What is Retinol?

What is Retinol?

Retinol is another term for Vitamin A. It is hailed by many as THE go to in skincare as it possibly the only ingredient in skincare with definitive evidence of it’s effects on ageing skin. Retinol is considered a must from your 30s onward. Retinol and its derivatives have proven time and again just how effective they are at improving photo damaged and the ageing skin.

Some of the benefits of Vitamin A include:

  • Increased production of collagen, reducing wrinkles and fine lines
  • Increased cell turnover (exfoliation), brightening the skin
  • Reduced sebum production, hence, its use in treating Acne
  • Anti-inflammatory

However, there is often much confusion as Retinol has many derivatives and it can become a minefield when deciding which form of Vitamin A or its derivatives are worthwhile.

The active ingredient is actually Retinoic Acid. The potency of Vitamin A derivatives is determined by the number of steps it takes to be converted to the active Retinoic Acid.

TAROZETENE, TRETINOIN and ADAPALENE are the most potent and available on prescription only, for the treatment of acne. Adapalene is the gentlest of the 3. However, the potency has some drawbacks with frequent reports of sensitivity, redness and excessive dryness of the skin.

RETINOL is the most popular and available without prescription. Retinol converts to the active Retinoic Acid, a TWO step process.

RETINYL PALMITATE requires THREE steps to be converted to Retinoic Acid and therefore, is the least potent.

All derivatives of Vitamin A degrade very quickly in sunlight and therefore should only be applied in the evening.

New technology has increased the availability of Vitamin A derivatives so look out for encapsulated forms which degrade much more slowly.

Retinols increase the skin’s sensitivity so it is essentially to wear an SPF all year round.

Remember to start gently with either a lower concentration of Retinol or start off using only 1 or 2 days a week and building up to daily use.

pHformula’s Vita A Cream contains pure 1.5% Retinol Complex with a 24 hour moisturising complex providing an advanced treatment for ageing skin. The Vita A Mask contains encapsulated Retinol and is designed to be left on for 10-15 mins to provide radiance to tired and dull skin.

Alumier MDs Retinol Resurfacing Serums contain encapsulated Retinol in addition to soothing and hydrating ingredients. The are available in 3 different strengths, 0.25%, 0.5% and 1%.

We can discuss the appropriate skincare for you during your complimentary consultation.