If you read my blog then you’ll know I am BIG into anti-ageing. I never thought I’d say that, up until a couple of years ago I didn’t think twice about wrinkles or fine lines. I was in my twenties and was riding that youth train as long as I could! But, over the last year or so I’m all over it. I’m getting to the point where, although I’ve always been good with my skincare routine, the fine lines are creeping in. So, I’ve been looking into anti-ageing methods that don’t include scary needles or scalpels. I’m not quite there yet!
Writing the beauty pages for a national magazine allows me to find out about the latest launches and retinol just kept popping up in my inbox over and over again. To be honest, it sounded a little science-y and a bit intimidating. But, I went to an event with Neutrogena and spoke to one of their skincare experts. Sure enough, retinol was her number one recommendation to kick fine lines arse.
Ever since then I’ve been retinol mad – I can’t get enough of it, it’s changed my skin in such a short amount of time. I wanted to share with you everything I know and have found out about retinol for those millenials like me who are thinking about keeping the years at bay!
NOTE: There is absolutely no filter or airbrushing to these pictures. I adjusted the light slightly but wanted you to see exactly the affects retinol has!
WHAT IS IT?
The less scary name for retinol is vitamin A, which is a potent antioxidant. It effectively speeds up cell turnover and interrupts any free radical damage from pollution or the environment to prevent wrinkles. When it’s absorbed into your skin it’s broken down and converted into retinoic acid – the compound that can actually affect the chemistry of skin cells and their behaviour. How cool is that?!
DO I REALLY NEED IT?
In a word, yes. The biggest collagen producer, a low dosage is effective for even the most sensitive skin (like mine). Not only is it number one for anti-ageing, retinol also helps with skin conditions like eczema and acne. Overdone it on your summer vacay? Retinol can help with that too by reversing some of the damage. I have really thin skin (thanks mum!), and it has definitely helped to thicken it up and make it more resilient.
HOW DO I USE IT?
I’ve been using a pea-sized amount on my face before bed four times a week. Try to avoid the eye area as the skin is thinner and it may irritate it. I then apply a rich night cream or oil like Sarah Chapman’s Overnight Facial. The great thing about retinol is that it makes other skincare products more effective so make sure it’s your very best products you put on afterwards.
WHAT RESULTS CAN I EXPECT TO SEE?
I can only tell you about my experience because everyone is different. I never thought I’d be able to use retinol because I’ve had rosacea but it’s been amazing. As someone with sensitive skin, I’ve found that it’s more gentle than I thought. In the morning my skin feels even, more toned and, after using it for 6 weeks, the fine lines around my eyes have definitely been reduced. I love the thought if making my complexion a bit tougher to deal with the environment it’s in.
ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW?
- Only apply at night. Retinol is affectively stripping your skin back making it more sensitive to light. This is why you should never use retinol without slathering on the highest SPF afterwards.
- Wait 10 minutes before applying retinol after cleansing. Washing and/or exfoliating can be taxing on skin so let it recover a little before applying.
- If your skin gets red or flaky using retinol, switch to a less potent formula.
WHERE DO I BUY?
More brands are offering retinol products now that we know it actually works but my favourites are…
Retinol Youth Renewal Serum, £65 Murad
Gentle, fast absorbing and offers quick results.
OVM Serum, £115 Dr Perricone
Expensive, yes, but it’s because it includes egg shell membrane – a compound that protects the skin like no other. Amazing to put on but takes a little longer to get results.
Redermic R Eyes, £25.50 La Roche Posay
I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t put retinol around my eyes so this is a dream! It targets the area where most fine lines appear.
Redermic C10, £29.50 La Roche Posay
10% vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, this is best for retinol beginners as it’s a little more diluted.
Retinol Anti-Aging & Brightening Treatment, £79 Glowbiotics
Loaded with omega 6-rich safflower, Kakadu plum and niacinimide, this sinks in beautifully and is gentle for the sensitive types.
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