Wednesday, December 7, 2016


By Sharlean Windus

Now is the perfect time of year to add topical retinol into your skincare routine. Retinol will speed up the skin's cell turnover rate, combat fine lines, lighten sun spots (hyperpigmentation), reduce acne scarring and will increase collagen production and improve skin texture. 

Retinol is regarded as the top anti-aging product on the market today and is prescribed frequently by
Dermatologist around the globe however not everyone needs prescription strength to get results. Esthetician's sell and recommended retinol as well so consider having a consultation with both a Dermatologist and an Esthetician before making a decision on which level of retinol is best for you.

Who Should Use Retinol?

If you are under the age of 25 you most likely do NOT need to use retinol unless you are struggling with acne. Enzymes, gommage, scrubs and other normal level exfoliants will be sufficient for exfoliation at this age. Remember what happens when you over exfoliate....your skin will thin and sag sooner rather than be vibrant and glowing with the right balance of exfoliation. Anyone with rosacea should avoid retinol as it can exacerbate your rosacea symptoms but otherwise everyone else is potential candidate for this product.

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A. There is over 40 years of research available to review on retinol. Retinol comes from two sources, one group is called retinoids, deriving from animal sources, and the other is called carotenoids which comes from plants and includes beta-carotene. Retinol can also be synthetically created. Do your research before selecting the right one but my two favorite choices are Skin Ceuticals Retinol 1.0 Refining Night Cream and Epicuren Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Complex however there are several others on the market to choose from. 

How to use Retinol:

Apply a pea sized amount to clean dry skin and massage into the face and neck. Pull the product down onto the decollete for added anti-aging to the area that gets hit most by the sun while driving. You can even apply retinol to the tops of your hands if you see sun spots beginning to appear. After applying retinol, your skin can become more susceptible to sun damage and burn more easily so I recommend using retinol in the fall and winter only.

Try using it every other day for 6 weeks and then go off of it for 6 weeks. This is so you do not over exhaust your cells causing more harm than good. Watch for sensitivity, redness or peeling and pull back on usage if that occurs. You can apply serums and moisturizers over the top of the retinol once it has penetrated completely.

Use Caution:

  • Always use sunscreen after the use of retinol to prevent sun damage.
  • Do not store retinol in too hot or too cold temperatures, it will lower product effectiveness.
  • Use daily or weekly retinol application for 6 weeks and go off for 6 weeks and then back on for 6 weeks and continue the rotation. This gives your skin a chance to repair and wont over exhaust the skin which will cause opposite results. 
  • If you have rosacea or sensitive skin I would NOT use retinol, it will exacerbate rosacea. 
  • Be mindful of other exfoliations you are using along with retinol. This is when working with an Esthetician becomes helpful in deciding what level of exfoliation you need, how many exfoliation products to use and how often to use them.
  • Do not use retinol when pregnant or nursing.

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