Throughout the beauty world, Retinol has been a star ingredient people are either scared of or cannot live without. Although, there are many different types of retinols, available in different strengths and derivatives. Prescription Retinol is usually Retinoic Acid, this includes your Tretinoin or Retin-A’s.
RETINOL OR RETI-NO?
THE PROS & CONS
Throughout the beauty world, Retinol has been a star ingredient people are either scared of or cannot live without. Although, there are many different types of retinols, available in different strengths and derivatives. Prescription Retinol is usually Retinoic Acid, this includes your Tretinoin or Retin-A’s. Cosmetic Retinoids, regardless of strength would then be your Retinol, Retinol Esters such as Retinyl Palmitate and Retinaldehyde.
You then also have you natural Retinol alternatives such as Bakuchiol, Rosehip Oil and Kahai Oil – all of which have the same end goal in mind: To speed up your skin cell renewal process. With that said, this star ingredient has always divided people who we like to call the Retinols and the Reti-no’s.
So, to convert the Reti-no’s, what impact does Retinol have on the skin?
Throughout Biologique Recherche’s methodology to skincare, retinol has always been a reti-never. The cult favourite Lotion P50 has always had strict rules and regulations to never pair with Retinol, for the risk of overprocessing or sensitizing the skin - this usually means red, flaking, irritated skin.
However, these kinds of effects are sometimes expected with the retinization process in high grade Retinols/Retinoids. In the same way Lotion P50 might create excess oils or the odd blemish while the skin is acclimatising, the same process happens when starting out on retinol, the skin must acclimate. You slowly need to build up a tolerance for the product, but the process sometimes is difficult. Nobody likes to flake and feel they cannot leave their house at risk of UV damage.
Which is why now that winter is here and SPF’s are much more high-tech, it’s a great opportunity to start while the nights get longer, and the sun stays in bed just as long as you wish you could most mornings.
Within my personal skincare journey, I was what we would classify as a reti-no-thank-you-I’m-scared. I enjoy trying new products and routines, but retinol was something I never paid attention to - it’s a commitment I wasn’t willing to adhere to. Considering I’ve worked in the beauty industry for many years, it was the only ingredient I didn’t try. Although, it was something that I’d heard about within the industry non-stop. So, why is this ingredient so loved?
Retinol can have a great impact on the skin, it speeds up the cellular turnover of the skin which causes the skin to work faster in its enzymatic and renewal processes, boosts collagen and elastin and even repairs the connective tissue between the Dermal Epidermal Junction or Basal Membrane.
The ingredient helps to exfoliate the upper layers of the epidermis while other molecules penetrate deeper to activate cells to synthesize collagen, elasticity and retrain the cells into working faster and more efficiently. It can reduce fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation and even acne.
Following my research, I deep dived into Retinol face first; my only downside was giving up my beloved Lotion P50 for the period I was using retinol.
I began my journey using Auteur’s ‘Definitive Retinol Serum’ 3 times a week at night, religiously applying SPF in the day. I added an extra night over the course of a few weeks until I was able to use it every night, avoiding the eye area while the skin was acclimating. I discovered the impacts it really did have on my skin - It looked generally clearer, brighter, and overall healthier. I was lucky to have tried Auteur as my first-time retinol, its sleek packaging and gorgeous formulation, I’m sure we’ve all had MUCH worse first times. And this serum, is a reti-YES.
The serum contains a complex of Encapsulated Retinol, Bakuchiol, Bioplasma, Ceramides and Centella Asiatica, it’s a powerhouse in the amount it does for the skin in addition to retinol. Encapsulated retinol penetrates to the lower layers of the skin but it’s slow-release technology means its much safer and gentler for the skin than pure molecules which can be very irritating.
The Bakuchiol is a retinol alternative which is derived from plants that helps to amplify the effects of Retinol, again, in a much gentler way. Whereas Bioplasma not only helps to heal skin but also helps to detoxify the cells to remove any toxins. Essential Ceramides, which are oil soluble, help to protect the skin’s barrier function and lock in hydration; and Centella Asiatica is a potent antioxidant which heals and protects the skin.
Definitive Retinol Serum
For those who aren’t strangers to retinol and want as a reset treatment or to be used 3-4 times a night, try Auteur’s ‘Composition No. 1’, with over 40 harmonious active ingredients including Retinol10, a peptide which mimics snake venom, a high percentage of clinical grade, oxygen boosting Perfluorocarbons and five cellular energizing peptides to revitalise and enhance skin, you’re looking at the Queen Bee of Retinols. Now, if you are still looking for something better, I’d advise to start looking into skincare from Mars.
Even for the avid users of retinol, first-timers and even the reti-no-thank-you-I’m-scared’s, with all Auteur’s technologies, delivery systems and added extras, you’ll still love this. Not only does this make the skin, soft, supple, and tight, it also helps to strengthen and repair the skin at the same time.
I do, however, need to factor in another product I was using to help prevent the purging process (which I was most worried about), from being as worse as I imagined.
Which brings us to our next question: What products should I be using alongside retinol?
Good question, thank you for asking, the skin in a sensitized or compromised state needs much more love and care than regularly. Our skin is our only organ that is consistently being exposed to the environment, and if you are like me and cannot regulate temperature that you are always too hot and always too cold, you get your fair share of central heating and air conditioning every day.
Aside from this, our skin’s natural enzymatic and keratinization process is being stimulated to work quicker, which is why we can be more susceptible to sun damage, environmental aggressors, and regulatory malfunctions during the retinization process.
Aside from a good SPF for the daytime, my best recommendation to pair with retinol to help protect and repair the skin would be, drum roll please, ‘Crème Masque Vernix’.
With its blend of active restoring ingredients to biomimetically recreate Vernix, it creates a second skin to give all its goodness throughout the night. For those who don’t know vernix, it’s the waxy, sebaceous substance found on the skin of babies when they are first born. No, we are not scraping off baby wax and selling it, it has been recreated in a laboratory to work in the same way. Using a blend of Ceramides, Omegas 3 and 6, Placenta extract (from Porcine) Antioxidant tripeptide and yeast extract. It left my skin smooth and glowing
Émulsion Originelle Régenérante
Créme Masque Vernix
It's important to give back the same love to our skin that we expect back in its results from high actives – which is why it is always good to pair something like retinol with something restorative and healing. Luckily with Auteur’s Retinol Serum and Composition No.1, it already contains a very large quantity of restorative ingredients to help skin during the acclimation process.
Whether you are a retinol fan or a reti-no or now reti-maybe, Embassy of Beauty always has your skin in mind.
By Andrew Yates
9TH DEC 2022