What is Retinol?
Retinol is a member of vitamin A family that has been used in skincare, mostly to reverse the signs of ageing and skin damage. Studies showed that retinol is effective, however it comes with side effects too. Be informed of the pros and cons of using retinol skincare products before you start using them.
The Benefits of Retinol Skincare Products
- Retinol boosts the collagen synthesis in the skin.
- Retinol stimulates cellular activity in the skin.
- Retinol lightens dark spots (UV-induced hyperpigmentation)
- Retinol reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
The Potential Side Effects of Retinol Skincare Products
- Retinol is phytotoxic and unstable, it increases the risk for UV damage including UV-induced skin cancer. If you use a retinol skincare product, use it at night only and limit the skin exposure to UV rays all day long even when you are using a high SPF sunblock.
- Retinol can disrupt skin balance and weaken the skin's barrier functions so it makes your skin more prone to environmental damage.
- Retinol can dry out the skin so it is not recommended for dry skin.
- Retinol can cause skin hypersensitivity, redness and excessive peeling.
The Alternatives to Retinol
There are some ingredients which are as effective as or even better than retinol in reversing the signs of ageing and skin damage such as n-acetyl glucosamine, niacinamide, resveratrol and bakuchiol. These ingredients also help protect your skin against UV damage so you can use them day and night.
For the more stable and safer vitamin A source in skincare, opt for retinol acetate or retinyl palmitate which is commonly used in food supplements as vitamin A. However, for precautionary reasons, use vitamin A skincare products like those products with alpha/beta hydroxy acids, which are for night-time only.
The Alternatives To Retinol Skincare Products
Rose Royale Supreme Anti-Ageing Serum is a super potent, ultra-concentrated serum to restore, renew and protect the skin from all ageing factors learn more >>>
White Orchid Ultra Brightening Serum boosts skin cell renewal, helps erase dark spots and signs of ageing including wrinkles and fine lines learn more >>>
Night Repair Skin Cell Renewal Booster optimises skin renewal, removes dead skin cells and brings back the radiant glow learn more >>>
Henry Tianus is a multi-award-winning Anti-Ageing Scientist based in London, UK. Henry Tianus has been listed as The Recognised Institute Practitioner at The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy (ITHMA), London (UK) since 2005. Henry Tianus's articles have been read by people in more than 100 countries with USA and UK at the top of the list. Join Henry Tianus eNewsletter to receive the latest health and wellbeing tips.
Scientific Sources: (1) Photodecomposition and Phototoxicity of Natural Retinoids, The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2005 May, 2(1): 147–155. (2) Efficacy of beta-carotene topical application in melasma: an open clinical trial, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, 2002 Nov-Dec, 68(6): 320-2. (3) Beta Carotene, Nutri-Facts (Understanding Vitamins & More); β-Carotene Conversion to Vitamin A Decreases As the Dietary Dose Increases in Humans, The Journal of Nutrition, 2010 May; 140(5): 915–918. (4) Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety, Clinical Interventions in Aging, 2006 Dec; 1(4): 327–348. (5) Retinoids: active molecules influencing skin structure formation in cosmetic and dermatological treatments, Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, 2019 Aug; 36(4): 392–397. (6) Retinoids activate the irritant receptor TRPV1 and produce sensory hypersensitivity, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2013 Sep 3; 123(9): 3941–3951.
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