Oh Retinol, where have you been my entire life?
Seeing that I’m very new to this and don’t have the skincare experience of some of the beauties I most admire, I asked my three favourite local beauties for their two cents on Retinol. I also gave three different Retinols a try. Here’s what I found:
Dermaceutic- 0.5% Retinol
I was told by a beauty-wise friend that if I wanted to see instant results, instead of waiting around for improvements, I should turn to Retinol. So that’s what I did, and purchased my first (0.5% strength) batch from the Swiss cosmeceutical brand Dermaceutic. The first question that popped to mind was “Why is this yellow?” and luckily the answer was quite simple: Retinol is part of the carotene family, hence it’s carrot-like resemblance.
Dermaceutic’s active Retinol 0.5% claims to repair damaged skin and stimulate skin renewal, while an additional 1% Vitamin C and E tackle the signs of photo ageing. Love them antioxidants don’t we! Another extra benefit is the 1% Ceramide and mineral cocktail which is nourishing and hydrating.
I was incredibly impressed with the product’s instant results and cannot wait to see the long term effects. I paired it with a good sunscreen, because according to Beauty Blogger, Candice-Lee Kannemeyer, you should never ever use Retinol without a high SPF, come rain or shine.
"I always tell my readers that are concerned with ageing to choose a serum containing Retinol. It's the one ingredient that really does show a visible difference on the skin in a very short period of time. It can make the skin sun sensitive though, so it's imperative to use a sunscreen daily when you're using a Retinol product."
— Candice-Lee Kannemeyer
Dermalogica 0.5 and 1% Retinols
The second Retinol I reached for was the Dermalogica Overnight Retinol repair. Again, I started with the 0.5% (also yellow in colour) and again, I was thoroughly impressed. It comes with a protective Buffer Cream, because your skin can take a while to adjust to active ingredients such as Vitamin A, C and others. Personally, I didn’t have any issues or reactions to the above-mentioned products - no redness, no tender skin, nothing - only beautiful, smoother skin.
I did progress to the 1% Retinol from Dermalogica which launched last year July. This product felt different upon application. Hard to explain, but It almost felt a bit grainier, even when used at night with the Buffer Cream. I asked Dermalogica’s then PR why this is and she confirmed that’s it’s the texture of the Retinol capsule when landing on the skin. This is what she had to say:
“Dermalogica used the most advanced technology available in order to sustain the 1% Retinol potency so that it delivers optimal results. This was done through microencapsulation technology, which protects the Retinol molecules inside with single-layer polymeric shells. If you perceive a slight texture change as the product dries on your skin, it is normal for this advanced formula.”
I value Beauty Blogger Tori Tatham’s opinion highly, I mean have you seen her glow? She has totally redefined the term glow - hashtag skingoals! Here’s her take on Retinol:
“Retinol is an ingredient I started using about 2 years ago and its potency should not be underestimated. I tend to use it every now and again, so will do three days in a row and then take a break. In winter I tend to use it more frequently as sun is less of an issue, but have gone through periods when I have used it 3/4 times a week. As said, it’s a potent ingredient, but gets fantastic results when used correctly and with very strict sun protection.”
— Tori Tatham
As mentioned before: ALWAYS. USE. SUNSCREEN. I cannot emphasise this enough ladies.
If you’re a sensitive soul with equally sensitive skin and have been hesitant to try Retinol due to fear of a bad reaction, then Fair Lady Beauty Editor, Kelli Clifton, will ease your mind:
“I’ve always been reluctant to introduce Retinol into my skincare routine as I’ve had sensitive skin my entire life and have mild rosacea – I always thought it would make it worse. How could I have been so naïve? Ever since I hit my 30s, I’ve had no choice but to take the plunge and just do it and whenever I use a product with Retinol, I can honestly notice a vast difference. My skin always looks younger, more evenly toned and just, well, fresher. My best advice? Start off with a small dose (1%) and see how your skin handles it. You’ll probably end up wondering why you waited so long!”
— Kelli Clifton
Looking back, I truly regret not introducing Retinol into my skincare library earlier. The results are evident, non-invasive, and simply wow. Next on my wish list is the 1% Retinol from Skinceuticals and then I'll be ready for 1.7%. Will report back soonest. Watch this space. x