We’re always on the lookout for the best products to fight the signs of aging. There is one well-studied ingredient that has superior evidence showing that it can smooth out existing fine lines and wrinkles --- and that miracle ingredient is retinol. There are actually a lot of caveats when it comes to starting out with retinol, so we broke it all down for you: it’s benefits, how to use it, and possible alternatives.
WHAT IS RETINOL?
Retinol falls under the umbrella term retinoid, which refers to any topical product that contains a vitamin A derivative. Some retinoids are so potent that you’d actually need a prescription to get it. However, a retinol is a gentler type of retinoid that is easier to be tolerated, does not require a prescription, and can be found in beauty products.
Retinol has an amazing set of benefits that is backed by years of scientific studies:
1. Improve fine lines and wrinkles
It has a minimizing effect that allows it to reverse and smooth out any fine lines.
2. Enhance collagen production
As we get older, our skin loses collagen. The loss of collagen is actually what leads to less skin elasticity and wrinkles. Retinol helps to combat this by boosting collagen production.
3. Accelerate skin cell turnover & fade pigmentation and dark spots
The same way that it boosts collagen, retinol also helps to accelerate skin cell turnover. This is what allows it to fade any dark spots or hyperpigmentation.
4. Brighten and smooth out dull skin
Retinol exfoliates the skin at a cellular level, which results in brighter and smoother skin.
5. Minimize breakouts and regulate oily skin
Retinol does wonders for those dealing with acne and breakouts. In fact, prescription strength retinoids are usually prescribed for highly stubborn acne. Although they are gentler, over-the-counter retinols would also do the trick to stop pores from clogging and pimples from forming.
Our superstar retinol product: 111 Skin Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil
For reducing fine lines around the eyes: 111 Skin Celestial Black Diamond Eye Mask
So if retinol has so many sure-fire benefits, then why don’t all products have it? Well, the simple answer is that retinol can be a tricky ingredient to incorporate into your routine. Here’s everything you need to use retinol properly!
HOW TO USE RETINOLS FOR BEGINNERS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you jump in too fast into the retinol game, you might experience purging, dryness, redness, or even peeling because it’s a strong ingredient. Introducing our top secrets to use retinol without bad skin reactions:
Use it once a week
The first time you ever use it, retinol should only be used at night, once a week, for the first couple of weeks. Then, depending on how your skin reacts, you can start using it twice a week, until finally, you slowly build your way to using it three times a week. Make sure to use it on alternate nights so that you don’t overly-sensitize your skin.
Use it on top of your moisturizer
Your moisturizer will serve as a barrier that will allow the ingredient to not be too strong for the skin. This tip is especially helpful for first-time retinol users. Eventually, when your skin gets used to it, you can start using your retinols under your moisturizer.
Don’t use in the same routine as AHA’s, BHA’s, Vitamin C, & Benzoyl Peroxide
Your retinol nights should be the nights where your routine is simplified. Because the ingredient already does so much for the skin, there’s no need to use it on the same night that you exfoliate (like with AHA’s or BHA’s), or with your Vitamin C or benzoyl peroxide products. Allow your skin to breathe by simplifying your routine. You can still use these other ingredients in the mornings or on your non-retinol nights!
Never forget your sunscreen!!
Never. Forget. Your. Sunscreen!! Everyone should repeat this mantra, even if they don’t use retinols. The sun’s UV rays are the number one cause of photoaging, and the best way we can avoid this is by using sunscreen daily. Because it is a powerful ingredient, retinols may make the skin a bit more sensitive to the sun, so it’s important to be extra diligent with sunscreen when using it.
Retinol is one of the ingredients that you can’t use if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, so it’s useful to know powerful alternatives.
From what we know, bakuchiol is the best pregnancy-safe alternative to retinol. It has a similar gene expression and is known to boost collagen and elastin production and reduces wrinkles and fine lines. It is a much gentler alternative without side effects. However, it is important to note that there is much less scientific data vs. retinol.
That’s all for today, BFFs! Feel free to get your PERFECT PAIR actives at P1,000 OFF this February! Buy any 2 items on any of the February weekends, and get P1,000 off when you check out with the code BFFPERFECTPAIR at www.bffmanila.com. DM our BFF Beauty Experts at @bff_mnl or Viber them at 0918-8-BFFMNL for assistance.
Article by Andi Panaguiton