Everything you need to know about using Retinol

Vitamin A, or retinol – a derivative of vitamin A – has long been touted as the hero of the. But even with its well-known youth-restoring properties, there’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. “Retinol 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,” explains New York-based Dr. Dendy Engelman, Elizabeth Arden consulting dermatologist and cosmetic and skin cancer surgeon. “It also helps to support skin’s natural collagen and elastin, thus improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” she explains.

How to Use Vitamin A Skincare

As for how to use retinol-based skincare, that’s when things can become a little more complicated explains Dr. Ellen Selkon, appearance medicine expert at Clinic 42. “There’s some debate about when to begin using retinol, however, prevention is key, the sooner you can start on retinol the better,” 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. “It should really be part of everyone’s nighttime routine,” she adds.  The earlier you start working on something – the earlier you will see results.

If you’ve ever used retinol and have been put off by redness, flakiness or sensitivity, Selkon explains that it’s not an allergy or intolerance but you could be using too much product or strength your skin isn’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. “When one does not have enough retinoid receptors, retinoid reactions can be induced at even low does,” he explains. “The 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.”

Work Vitamin A Skincare into Your Routine Slowly 

As a precautionary measure, Fernandes recommends building up your tolerance slowly by using “softer” versions of vitamin A, that are still effective but won’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,” says Selkon. “Depending 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.” Regular appointments with your skin therapist will ensure you’re getting the most out of your skincare routine explains Selkon. “Your 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.”

The Best Vitamin A Skincare Products

Vitamin A isn’t the only ingredient you should be including in your skincare routine. Find out why you need to be using Vitamin C on your skin here. 

Winter Skin Care Tips You Need to Know

Our mood and health aren’t the only things that chilly winter temperatures can have a detrimental impact on. With lower air humidity, harsh environmental elements and almost constant exposure to air conditioning, your complexion could be suffering from its own case of the winter blues. Fortunately, it’s not impossible to restore hydration and luminosity to parched skin. Keep reading to discover the winter skin care tips that will give you the glowing skin of your dreams.

The 3 Winter Skin Care Tips That Will Change Your Skin

Clean up your routine

If your skin has taken a bit of a beating from the cooler months, the first place to start revamping your skincare routine is to check out your cleansing routine, explains Elizabeth ArdenPRO global director of education, Tracey May Harriott. “The number one tip for going into a new season is to check out your cleansing routine; you always need to look at the condition of your canvas,” says Harriott. If you’re not using the right cleanser for your skin type and the season, further efforts in your routine could become fruitless. “You can’t expect a new serum to work wonders if you don’t take care of your canvas,” she says.

Care for sensitive skin

Environmental changes that come with the arrival and departure of the seasons can play a key role in skin health. And while sensitive skin has many causes, May-Harriott lists environment and sun damage as two of the most common causes. Unhappy, sensitive skin, explains May-Harriott, isn’t generally something we’re born with. “We can all go through periods of sensitivity; it can come and go,” she explains.

“The great thing is though as it is a skin ‘condition’, you can get reduce the sensitivity and watch out for those triggers to maintain this condition in the future.” Exposure to the sun, humidity levels and other environmental factors can all lead to increased skin sensitivity. If your skin does flare up due to seasonal changes the first thing to do says May-Harriott is to pare back the other aspects of your routine and strengthen your skin.

Don’t forget the sunscreen

May-Harriott also stresses that omitting certain products from your routine when the seasons change can also contribute to a host of skin problems too. When it comes to winter skin care tips that really should be followed all-year round, wearing sunscreen each day comes out on top. We all should know by now just how vital sunscreen is in our day-to-day routine and May-Harriott says not wearing one causes more problems than sunburn. “Not wearing a sun protection product can make the skin very sensitive too in warm, sunnier climates,” she explains. “Sometimes it’s not about what to avoid but more about if you don’t use a certain product in your routine you can make the skin more sensitive.”

Not sure if your skin is dry or just dehydrated? Here’s how to tell.