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What Is Retinol & Why You Would Want To Use it

skincare retinolImage via Urban Outfitters

Retinol seems to be the new superhero ingredient in the skincare game, I’m sure you’ve noticed the name popping up on your radar. If you’re curious about learning what it is and all of its skincare superpowers here is a breakdown:

What Is Retinol?

In the simplest way to phrase it, it is a potent derivative of Vitamin A.

The Benefits Of Retinol

  • Increases collagen production
  • Reduces existing wrinkles and fine lines
  • Prevents new wrinkles
  • Unclogs pores and minimizes their appearance
  • Fights against acne
  • Strengthens aging skin
  • Repairs sun-damage
  • Helps fade discolouration
  • May help build elastin in your skin
  • Increases cell turnover which enhances radiance because its getting rid of damaged or dead skin cells

When Should You Start Using It

To each their own, depending on your skin concerns. Visit your dermatologist for a consultation and educate yourself. I’m all about prevention and just for reference sake, I’m in my mid 20’s and have just introduced retinol to my skincare routine.

How To Introduce It To Your Skincare Regime

Wash and cleanse your face as you normally would at the end of your day and then apply a pea-sized amount of your retinal cream to your clean skin. Make sure to avoid your eye area when your working the product into your skin but don’t be afraid to bring it down your neck and décolletage. It is recommended that you apply your retinol product then wait 30 minutes for it to really absorb into the skin before applying other skincare products before bed. Then follow up with your usual night time moisturizer.

When you first introduce it to your skincare regime, limit your applications to just once or twice a week. Then you can gradually increase your applications as your skin gets a higher tolerance for the product. Back off and take a break from using retinol if you notice irritation.

Important To Know

I’d highly recommend talking with a physician or your dermatologist when you’re first introducing retinol to your skin, and to find out the best way for you to use it for the best results. They’ll be able to advise you on how often you should be using your retinol product due to the high concentration and potency of the retinol.

Apply your retinol at night because it is prone to increase photosensitivity. It will also be very important to make sure you apply a strong SPF the next morning.

Great Retinol Products To Try That Don’t Need A Prescription

SkinCeuticals retinol-0.5Retinol 0.5, $60 CAD, SkinCeuticals  – The Retinol 0.5 is designed for first-time retinol cream users, once you’ve adjusted to the dosage you can move up to the SkinCeuticals Retinal 1.0. If you’re in Vancouver you can visit Project Skin MD on South Granville to pick some up and chat with one of their very reputable consultants.

Kiehl's Personalized ConcentrateApothecary Preparations Personalized Facial Concentrate, approx. $110 CAD,  Kiehl’s  – Look out for this coming soon to select Kiehl’s Canada stores on October 9. It starts with a base of a Skin Strengthening Concentrate which is suitable for all skin types. Then you’ll get a consultation from a Kiehl’s customer rep to identify your biggest skincare concerns. You’ll get to choose 2 targeted complexes to help with your skin concerns out of 5 options. The Wrinkle Reducing Complex with retinol concentrate and pro-retinol would be a great option for one of your two targeted complexes.

Dr Dennis GrossDr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution, $118.96 CAD, Nordstrom

Perricone MDPerricone MD High Potency Evening Repair, $155.45 CAD, Nordstrom

Kate SomervilleKate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift + Retinol Advanced Resurfacing Treatment, $132.47 CAD, Nordstrom

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