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Retinoids?  What are they and are they worth the hype?

There is a lot of misinformation about vitamin A aka retinoid, Retin-A, retinol, pro-retinol or retinoic acid, so lets clarify what retinoids are. Are they scary to use, if they are all the same, how best to use them and are they worth the hype?

What are retinoids?

“Retinol is the golden ingredient that delivers everything from solving acne to improving the appearance of aging skin,” says Debbie Thomas, Founder of the laser skin clinic D.Thomas in London.

Retinol, a member of the retinoid family, is derived from vitamin A and when applied to the skin, it gets absorbed and interacts with receptors called retinoid receptors. It goes through a process called oxidation to convert it to the active form, all trans retinoic acid, which then unlocks the retinoid receptor. Retinoids improve skin texture by increasing cell turnover and fibroblast function, leading to fewer fine lines and a more youthful appearance. They also help with uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.

It’s important to note that starting retinol can cause fear and anxiety, but with proper usage and consultation with a skincare professional, it can bring promising results.

What are retinoids?

“Retinol is the golden ingredient that delivers everything from solving acne to improving the appearance of aging skin,” says Debbie Thomas, Founder of the laser skin clinic D.Thomas in London.

Retinol, a member of the retinoid family, is derived from vitamin A and when applied to the skin, it gets absorbed and interacts with receptors called retinoid receptors. It goes through a process called oxidation to convert it to the active form, all trans retinoic acid, which then unlocks the retinoid receptor. Retinoids improve skin texture by increasing cell turnover and fibroblast function, leading to fewer fine lines and a more youthful appearance. They also help with uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.

It’s important to note that starting retinol can cause fear and anxiety, but with proper usage and consultation with a skincare professional, it can bring promising results.

“Retinol is the golden ingredient that delivers everything from solving acne to improving the appearance of aging skin,” says Debbie Thomas, Founder of the laser skin clinic D.Thomas in London.

Retinol, a member of the retinoid family, is derived from vitamin A and when applied to the skin, it gets absorbed and interacts with receptors called retinoid receptors. It goes through a process called oxidation to convert it to the active form, all trans retinoic acid, which then unlocks the retinoid receptor. Retinoids improve skin texture by increasing cell turnover and fibroblast function, leading to fewer fine lines and a more youthful appearance. They also help with uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.

It’s important to note that starting retinol can cause fear and anxiety, but with proper usage and consultation with a skincare professional, it can bring promising results.

Benefits of retinol

for your skin

It may take 8-12 weeks to start seeing the benefits of using retinoids, so don’t expect miraculous overnight results. You need to persevere, over time retinoids will give you clearer healthier skin and reduce the likelihood of scarring.

Increased cellular

turnover

Collagen

stimulation

Improve

skin tone

Prevent

breakaouts

How to use retoinods

As vitamin C plays a leading defensive role against the environment, I find that it fits best within a great daytime routine. Vitamin C is active on the skin for 24 hours so a once-daily application is sufficient. It is perfectly safe to use whilst trying to conceive, during pregnancy and throughout breastfeeding. For l-ascorbic acid to be efficacious in the skin it must be formulated at a pH of 3.5 which is quite acidic and could potentially be irritating. If you have very sensitive or reactive skin, make sure to patch test first to see how your skin gets on with it.

It’s wise to purchase a well-packaged and well-formulated product to ensure a good shelf-life for your product. Store in a cool and fairly dark place as sunlight can lead to oxidation, which you’ll notice if the colour changes to a dark orangey-brown. Air-tight pumps are the best packaging but if using a serum with a dropper, make sure the lid is tightly secured after each use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Use of Pro-Retinols

If you have hyper-sensitive skin start by using every 2-3 nights to see how your skin reacts and then gradually build up to every night. These could be a good starting option for the eye area before moving onto a retinol.

How To Use Retinols

If you have hyper-sensitive skin start by using every 2-3 nights to see how your skin reacts and then gradually build up to every night. These could be a good starting option for the eye area before moving onto a retinol.

How To Use Retin-A

If you have hyper-sensitive skin start by using every 2-3 nights to see how your skin reacts and then gradually build up to every night. These could be a good starting option for the eye area before moving onto a retinol.

Skincare for Men

Acne is categorised as chronic inflammation of the sebaceous glands.

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Skin of Colour

Acne is categorised as chronic inflammation of the sebaceous glands.

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Combination Skin

Acne is categorised as chronic inflammation of the sebaceous glands.

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