I’ve always had a good skincare routine but over the last couple of years I’ve really stepped it up. Long time readers will know that I’m a bit of a skincare addict and have been on Roaccutane twice. To help look after those old lady wrinkles you need to start adding in some form of retinoid. This is the superhero of skincare in my opinion and works to reverse, prevent and repair the signs of ageing.
Here’s the science bit – in it’s basic form (& to the best of my knowledge). Retinol is Vitamin A. Prescription strength Vitamin A is known as a retinoic acid and is bioavaliable to the skin (meaning that it is absorbed into the body). Retinol needs to be converted into retinoic acid by your skin at a cellular level in order to have the same effect acid. Every time it is converted, it becomes weaker so a retinol such as Indeed Labs Retinol Reface which I love will take longer to see an effect as using a reinoic acid in it’s simplest form. Keeping up?! If you’re a long time retinol user, then you’re probably looking at stepping up to a prescription strength tretenoin. This is the ‘gold standard’ of Vitamin A and will cause you a lot of dryness and soreness. The stuff is STRONG! I’m too scared to try it in all honesty! I’m no skincare expert but if you want to know more, I’d highly recommend you follow Caroline Hirons, the Queen of skincare.
Medik8 Crystal Retinal is an inbetween step from your run of mill retinols to tretenoin. Containing encapsulated retinaldehyde, it offers high performance, providing visible results up to 11 times faster. This is some serious claims.
When you first start using any kind of retinol in your skincare routine, don’t go in all guns blazing. Slowly slowly is the key. Medik8 recommend that you start of using the product once a week for 2 weeks, then twice a week for a further fortnight and then daily.
I started off using Crystal Retinal 3 which is the entry point for those who are new to vitamin A or have tried mild retinol formulas and the answer to those looking to prevent early signs of skin ageing. I hadn’t used a retinol in a good few months so wanted to start of with something more gentle. I went in with twice a week for a week and then every night.
I then stepped it up to Crystal Retinal 6 which is great for those who are wanting to upgrade their high-strength retinol results. I took it super slow with this and used it as directed.
Both products are super lightweight and easily absorbed into the skin. I do find that my skin is quite dehydrated at the moment so I normally use a moisturiser afterwards. In the ideal world I leave it a good 30 minutes to allow it to sink in but sometimes I don’t do my skincare routine until I’m climbing into bed.
I’m only about a month into using the higher level but I do love it. I haven’t experienced any skin flaking or super dryness yet. I think because of this fancy encapsulated retinaldehyde it’s unique action controls the release of the active to ensure the formula remains stable and not just a huge hit on your skin in one go.
DO NOT forget to use your SPF every day – your skin will be hyper sensitive to the sunlight. Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before using any kind of retinol.
Have you used retinol in your skincare routine? What are you favourite retinols?