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Breaking NEWS – not all Retinols/Retiniods are equal FACT!

So this is an indepth subject which I have tried to summarise to help with your Age management.

Retinol is ONE specific ingredient, Retinoids are a group of Vitamin A derivatives – Which work smiliar in the skin to boost cell turnover, improve skin tone & texture, boosting collagen production and fighting off fine lines & wrinkles. Of all the retinoids – retinolic acid (AKA tretinoin) is the only retinoid in its pure form – PRESCRIPTION ONLY, THE BOSS.

Other retinoids found more commonly in Over The Counter products are retinyl palmitate, retinol acetate and retinol to name a few – well these guys have to go through a conversion process to turn into retinoic acid before your skin can make use of it. The more steps in the conversion process the weaker the retinoid.

Are Retinol and Retinal the same?

Yes they are both vitamin A derivatives a pre-cursor to retinoic acid, and will:-

  • Increase cell turnover
  • Stimulate cell procution
  • Even skin tone
  • Decrease fine lines & wrinkles
  • Helps to keep pores clear

Will Retinol give the same results as Retin A (tretinoin)?

Technically YES, Retinol and Retin A do the same thing. But Retinol and its vitamin A derivitives are weaker than Retin A (Aka Tretinoin) remember is THE BOSS and prescription only. So even in its weakest form Retin A is still stronger than Retinol in its strongest form.

There are different forms of retinol so have a look on your products list of ingredients and see where it sits if it is near the bottom of the list then it will be pretty ineffective. Every product brand has its own priorities. A bit like buying paracetomol you can buy it for 45p in poundland or £2.50 in Boots there are different qualities, brands and effectiveness. If you are looking to give your skin a boost or are working to manage your skin ageing then a vitamin A is a practical choice. Look for it in your moisturiser or serums.

Moving onto Cosmeceuticals, the word describes a product that is a cross between a cosmetic and a pharmaceutical and sits in between and OTC product and a prescription. We have two in the salon, used by us because they are backed by science and have taken years of research. Environ work on a unique step up system.

What does this mean?

Well it means your skin can get acclimitised to the lower strength before moving up the ladder and increasing the level of vitamin A, therefore increasing the benefits, Environ use Retinol Palmitate in levels 1-3 in different strengths and adding in Retinol Acetate in levels 4-5 again increasing in strength. These steps are managed by your skincare professional as opposed to buying OTC or from the internet where there are no step ups within your moisturisers you will always be on the lowest strength. Environ moisturisers can be used AM & PM. This brand was my first introduction to Cosmeceuticals and the step up makes sense to me.

Skinceuticals Retinol, has a lovely silky feel to it and I just love this product, they believe that their hightest level is equal to 1% tretinoin so is up there with the Boss.

Still with me? So are there any side effects?

No matter whether its prescription strenth, cosmeceutical or OTC, any retinoid carries the potential for side effects: redness, peeling, dryness and flaky skin. This is often confused with a allergic reaction, it is simply the skin telling you they are struggling to recognise the ingredient and needs a bit of time.

This can be done by adding in a Vitamin A supplement or upping your diet with foods rich in vitamin a so the skin recognises it and makes the stoll up the ladder a little bit less exerting on the skin. Foods rich in vitamin a:

  • green leafy veg
  • yellow fruit and veg
  • cheese
  • liver
  • food rich in beta-carotene

Too lazy to eat a rainbow, well you can always take a supplement of Vitamin A +

Vitamin A is one of the most important nutrients for the skin, this supplement also has Vitamin d which is great for bones and your mood.

Key Benefits:

  • suitable for all skin types
  • helps maintain normal skin health
  • helps with skin cell renewal
  • Promotes younger looking skin
  • supportts bone, muscle and immune health

Some people will see results relatively quickly when introducing these ingredients into your skincare regime, however we do advise 3 months of any new product or supplement to see a difference in your skin.

Thanks for reading, feel free to message me with any questions, Mary x

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