Retinol, Retin-A, Vitamin A . . .what is it and why should you know about it?
links + loves
I’ve certainly heard of retinol and it wasn’t until I sat down with Kristin during my “Ask an Esthetician” series when I realized I should consider adding retinol into my skincare routine. So I’ve been doing some research to try to find a good product and was swiftly introduced to the massive amount of information all about retinol/vitamin A on the internet.
I’m sorting through a lot of it but I wanted to share my research process in case you too are looking to add a retinol into your skincare routine.
What is Retinol? It’s an anti-aging molecule that encourages cell turnover and collagen production, softens fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. It’s a milder derivative of Vitamin A, should not be used in the daytime.
Summing up a lot of the articles I’ve read, retinol may be the most effective anti-aging tool available right now. If you are young, you probably don’t need it. But if you are getting near 30, collagen production is going down, or you are starting to see signs of aging, you may want to consider using a product with Retinol to restore some youth to your face! In fact, in one of the videos I watched, Caroline said “retinol is like CPR for your skin. . . it reminds it to keep working!”
I’ve following along with Caroline Hirons series of videos all about retinol to learn as much as possible as I explore using these products. She has a wealth of information and exhaustively explores products. I’d recommend watching a few of her videos about this subject to learn more! Start with this one!
As far as product availability goes, there are so many options. The percentage of retinol varies in each product too, so it’s very important to do your research before you jump into a high percentage retinol.
I’ve started using the FAB Skin Lab Retinol Eye Cream since I finished breastfeeding and followed the directions on the back of the package. It states to use morning and night, but a lot of what I’ve read is that retinol should *not* be used during the daytime because when mixed with sun it can actually encourage damage to the skin. So I feel even MORE confused than I was before I started using a product.
So where am I now? I’m only using the eye cream at night, until I know more about daytime use and why, perhaps, that product may be okay to use in the daytime. As someone with sensitive skin who tries a lot of products, I wanted to try the most gentle, natural option first! Ole Henricksen and Biossance are two brands that I’m aware of that use Squalane, which is something our bodies actually produce naturally (just like hyaluronic acid!). I’ve been using the Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum for about 2 weeks now and really can tell my skin is firmer and looks healthy. It will take a long time of use to really see the impact it’ll have on wrinkles that already exist on my face, but for now I feel good about using something that is gentle and natural to help combat environmental and aging effects on the skin.
Ole Henricksen has a few products with very similar ingredients to what is found in the Biossance serum I’m currently using, with Backuchiol being the plant-based retional alternative. In fact, this kit would be a great option for those of use looking to try a product like this but want to also start down the gentle route!
I still have a lot to learn, and am certainly glad to have the internet and estheticians available to discuss these things!
I’m curious, do you use a retinol product religiously? And for how long have you used it? Have you seen a difference? Are you also confused by this whole world of Vitamin A and anti-aging products?