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What's Retinol?

Ah Retinol, the holy grail of skin care ingredients…

What is Retinol?

Retinol is the main form of Vitamin A used in skincare, and it’s the most effective to. It is oil soluble which means it’s broken down slowly by the skin and store when not needed. And the best thing is our cells membrane has little Vitamin A receptors welcoming it right into the cell to do its thang!!

How does Retinol work in the skin?

Well, the main purpose of Retinol is to repair and normalise the DNA of a cell and in turn the functioning of the skin. However our cell membrane actually doesn’t accept retinol as such, it can only accept and use Retinoic Acid however the skin only stores Retinaldehyde. So retinol has to go through an enzymatic process to convert into Retinaldehyde to be stored in the skin and then converted Retinoic Acid to be accepted by the cell when it’s needed.

All forms of Vitamin A has to go through this process. Below is a chart explaining the different types of Vitamin As and how they convert.

As you can see some have more conversions then others, and with each conversion the concentration dilutes and becomes weaker, so it’s important to start with a high strength form that also has less conversions to do. This way we can be certain that it will have the strength to repair what’s needed.

What are the benefits?

As I said above, Retinol repairs the DNA structure of the cell, no matter what that cell is or where it’s located. If it’s a high strength retinol it can assist with the Fibroblast, Melanocyte, Stem Cell, Keratinocyte and Langerhans cells. But it doesn’t just stop there, retinol helps with the acne as it stabilises the sebaceous gland and helps reduce sebum production as well as unclogs pores.

Because Retinol helps the cells in so many ways what we see from this is healthy functioning cells. Correcting skin concerns such as ageing, pigmentation, rosacea , scaring and acne.

When can I start using it?

We always say perversion is better than correction, so adding retinol into your daily skincare routine is recommended. Usually from 18yrs old. But if you’ve past that age, then there’s no time like the present, it’s never too late to start using a good Retinol Serum!

How to use Retinol?

Retinol normally comes in a serum, one that has to be added to a activator is highly recommended as it’s usually a stronger from and hast be activated prior to applying to the skin. However if clients are more sensitive to products then an oil form which is usually an Esther can be used! When starting Retinol, slow and steady wins the race so it is to be introduced every 2-3 nights at first until the skin gets used to this high strength active and then can be used nightly. As it is a photosensitive ingredient it should not be used in the morning.

So there we go, a bit about retinol! As always, if you want to learn more or add Retinol into your skincare routine come and see us at the clinic and we can guide you with your skin care routine!


Elle x

P.S Don't forget your Retinol ;)

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