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Retinol: A User’s Guide

Retinol: A User’s Guide

From boosting collagen to evening out the complexion and helping prevent breakouts, retinol has many proven benefits for the skin. An integral ingredient in any anti-ageing or acne regime, the powerful Vitamin A derivative is widely recognised by dermatologists as one of the most effective ingredients for skin correction.

Not all retinols are created equal, however, and used incorrectly this active ingredient can cause redness, irritation and peeling. If you have sensitive skin in particular, caution should be taken. But rest assured, with a little research and the right formulation, retinol can bring out the best in all skin types, including sensitive.

Benefits of Retinol

The gold-star ingredient for anti-ageing, retinol helps create a smoother, firmer complexion due to its ability to boost collagen and elastin production, while also preventing breakdown of existing stores. The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is thus diminished, resulting in a more youthful appearance.

Discoloured, dull, rough or uneven skin is equally ageing, and retinol also addresses these concerns. By speeding up cellular turnover, Vitamin A reduces the appearance of sun damage and pigmentation for a complexion that is visibly smoother, brighter and more even.

This enhanced cell turnover also benefits acne-prone skins, as it helps prevent dead skin cells from clogging pores and causing breakouts. Enlarged pores are a common complaint, and retinol is valued for its ability to refine skin and improve the appearance of pores.

Retinol for Sensitive Skin

With its compromised barrier function, sensitive skin will often show earlier signs of ageing. Retinol can therefore be very beneficial in an anti-ageing regime for sensitive skin. The key is to choose a well-tolerated form of Vitamin A, and gradually introduce retinol into your regime.

Formulated for sensitive skins concerned with ageing, La Roche-Posay Redermic R is a non-greasy, non-comedogenic moisturiser enriched with retinol to diminish fine lines, deep wrinkles and premature dark spots, while gently resurfacing the skin for a visibly smoother, more unified complexion.

By combining pure, active 0.1% retinol with a unique boosting complex containing gentle Vitamin A derivative, retinyl linoleate, Redermic R delivers both maximum efficacy and maximum tolerance. La Roche-Posay’s exclusive retinol booster complex works synergistically with the 0.1% retinol to speed up penetration, thus reducing the irritation often associated with retinol. Meanwhile, lipo-hydroxy acid (LHA) further enhances cellular turnover, with six times the exfoliating power of salicylic acid.

Redermic R can be applied to a clean face and neck, morning or night. If you are sensitive or not used to active ingredients, space out initial applications as needed.

For signs of photo-ageing and fatigue around the ultra-delicate eye area, there’s Redermic R Eyes. Dermatologically tested, Redermic R Eye Cream is suitable for sensitive skin types concerned with premature ageing. Clinically proven to improve the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles, the ultra-light cream combines La Roche-Posay’s smoothing retinol complex with fatigue-fighting caffeine for a lifted, more youthful eye contour.

Use in the morning, massaging outwards from the inner corner of the eye. As before, space out initial applications until you adjust to retinol use.

Retinol & Sunscreen

Sun protection is always the number one step you should take to prevent premature ageing. However, daily application of a high SPF, broad-spectrum sunscreen is even more vital when using a retinol product. Even if you apply your retinol at night.

As Vitamin A increases UV sensitivity, failure to apply sunscreen can lead to increased risk of sunburn and irritation. Negating any rejuvenating benefits of using retinol.

Dermatologically-tested, fragrance-free, paraben-free and non-comedogenic, Anthelios XL SPF50+ Ultra-Light provides very high UVA and UVB protection for sensitive, sun-intolerant skin.  Light, non-greasy and easily absorbed, the invisible finish makes it ideal for daily application.

Final Retinol Tips

Remember that retinol deteriorates when exposed to light, so store your products in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. As with any active ingredients, when first starting to use it is a good idea to space out applications. A little also goes a long way, so apply sparingly to avoid irritation.

For more information on La Roche-Posay’s Redermic range, visit the website.

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