Often touted as a “scary” active – Retinol is one of the most sought-after ingredients when it comes to skincare. We are here to dispel all of your fears about this magical active. With its world-renowned anti-ageing and wrinkle-freeing properties – there is a lot more to Retinol than meets the eyes. Fasten your diving gear to immerse yourself into it!
WHAT IS RETINOL?
Retinol is a hot favourite for everyone who is deep into the world of skincare. But what makes it so special? And how exactly is this active created?
Retinol is essentially a pre-formed source of Vitamin A. When we hear Retinol being referenced, a few other names like Retinoid and Retin-A pop up too. In its true sense, Retinol is just another type of a Retinoid. Now – what is the difference between the two? Retinol is just a milder and less concentrated version of a Retinoid making it easily available over the counter too! The latter is often very strong and requires a prescription. Retin-A being the most common out of them all.
What makes Retinol a massive hit in the skincare community is its ability to perform a variety of functions. Right from boosting collagen to aiding with acne, whiteheads and blackheads. It also slows the gear on the ageing process!
WHAT DOES RETINOL DO?
- Powerhouse active: Retinol is one of the only actives in its family that has the ability to combat a variety of issues all in one go. Most actives are great at targeting one or at the most two skincare issues at the same time. If used wisely, Retinol can aid with a lot of skincare concerns.
- Improves blood flow: Scientific studies have proven that topical application of Retinol can work towards improving the blood flow in one’s skin and also revive the production of new blood vessels – leading to the skin developing a rejuvenating glow.
- Makes the skin firmer: With its magical collagen-boosting properties, Retinol single-handedly helps with regeneration of cells as well as reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Fights acne and blemishes: A very under-rated benefit that Retinol possesses is the power to deal with acne. Most of us aren’t aware that this active works at both the middle and topical layers of the skin to assist in unclogging pores and reducing blemishes. Unclogged pores = acne free skin!
- Battles pigmentation and uneven skin: Due to its ability to regenerate cells, Retinol can deal with pigmentation caused due to acne or even sun damage! The cell turnover helps you say goodbye to nasty scars and smoothens the skin.
WHO IS RETINOL SUITABLE FOR?
Now this one of the most debated against questions whenever the topic of Retinol is brought up. This powerhouse can be used by almost everyone – with some terms and conditions of course!
Retinol, if used in the right concentration, is perfect for individuals in their 20’s and can be used all the way till 60. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding are advised to steer clear from it.
It works like a wonder for people with normal to combination skin as it aids with a variety of issues and provides the nourishment your skin needs. Oily-skinned beauties can relish this too because of its non-comedogenic powers. In fact, Retinol is a saviour for those with an oily skin since its secret super-power is battling acne! If you have dry skin, it is always ideal to use an intensely hydrating moisturiser along with it.
However, since Retinol is packed with so many strengths, there is a high possibility of encountering a few side-effects along the way. Hence, it’s always best to consult your dermatologist before you commence your journey of Retinol and conduct a small patch-test. If you are confused about how to conduct one, we have a great guide for you here.
HOW CAN YOU INCORPORATE RETINOL INTO YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE?
Now you are equipped with almost all the available information relating to Retinol and are super-stoked to add it to your skincare routine. With the overwhelming number of products out there, we are here to let you in on some of our favorites!
- Ampoules: Ampoules are tiny vials of super-charged serums. They contain a higher dosage of the active ingredient and can often lend you a helping hand with a quick fix. The Martiderm Photo Age 10 Ampoules are the perfect combination of an anti-ageing as well as a moisturising product. But if you think an Ampoule with these properties could be strong for you, opting for a serum is the next best thing.
Serum: A serum isn’t as potent as an Ampoule but still has the power to combat every issue an Ampoule does. The Neemli Naturals Retinol and Peptide Serum helps you say goodbye to the first signs of ageing with its collagen stimulating properties. It plumps the skin and regenerates it too.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR?
Incorporating Retinol isn’t as easy a task as including any other active in your routine. This active might not be suitable for everyone – especially so if you have sensitive skin. So in order to ensure your sensitive skin gets used to it, mixing a little with your moisturiser goes a long way in smoothening that process and your skin too!
Due to its strong properties, it is advisable to begin incorporating Retinol in small concentrations, if you wish to harness the power of this magical ingredient. Whilst purchasing any product that contains Retinol, always be mindful enough to take cognizance of the concentration. Starting off with a concentration as low as 0.03% is most ideal, even lower if you have sensitive skin. Limiting its usage to once or twice a week initially can permit your skin to get used to it. can up the concentration as well the usage. As your skin begins to feel comfortable with it, you c The ideal time to use retinol is when the sun sets, i.e. at night. Application of sunscreen is an absolute must while retinol is a part of your routine (not that sunscreen should be skipped otherwise!)
Additionally, like any other active – Retinol works like magic when used with other actives and it could cause side effects when used alongside certain actives.
- It can be easily used alongside any product that contains AHA’s or BHA’s as long as the latter is applied initially and Retinol after, with a gap of at least 30 minutes. This allows the pH of the skin to return back to normal.
- Similarly, it is advisable to ensure that Vitamin C and Retinol are in separate routines as it could cause over exfoliation.
- Hyaluronic Acid when used with Retinol is a powerful combination as the skin gets a boost of hydration in the process.
- Another great duo is that of Niacinamide and Retinol. In fact, Niacinamide makes the process of using Retinol much easier.
Retinol can easily be awarded the “life-changing” active of the year award. Targeting a multitude of issues gives it this pedestal. Found in a variety of products like ampoules, facial cleansers, serums etc. it helps you ensure your skin can fight the war against ageing, acne and pigmentation. If used in the right manner, keeping in mind the necessary precautions – Retinol has the power to take your skin from a 0-100!
- Sakshi Rawte