A Man's Guide to Retinol
by Rodrigo Diaz
12 months ago
Retinol (aka Vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, retinoids) is an important ingredient in recovering your skin cells from oxidative stress as it contains antioxidative properties (remember from our last gazette post: Antioxidants). It is one of the best anti-stress lines (wrinkles) and anti-acne ingredient as it tells your skin how to repair itself by creating newer, healthier skin cells.
How does Retinol Do It?
As explained above, retinol contains high antioxidative properties that fight off free radicals and aid in the production of collagen (the skin’s support foundation) by slowing down the degradation of collagen. Retinol works by prompting the surface skin cells to turn over and die much quicker to make way for newer skin cells (micro-exfoliation). It can trigger slight redness and irritation but this only occurs if you have not used retinol before. The irritation should subside as your skin gets used to the ingredient - So don’t worry. If the irritation does occur more than 12 hours, then that’s when you stop using it. This would usually occur if you have sensitive skin (Use Pomegranate Enzyme as a substitute for sensitive skin).
What are the different kinds of Retinol?
Retinyl palmitate - Least potent over the counter (OTC) retinoid. For sensitive or excessively dry skin with minimal stress lines.
Retinaldehyde - This is an OTC retinoid that’s slightly more potent than retinyl palmitate.
Retinol - This is the strongest ingredient found in OTC retinoid products. 2% found in Dark Phyto Matter
Tretinoin (Retin-A) - Strong retinoid. In most prescriptions and only prescribed.
Tazarotene - Strongest Retinoid. Prescription-only.
To Note: How a retinoid is formulated within the product affects how effective the retinol is. Basically, it has to do with the delivery system. For example, serum-based products with Dark Phyto Matter heat the skin and delivers the retinol faster as the skin absorbs it better than most formulas. For mature, and dryer skin-types, the skin may react better with cream-based retinol products.
How to use products containing retinol
Always cleanse your face before applying any product. This eliminates any dirt or bacteria that can potentially affect the efficacy of retinol.
Using an exfoliant with your retinol product is a very good way to resurface your skin more from dead skin cells blocking any new cell formation and clogging pores (marco-exfoliation). Just make sure how that reacts on your skin as retinol can be an irritant.
Test Out the Retinol Product Before Buying
If you take one thing from this skincare jargon on retinol - Test out the retinol product on a small area under your eye with a sample size. If there is little to no irritation in 12 hours, you’re ready to go. The skin around the eye is the most sensitive, so, naturally, use a small (like really small) area and see if it affects it in any way. Try out GOA's top products with retinol