Skincare Essentials – Part 2
Summer 2020 is almost over and if after those long lockdowned days in the sun you find yourself struggling with a photoaged face, UVA and UVB damaged skin, then your go to product is retinol. Derived from Vitamin A, retinol is part of the retinod family. Retinoids can be purchased off the shelf in pharmacies and cosmetic stores or it can be prescribed by a dermatologist.
Highly effective in reducing the most common signs of ageing, there have been hundreds of clinical tests that have demonstrated its extraordinary ability to smooth the texture of the skin and even out skin tone, helping to reduce areas of pigmentation caused by an over production of melanin.
So how does this little wonder ingredient work? Well, it can penetrate deep into the skin, stimulating collagen and elastin production to help plump and refine wrinkles and folds in the skin. It improves the appearance of the outer layer of skin, speeding up the cell renewel process, offering a smoother, brighter appearance and a radiant glow. It also helps to regulate the keratinisation process, the hardening of the skin cells, to give a softer look and feel.
But with this little skin savour comes some cautionary advice. If used too strongly, too often or applied to incorrect areas or unsuitable skin types, you are not going to benefit from retinol the way it was intended. When used incorrectly, retinol can potentially strip, over sensitised skin and leave you inflammed, flaky and sore. Always purchase on a professional recommendation only and we’d strongly advise not to buy online or off the shelf. Most skin care practitioners will offer consultations to map your skin and prescribe the best type of retinol for your skin, along with clear guidance for when and how to use it. Typically, if the product is highly concentrated, you will be advised to build up the skins tolerance, perhaps starting with an application once a week, then every third or fourth day, then every other and so on. Retinol is often applied with a light buffing cream in its introductory phase to offer more protection as the skin begins to absorb this powerful antioxidant.
Retinol should never be applied before sun exposure, and this doesn’t neccesarily mean lying on a beach for 8 hours. I mean being out in UVA and UVB rays generally. Skin being treated with retinol that is exposed to UV light without adequate protection is at risk of further pigmentation damage. Here in Ibiza I would strongly advise against its use in the summer months. I discovered some of my girlfriends here have been slapping on the retinol in July, until I put them right of course. It is also believed that applying retinol during the day decreases its efficiency since its active ingredients are broken down, leaving the skin even more vulnerable to sun damage. As a rule of thumb, I always advise that your most active, stimulating and most nourishing products (these are typically your most expensive ones) be applied at night. Sleep is the skins primary regenerator and applying serums, retinoids, night creams and eye creams at night, affords them their maximum absorption and thus effectiveness when the skin is so receptive.
Finally, always make sure you research which product you are going to invest in. There are hundreds claiming to contain retinol properties, but quite often the derivative used, the format it comes in and the concentration levels do not live up to expectations. A product with 1% retinol is the highest concentration available and you can expect to follow an introduction phase to train the skin and prevent irritation. More gentle products may use as little as 0.3%, aimed at sensitive skin types or for skin conditions such as acne.
I would strongly advise you to add retinol to your skin care routine if you are losing the battle against photo aged skin. It really does have a visible effect on wrinkles, pore size, texture and tone. My two go to products are Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair 1% – amazing at treating fine lines and wrinkles, and Dermalogica Retinol Clearing Oil for those concerned with photo ageing but also suffering from break outs.
I offer a skin mapping service prior to any facial tratment and also a prescription service for Dermalogica products. So get booked in and start giving your skin the attention it deserves