Retinol – The Power Ingredient For Your Skin
RETINOL – WHAT’S ALL THE HYPE ABOUT?
You’ve probably heard this word Retinol going around for a while now – from friends, dermats, women at work to even skincare influencers – people can’t seem to get over its greatness (and for all the right reasons).
Over the past few years, we have seen a myriad of buzzy skincare ingredients come and go. One day it is vitamin C, and the other, it is niacinamide. But one skincare trend that has actually managed to cement its place in our beauty bags for the foreseeable future is retinol.
An over-the-counter version of the powerful retinoids, retinol is mainly used to treat anti-ageing concerns along with acne. In a nutshell, it is the one skincare ingredient that brings life to the saying ‘turning back the clock’ – at least for your skin.
And that’s not all – this magical ingredient also brightens dull skin, fades dark spots, and prevents wrinkles while treating existing ones, too. Now if this isn’t skincare wizardry, we don’t know what is!
FACT SHEET – THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Before you do a quick search on your favourite beauty shopping website and hit ‘add to cart’, keep a few things in mind.
Firstly, retinol isn’t usually recommended for someone who is very young. Ideally, you should start including it in your skincare routine when you spot early signs of ageing – this is right about the time you’re hitting your thirties.
Moreover, we aren’t kidding when we call it a powerful ingredient, so you do have to start slow and give your skin time to adjust to the product. We recommend starting off with a lower concentration or potency and working your way up. Follow the same with the frequency of use – don’t replace your favourite face oil with a retinol serum just yet. Start off by using it once a week, and then increasing the frequency of use.
If you go too fast, you risk having dry and irritated skin, which is the opposite result we’re looking for here. Safe side, consult your dermat and get a thorough recommendation as per your skin type. Potency and frequency of use may differ for different skin.
And lastly, retinols pose a risk of sun sensitivity. That means sticking to your usual day moisturiser in the mornings, and only using your retinols at night. To cover all your bases, ensure that you never skip the sunscreen – which actually happens to be one of the best preventative measures against sun damage and ageing, too!
PS: If you’re pregnant or planning pregnancy, please speak to your doctor before using retinol, as it may increase the risks of birth defects and miscarriages.
BUILDING A SKINCARE ROUTINE WITH RETINOL
If you’re on the lookout for a quick skincare cheat sheet, we have you covered. Here are the exact skincare steps you should follow once you bring home that life-changing bottle of retinol:
- Remove any makeup from your face, eyes, and lips and use a good cleanser. Thoroughly clean your skin and ensure that there is no residue left.
- Apply your eye cream first – we know that this is usually one of the last steps in most skincare routines, but if you’re using retinol, it will help protect that delicate area better.
- Wait until your skin is slightly damp, to help the retinol serum or cream sink in deeper (and work its magic better!)
- Then take a pea-sized amount of your product and work it into your skin. Always use apply the product upwards and outwards, never the other way round.
- Finish up with your lip care, and voila – you’re ready to get into bed for eight hours of your beauty sleep.
BEAUTY SCIENTIST – MIXING AND MATCHING SKINCARE
As with any other targeted skincare ingredient, you have to be careful what you mix retinol with. Whenever you are first introducing it into your routine, it is best to not mix it with any other potential irritants like AHAs and BHAs.
Retinol is also best used on its own, but if you feel like you still need some extra hydration, add a lightweight moisturiser into the mix.
If you’re all about that glow and want to use other actives in your skincare like vitamin C or hyaluronic acid, we suggest using them in the mornings and then your retinols at night.
And as always – and we really cannot stress this enough – sunscreen during the day is very important, especially when using retinol!
EDITOR-APPROVED SKINCARE PICKS
If you’re someone who already knows their skin and their retinol, you are absolutely ready to upgrade your skincare routine with retinol products. Get the best treatment for skin ageing with the BoldLyfe editors’ top picks:
For sheet mask lovers | Mamaearth Retinol Bamboo Sheet Mask
Formulated with the powerful combination of retinol and bakuchi, this sheet mask from Mamaearth claims to deliver nine days of serum hydration in one go. The sheet mask is also bamboo-based, so you know that you’re doing good for your skin and the environment, too.
For serial serum-ers | Minimalist 0.3% Retinol Anti-Ageing Face Serum With Q10
Packed with retinol, antioxidant coenzyme Q10, and squalane, this potent anti-ageing product fades fine lines and wrinkles to reveal youthful, smooth skin in no time. Bonus: The bottle is also UV protective, which keeps the formula stable and good as new.
For cream loyalists | Dot & Key Night Reset Retinol + Ceramide Cream
This ultra-nourishing sleep treatment from Dot & Key boasts a mix of natural ingredients along with retinol, namely sea buckthorn berry, hibiscus, and evening primrose oil. It also goes beyond the usual promises of anti-ageing and delivers plump, glowing skin. Safe to say, if there’s one product you should be getting from the list, it’s this one!
So, now that you know that retinol is truly magic in a bottle, will you be adding it into your skincare routine? Keep in mind that there’s a learning curve that comes with its use and your skin will definitely take time to adapt to it – so it’s up to you and your dermatologist to find out if it’s the right pick for you.