from breakouts or pigmentation. It is suggested that one uses retinol for 3 months, then takes a three month break. This is due to research that suggests cell turnover is no longer increased after 3 months of retinol usage.

    Q. Retinoids are THE miracle ingredient.
    A. True & False

    Enzymes in the body covert retinol to retinoid acid, an active form of vitamin A. This increases cell turnover, stimulates collagen and elastin production. Thus it is appropriate for treating everything from pigmentation, cystic acne and wrinkles. There is also strong research that it clarifies and evens skin tone. In many ways it is considered the miracle ingredient, but it is important to note that, if used improperly, retinol can compromise the epidermal barrier.

    Q. Retinol, Retin-A & Retinoid are the same thing.
    A. False

    Retin-A is a prescription level retinoid that is stronger in nature, used for acne as well as aging.
    Retinol is the over-the-counter version of Retin-A, which becomes the active Retinoic Acid when it hits the skin.
    Retinoids are the family that Retin-A, Retinol & Retinoic Acid belong to. It is a chemical compound of Vitamin A.

    Q. Retinol can be used with acids.
    A. False

    Benzoyl peroxide, AHA’s & BHA’s are known to reduce productivity within retinoids, so do not mix them. These will also compromise the skin, as both acids and retinol can cause irritation.