For many, retinol rhymes with magic but also with redness and irritation.Behind this bad reputation, however, hides the improved version of the most complete anti-aging component to date.Focus on an unloved who wishes us well.
What is retinol? “This form of vitamin A is one of the few active ingredients that influences the biology of skin cells to change how they function,”
No wonder this all-purpose molecule is the most recommended by professionals.Specifically, retinol stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, regulates the activity of melanocytes responsible for pigmentation and exfoliates the surface of the epidermis.
In short, The skin is firmer, more supple and smoother, while the complexion is even and radiant.
How is retinol made?
Put simply, retinol is a form of vitamin A.Converted into retinoic acid, it is essential for skin health but also for bone growth.
To obtain retinol from β-carotene, there must be a chemical reaction catalyzed by a dioxygenase, and the yield is 1 ⁄ 6.This makes it possible to obtain 1 gram of retinol from 6 grams of β-carotene.
Where to find natural retinol?
In the diet, various foods are sources of retinol or carotenes.Carotenes are mostly found in orange fruits and vegetables as well as leafy green vegetables, while retinol is mostly found in organ meats.
What replaces retinol?
Bakuchiol: the new natural anti-aging ingredient that sucks has replaced retinol.This natural component is gradually entering the world of anti-acne face care products, particularly in the Clean Beauty movement.However, the fact remains that its effectiveness is mixed and its effects do not show significant improvements over time.In addition, few studies demonstrate patient tolerance.
How does it work?
Surprise: the famous irritation of the epidermis is not part of its mechanism of action! It is only a side effect, now controllable thanks to technological advances.The wording makes all the difference.By encapsulating small molecules – such as retinol proprionate – in oily micro-droplets, the active penetrates deeper into the skin over an extended period; the potential for irritation then drops dramatically, compared to more traditional skincare products that flood the skin with a high concentration of retinol all at once.Added moisturizing ingredients like vitamin B3, ceramides and peptides also help reduce skin reactions.
In short, the oilier the texture, the deeper the product will be able to penetrate and bring about significant and lasting changes.As a bonus, side effects will be greatly reduced
Who should use it?
You can enjoy its benefits from your twenties, when the production of collagen and elastin begins to decline.For the record, retinol was first used in the treatment of acne… in adolescents! Its anti-aging benefits were discovered in a clinical study on adult acne in the 1970s. Indeed, retinol stimulates the formation of new epithelial cells, which helps reduce dark spots and expression lines.
In short, retinol can be used in your early twenties (and even before.) and follow punctually, a patient until old age.As long as it is accompanied and advised by a health professional or supervised by a practitioner in the aesthetic field.
How to apply it?
“We mistakenly believe that by using it once or twice a week, we give the skin time to get used to it, when the opposite is true! We get rid of the irritation more quickly with a daily application”, To minimize the initial discomfort, we apply it after the moisturizer.And if you have well-established wrinkles or stubborn spots, you can speed up the process by using retinol night and morning."It does not make the skin more vulnerable to UV rays if you use a high quality retinol with an oily texture and a yellowish color (guarantee of quality) and above all, if you take care to protect your skin well using high quality sun protection products.
With a quality retinol, very oily and yellowish, all patients can try it, except pregnant women, in oncological treatment, post-treatment, suffering from eczema, dermatitis or any pathology who should first consult their healthcare professional.
Experts agree that the use of retinol should be stopped 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after a prolonged period in the sun (sun vacation.etc).
In addition, the effectiveness of retinol seems to be maximized when used on an ad hoc basis.For example, one treatment in the fall and one in the winter.Personally, I recommend 3 treatments per year with a break during the hot and sunny summer months.
When to stop retinol?
You should not stop your treatment with retinol if you experience any skin reactions.It has been clinically proven that after 2 or 3 weeks, the skin cells begin to adapt and tolerate the active ingredient better and better, which leads to a gradual reduction in these skin reactions.As we talk about retinol as a treatment and not a regular treatment, you have to take breaks of a few weeks between each bottle/treatment.
Which concentration of retinol to choose?
Retinol has been proven to be a powerful ingredient against aging skin.It can really make a difference whatever your skin type.But what percentage of retinol should you choose? The amount of retinol needed for your skin depends on your skin type and/or skin conditions, and your skin's tolerance level
Low dosage of retinol - 0.01% to 0.03%
If you have never used retinol before or if you have dry or sensitive skin, prefer a low dosage.You will have excellent results with an application once or twice a day.
Average retinol dosage - 0.03% to 0.2%
If you suffer from skin problems such as uneven skin tone or visible loss of firmness, you can add retinol treatment to your routine with a dosage ranging from 0.03% to 0.2%.Start by applying it 2 to 3 evenings a week.As mentioned before, how often you use retinol depends on your skin's tolerance.
High dosage of retinol - 0.3% to 1%
If you have stubborn skin concerns, such as deep wrinkles or a very pronounced uneven complexion, you can consider a cream, serum or treatment with a high dose of retinol.Focus on dosages of 0.3% to 1%.
As a professional, I advise against concentrations above 0.5% since the risk of side effects is higher and the effectiveness is not necessarily increased.
Indeed, the results obtained depend more on the quality of the product than on the concentration.We are therefore looking for an oily product, as yellow as possible and we avoid forms of retinol in cream or milk.
Is it possible to combine an AHA or BHA exfoliant with retinol?
Warning: If you use a product with a medium or high percentage of retinol, be sure to monitor your skin's reaction when you combine it with an AHA or BHA exfoliant.If your skin does not react as you wish, then decrease the frequency of use, until you find the right balance.
In short, bet on the quality of the product rather than on high concentrations.Avoid cheap retinol products and invest in a quality product that will bring real change to your skin.Choose retinol treatments of dermo-cosmetic quality or even better, of medical grade.
Above all, seek advice from a professional before starting treatment.