Vitamin A, or retinol â€“ a derivative of vitamin A â€“ has long been touted as the hero of the. But even with its well-known youth-restoring properties, thereâ€™s still a lot of confusion as to why we should be using it and how we use vitamin A skincare to see the best results. For anyone who wants healthy, resilient skin the why, according to experts, is compelling. â€śRetinol helps with overall textural and tone improvement, and it can be beneficial for numerous different signs of ageing. It helps with cell turnover, making skin look more youthful,â€ť explains New York-based Dr. Dendy Engelman, Elizabeth Arden consulting dermatologist and cosmetic and skin cancer surgeon. â€śIt also helps to support skinâ€™s natural collagen and elastin, thus improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,â€ť she explains.
How to Use Vitamin A Skincare
As for how to use retinol-based skincare, thatâ€™s when things can become a little more complicated explains Dr. Ellen Selkon, appearance medicine expert at Clinic 42. â€śThereâ€™s some debate about when to begin using retinol, however, prevention is key, the sooner you can start on retinol the better,â€ť Selkon explains. While retinol is sometimes used to treat acne in teenagers most clients, Selkon believes the early to late twenties is the best time to start using retinol. â€śIt should really be part of everyone’s nighttime routine,â€ť she adds. The earlier you start working on something â€“ the earlier you will see results.
If youâ€™ve ever used retinol and have been put off by redness, flakiness or sensitivity, Selkon explains that itâ€™s not an allergy or intolerance but you could be using too much product or strength your skin isnâ€™t quite ready for. Dr. Des Fernandes, founder and scientific director of Environ agrees and says although retinol is a highly effective molecule when it comes to skin health, it is also rather aggressive. â€śWhen one does not have enough retinoid receptors, retinoid reactions can be induced at even low does,â€ť he explains. â€śThe reality is that when one applies retinol to the surface of the skin it enters the skin as retinol and irritates the outer membranes of the cell if there are not enough retinoid receptors.â€ť
Work Vitamin A Skincare into Your Routine Slowly
As a precautionary measure, Fernandes recommends building up your tolerance slowly by using â€śsofterâ€ť versions of vitamin A, that are still effective but wonâ€™t irritate the skin so much which is why Environ have developed their unique STEP-UPTM SYSTEM to allow the skin to gradually adapt to increasing levels of vitamin A. Less is more when starting out,â€ť says Selkon. â€śDepending on strength you will want to start out using it every second to third night and then build up to every night after a few weeks.â€ť Regular appointments with your skin therapist will ensure youâ€™re getting the most out of your skincare routine explains Selkon. â€śYour strength of Retinol should be increased from time to time according to what you can tolerate and your age to keep receiving the maximum benefit.â€ť