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What is retinol and how do I use it?

Have you heard of retinol? No? Well, are we excited to introduce you to one of our favourite anti-aging secret weapons.

What is retinol?

Retinol is a pure form of vitamin A that works by increasing cell turnover and stimulating collagen and elastin production along the way. Famous for its ability to both exfoliate dull, damaged cells and stimulate new, healthy cells, this powerhouse product addresses wrinkles and fine lines, skin texture, sun damage and pigmentation, and other aging concerns. It also helps to enhance the skin penetration of your at-home skincare products.

How do I use retinol?

If you’ve never used retinol before, start slow. Our Wonder Skin Therapists recommend starting by incorporating retinol into your skincare routine once or twice per week. Some skincare lines offer lower concentration retinol formulations, which are a good place to start. Over time (usually about six to eight weeks), you can slowly work your way up to more frequent use and/or a higher concentration formulation. This gradual introduction is so important and helps avoid drying and irritating your skin.

After cleansing and drying your skin at night (retinol should always be applied to dry skin), and applying your toner, serum, and eye cream (in that order), apply a dime-sized amount to your whole face; follow it up with your nightly moisturizer. Light flaking and peeling is totally normal and is a sign that your dead skin cells are sloughing off to reveal a brighter complexion. You should start to notice a difference in the way your skin looks and feels within three weeks of regular use. It’s important to note that retinol makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen during daytime hours.

Some of our favourite retinol products.

SkinCeuticals Retinol

To ensure your skin is conditioned to the ingredient’s potent effects, SkinCeuticals offers three different retinol formulations: Retinol 0.3 (for retinol rookies or those with reactive skin), Retinol 0.5, and Retinol 1.0 (the highest concentration of pure retinol available, for the retinol experts among us). SkinCeuticals Retinol is formulated with high concentrations of pure retinol and enhanced with the latest stabilization and delivery technologies to ensure maximum efficacy while minimizing irritation and other common side effects.

SkinMedica Retinol

Ranging from least to most potent, SkinMedica offers Retinol 0.25, Retinol 0.5, and Retinol 1.0. SkinMedica’s retinol formulations use an antioxidant complex called PhytoShield™️ Complex to enhance skin texture while minimizing irritation. Each formulation is appropriate for all skin types, and works to enhance skin tone, texture, and resiliency and diminish the appearance of fine lines , wrinkles, and pigmentation.

Rejudicare Retinol SRX

Rejudicare also offers three retinol formulations: Retinol SRXMild (for sensitive skin), Retinol SRX, and Retinol SRXMax (the maximum concentration available). These products are unique because they use the synergy of three forms of retinol, delivered in a non-greasy gel. Combined with other powerful natural extracts, it slowly releases retinol during the night, reducing irritation while providing smoother, healthier, younger-looking skin free of wrinkles, fine lines, sun and damage.

If you’re curious about which retinol is right for you, our Wonder Skin Therapists are always here to help. Start by booking a free one-on-one consultation to chat about your skin’s needs.

Does this article have you curious? Contact us with questions or for professional skincare advice.

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