Natural Health December 2018

Retinol is hailed as a hero skincare product due to its unique ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also refines the texture of skin and lessens the appearance or pores – it’s a miracle worker, isn’t it?

Dr Preema… explains: “Retinol is a powerful antioxidant which helps to treat acne, increase skin cell turnover and reduce pigmentation. In addition to this, it’s a great anti-ageing product as it improves collagen production and helps to stop fine lines appearing. Retinol triggers key changes in the skin, making it look clearer and more youthful, and is suitable for all skin types.
The accolades it has had from dermatologists are well deserved, as it also protects the skin in numerous ways, whether from UV-induced photo damage or helping reverse the side effects of sun damage, plus it unblocks pores to reduce blemishes. When collagen production reduces in your 30s, applying retinol can insure your skin is producing the correct amounts to keep fine lines and wrinkles from forming, as well as controlling hyper pigmentation to provide users with an even, bright skin tone.”

However, retinol is also very powerful and harsh so, if you have sensitive or reactive skin, it can often prove too harsh for regular use. Pregnant women should avoid it, as vitamin A can have a negative impact on the developing foetus and has been known to cause birth defects. People can also often experience dryness, redness and even flaking skin during their first use but, if you ensure your skin is hydrated both internally and externally, this should subside after a couple of weeks. It also gives users increased sun sensitivity, so wearing a strong SPF is essential when using retinol as a regular part of your skincare regime.
Despite this, the benefits are clear and it is worth considering introducing it to your beauty regime. It is recommended that, when you initially begin to use it, you should limit use to every other day or mix retinol products with your usual moisturiser before applying. this allows your skin to adjust to it.

Dr Preema agrees: “Retinol should be gradually phased in to avoid skin irritation. I would recommend starting with application twice a week and gradually increasing as your skin adjusts. Retinol encourages skin cell turnover, so should be applied at night, as sun;ight diminishes the power of the ingredient. To apply, cleanse the skin and wait until it is completely dry, then you’re ready to apply retinol with a moisturising night cream on top to seal the goodness in”.

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