Retinol…. the never-ending struggle of whats and what-nots!! There’s no doubt that the ultimate anti-aging product comes with its own set of rules and regulations and prior to embarking on the journey of retinols there are a few pointers we still have to learn. Retinol, unfortunately, is one of the trickiest ingredients to use and one should aim to use the right formula to achieve the intended results. So what is retinol, what formula works best, what does it exactly do, and can we use it during the summer? To find out the answers to all these questions keep reading…
What Is Retinol?
Simply explained, retinol is a form of vitamin A that is naturally produced in our bodies. When it’s applied topically, it is converted into retinoic acid gradually and one has to commit to using it for an extended period of time in order to see results.
How Does Retinol Work?
Retinol works wonders on the skins as it works slowly to affect the gene expression of our skin. It works on remodelling and resurfacing the texture of the skin on the cellular level. Commitment to retinol increases cell thickness as well as increasing internal collagen production.
Benefits of Retinol:
#1 Reduce the appearance of brown spots.
#2 Reduce pore size.
#3 Prevent wrinkles and soften the look of existing lines.
#4 Encourage collagen production.
#5 Encourage cellular turnover.
#6 Smoothes skin and evens out skin tone.
How Do I Choose The Right Retinol?
1 || Choose Retinols in Opaque Packaging.
It is extremely important to choose the product with the right packaging. Retinol is very sensitive and is quickly deactivated if exposed to light and heat. DON’T buy retinol that is packed in a clear bottle with no box that has been sitting on the shelves for a while as this retinol is practically useless by the time you buy it. It is also very important to keep it out of the heat, such as placing it in your car.
2 || Buy Retinols That Are Packaged in Airtight Containers.
Oxygen is another offender to retinol after light and heat. Therefore, it is equally important that the packaging is airtight in addition to being opaque. Dropper bottles and dip tube pump bottles are a big no no as they allow the air in and this breaks down the formula and makes it lose its effectiveness.
3 || Buy Retinol From A Trusted Brand.
This stands true for all your skincare and makeup products but is especially important in the case of retinol. Before buying your product do your research into how the formula is made, what is the percentage used, how it is used and how stable it is.
4 || Your Retinol Should Be Kept STABLE.
This is slightly more chemical than what I would like, but what you need to understand is that retinol products include micro-sized fragile active ingredients and these ingredients need a protective barrier to keep them stable and control their release. These barriers or shells usually come in the forms of lipids (oil and wax), polysaccharides (starches, cellulose, and gums), and proteins (gelatine and soy proteins). One should be careful when using retinol mixed with oil and silicone especially people with skin prone to breakouts and clogged pores. Liposomes are other excellent (and slightly more expensive) types of membranes that are used to protect the active ingredients of retinol and provide the required results.
Is It True That The Right Retinol Should Be Yellow?
Though retinol is originally yellow in color but there are many great formulas out there that include ingredients that might reduce the yellow pigment in retinol so don’t judge it by the color.
Should I Stop Using Retinol In The Summer?
No you don’t! Stopping retinol for extended periods of time will interfere with the gene action going on to renew the skin. Therefore the bottom line is use retinol 3-5 nights a week year round but use sunscreen diligently and reapply. If you are hitting the beach it is recommended to stop retinol 4 days before you hit the beach and start again two days after you’ve been exposed to the sun, but then again ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN.