What is Retinol?Published on: 07/02/2018
Retinol is an incredibly high-profile ingredient in the world of beauty. It has a comprehensive and impressive history of skin rejuvenation and beautification – especially where an anti-ageing effect is an objective. Retinol is powerful, and must be used wisely via clinically developed skin creams and preparations in order to have a positive effect on the skin. In this blog we cover four key facts to help you learn more about Retinol, and decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Retinol is a form of Vitamin A
Retinol is essentially a form of Vitamin A – and is part of the wider family known as Retinoids, all Vitamin A-derived agents that provide rejuvenating and renewing properties when applied to the skin. These include Retinoic Acid, Retin-A and Renova. They are not all the same, but they are linked – essentially all part of the same family.
Some forms of Retinol are only available on prescription
Retinol is available in a spectrum of strengths, all of which naturally have varying levels of benefits. The Retinol found in many everyday creams and serums tends to be quite weak, whereas types found in clinics in the form of chemical peels and prescription-only products are incredibly potent. All types of Retinol can be effective, but the type you choose should depend on the severity of your condition and how dramatic a difference you are looking to achieve. Other factors such as health and hormones may play a role in your choice – which should ideally be guided by a dermatologist or cosmetic medical practitioner.
Extensive research proves the efficacy of Retinol
Collagen loss is one of the principle contributors to an older-looking complexion that lacks elasticity and shows signs of ageing such as lines and wrinkles. Collagen helps the structure beneath the skin to remain plumped up and youthful-looking – but stores naturally deplete as time goes by. The reason Retinol is so potent is its property of transformation within the skin from Retinol to Tretinoin, or retinoic acid. Tretinoin has been proven in numerous studies to create a new layer of collagen. It has also been shown to increase and accelerate the biochemical processes of collagen synthesis. There are also additional benefits attached to the use of Retinoids. Notably they enhance natural levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin, helping it to retain water for longer which contributes to a healthier, dewy glow. They also smooth the skin thanks to accelerated shedding of the top layer of skin, or stratum corneum, removing dead skin cells to reveal fresh, healthier skin beneath.
Retinol may be suitable for more sensitive skins
Retinol is often seen as ‘harsh’ and ‘abrasive’ – but this reputation is largely unfounded and in fuelled by misuse, overuse and poor quality products and application. Retinol is in fact one of the most gentle forms of Retinoid available – compared with Retin A and Renova products that have been reported to cause irritation and discomfort.
For more expert skincare advice, take a look at our related articles here.