Ingredient Spotlight: Retinol

With a steady stream of buzzy new skincare ingredients all vying for a spot on the top shelf, it’s hard to know what really works. But one ingredient that’s stood the test of time is retinol - here’s everything you need to know about this super skincare ingredient and why it’s here to stay!

The king of skin care ingredients, retinol (AKA vitamin A) has earned its place as a true power player in skin care for its ability to address such a wide range of skin concerns. Yet, despite its popularity, there is still confusion about what it does. We’re here to help!

What is retinol?
Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that’s widely regarded by dermatologists and skin experts as a highly effective topical treatment for ageing skin. It comes in both serums and creams in varying concentrations. Because it is so powerful and treats such a wide array of skin concerns, it is often the go-to ingredient for those serious about their skincare routine.

So what does retinol do for your skin?
• Smooths fine lines and wrinkles
• Stimulates collagen production, which firms, plumps and smooths skin
• Refines texture and evens out skin tone
• Fights blemishes

How does retinol work?
When retinol is applied topically, it’s converted into retinoic acid (the active form of vitamin A) which works deep below the skin at a cellular level to help to promote collagen synthesis and elastin production. The result is firmer, plumper, more youthful looking skin. Retinol also boosts cell turnover and renews the skin’s top layer, keeping the skin bright and even-toned. Talk about a multitasker!

What percentage of retinol should I use?
Over-the-counter retinol formulas generally range from 0.025%-1%. Because retinol can be irritating for some people, a good rule of thumb is to start low and slow. “We recommend that you use the product once during the first week, twice (on non-consecutive days) during the second week, three times during the third week (on non-consecutive days), and so on until you find that your skin can tolerate once daily application (in the evening) consistently,” advises says Gabriela Zuanazzi, Principal Formulation Chemist and behind some of the formulations within Oriflame’s Proceuticals range.

What’s the difference between Retinol and a Retinoid?
Simply put, retinol is a type of retinoid. Retinoid is an umbrella term for all forms of Vitamin A used in skin care. Retinoic acid is the most potent retinoid with the fastest skin results - but also has more potential for irritation, so is only available by prescription. So the thing that differentiates retinoids from retinol, specifically, is potency.

Pro tip! Look for products made with encapsulated retinol. This allows retinol to better penetrate into the skin and helps hydrate the skin more effectively. Our NovAge Proceuticals Retinol Power Drops contain an active level of 0.1% pure retinol that has been encapsulated in a protective polymeric shell that breaks down upon contact with the skin.

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