Retinol – everything you need to know about it

Renee Lapino Skincare Clinic - Everything you need to know about Retinol
(Image from @egotr4p)

Retinol is a skincare staple for many, although questions surround it use, benefits and side effects. Our post will breakdown EVERYTHING you need to know. Learn about Retinol and if its your kind of product.


What is retinol and what does it actually do?

Retinols are vitamin A derivatives. Use them to support anti-aging and fighting acne. They help neutralise free radicals, therefore slowing the aging process.

Their anti-aging effects include boosting collagen and elastin production, improving the elasticity of the skin, increasing cellular turnover. The major benefit being it’s exfoliating effect. This removes dead skin cells, improving skin texture and tone.

What is the purging about?

Use it incorrectly and it causes purging as a side effect. For example, if its not incorporated into your skin care regime in the appropriate manner.

Purging occurs when using skin care products (i.e., retinols, alpha-hydroxy acids [AHAs]). These exfoliate the skin and increase cell turnover.

Purging occurs with an increase in skin breakouts and dryness. It also brings forth extremely red acne deep in the skin, to the surface. However this side effect is temporary, healing within 3 weeks.

Many patients experience purging as part of the process. Add Retinol to your skincare routine to reduce aggressive side effects. In addition to this, other temporary side effects include aggravation of eczema, redness and peeling skin. In conclusion, results from using retinol can take 12 months of consistent use.

[before Retinol (left image), during purging (right image) – images from @myfacestory]

What age can I start using it?

You may start using Retinol as young as 18 years old although the typical recommendation is from the age of 25. After that is typically the age where aging truly begins to occur.

How to use Retinol

Apply at night as part of your night-time skin care routine. Wear SPF throughout the day – SPF use is imperative, whether its sunny or not!

If you are a beginner, here’s a simple guide of how to incorporate it into your routine:

  1. Start off with a low concentration product. Use consistently every 3 days, for 3 months.
  2. Build up to using retinol every 2 days, for the following 2 months
  3. Finally, use it daily.

We recommend using these retinol products of varying strengths:

  1. Allies of Skin Retinol & Peptides Repair Night Cream (low strength)
  2. Medik8 R-Retinoate (medium strength)
  3. CosMedix Define (high strength)

Existing clinic patients can purchase retinol products here via GetHarley.

Is Retinol safe?

Do not use if you are pregnant. No research has been done to explore the side effects on foetal development.

Ready to learn more and book an appointment with us?

Contact Renee Lapino Skincare Clinic today – book an appointment or contact us.

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