Retinol or Retinoids are simply other names for Vitamin A, a powerful ingredient that has the remarkable ability to improve the skin. For the skeptics out there, Retinol has a large amount of clinical research behind it to back it up, and with continuing research underway there is even emerging initial findings that show it’s potential to build elastin in the skin!

Retinol – The benefits, formulation & uses

Retinol’s anti-ageing abilities are the most well known benefits of using a vitamin A serum, however this power ingredient has an array of proven other benefits including helping with acne and large open pores. By stimulating cell turnover and collagen growth, proven anti-ageing results from retinol use include the reduction of fine lines, smoothing of skin texture and the normalisation of pigmentation. But don’t be fooled, these results don’t happen overnight! Experts believe it takes around four to six weeks on average for results to become visible.

For acne and open pores, there is evidence to suggest that the use of Retinol helps to unclog pores, thus reducing the size of pores and acne causing bacteria. Many cosmeceutical ranges are now introducing Vitamin A Retinol products targeting specific skin concerns, and later in the article we’ll look at reviewing the PCA Skin Intensive Clarity 0.5% Retinol treatment targeting breakout prone skin types.

Where to start with Retinol?

It’s generally recommended to start using retinol as part of your skincare regimen when you are in your 30’s. A photosensitive ingredient, retinol should only be worn of a nighttime. It is best not to be exposed to sunshine or UV rays with retinol on your skin as it could cause adverse effects. If you’re new to retinol, start using it every other night to build the tolerance of your skin. Look for signs of sensitivity or reaction in your skin and if these do appear, make sure you discontinue use. Always use retinol sparingly and if you suffer from eczema or rosacea it is best to steer clear of this powerful ingredient.

SkinCeuticals Retinol Review

Founded in the 1990’s, SkinCeuticals was developed by Dr. Sheldon Pinnell with the sole focus of blending natural ingredients with scientifically proven formulas to produce real results. The SkinCeuticals range has grown and evolved to include powerful, yet skin-friendly ingredients in their products, including the SkinCeuticals Retinol.

SkinCeuticals Retinol is available in both 0.5% and 1.0% strength, with the lower strength the perfect starting point if you’re new to vitamin A.  Aside from the hero ingredient, SkinCeuticals Retinol contains other active ingredients including fruit, flower and leaf extracts acting as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents and citric acid to assist in cell turnover.

SkinCeuticals formulation of the retinol 0.5% and 1.0% is designed to maximum efficacy and stability with high concentrations or pure retinol to give the maximum penetration, whilst maintaining a beautiful silky cream texture.

The SkinCeuticals Retinol is a night cream and to begin you should start with using the cream sparingly and every other evening. If you are brand new to retinol it is advisable that you use once in the first week, watch for signs of reactivity or sensitivity, and then start regular use if your skin takes well to the product.

It is important to note that you only need a very small amount of the SkinCeuticals retinol, simply spread evenly over the affected areas, leave for 30 minutes and then apply your evening moisturiser.

The SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture works well with the Retinol 1.0 and Retinol 0.5 by SkinCeuticals as it has a lightweight combination of natural extracts, which targets large pores and overall skin health. For those with drier skin types, the SkinCeuticals Emollience is a better-suited moisturiser for use with your Retinol as it is richer and assists in restoring and maintaining moisture.

Dermalogica Retinol Review

The Dermalogica story began in 1986 in Los Angeles with Jane Wurwand recognising the need for a skin health skincare range, free from common irritants. Decades on and Dermalogica has become a household name with the range truly catering for every skin concern, including the anti-ageing benefits of Retinol.

Dermalogica’s Overnight Retinol Repair is the key Vitamin A product in the Dermalogica Age Smart range. The product is packaged with a soothing and moisturising buffer cream which can be used to, as the name suggest, to ‘buffer’ the retinol for those who want to acclimate their skin to Vitamin A. The Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair contains pure retinol at a strength of 0.5%, which assists in collagen production and cell turnover, however with the inclusion of antioxidant Vitamin C and powerful peptides the cream also targets uneven skin tone and discolouration.

To start with the Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair, you can use the ratio of 1 part Overnight Retinol Repair to 3 parts Buffer Cream, and apply every other evening. As you skin acclimates to the Retinol, you can increase the level of Retinol being used by decreasing the amount of buffer cream until you don’t need the buffer cream at all.

Looking for the perfect partners to the Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair, the Dermalogica Age Smart range is the place to start. Our favourites include the Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex which also boasts the addition of Retinol to target fine lines and dark circles in the delicate eye area, and the Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50 which works to protect your skin from pigmentation and fine lines as a result of sun damage.

PCA Skin Retinol Review

Put simply, anyone over the age of 30 should be using a topical retinol treatment, and with PCA Skin you can select the right retinol for you skin concerns. If you haven’t heard of PCA Skin before there’s a good reason why. The PCA Skin range is only fairly new to the Australian market however over the past 25 years they have been providing medical grade skincare to markets all over the world.  Developed by dermatologists, the PCA Skin range is concentrated and effective with a number of Vitamin A retinol products in the range.

PCA Skin Intensive Age Refining Treatment with 0.5% Pure Retinol targets skin ageing concerns including fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. With 0.5% retinol, the serum boost cell turnover, giving you great results within a reasonable time frame. The best part about the PCA Skin Age Refining Retinol is the addition of hydrating and soothing ingredients including hyaluronic acid to keep peeling and common irritations at bay. This being said, you should always look to introduce a new retinol slowly, giving you time to ensure you don’t experience a reaction or increased sensitivity. You can use the PCA Skin Intensive Age Refining Retinol in the evening after cleansing and prior to moisturising. It is best to leave the retinol for 20-30 minutes on the skin before applying your moisturiser to ensure that the serum takes to the skin.

For those who suffer from breakout prone skin, the PCA Skin Intensive Clarity Treatment contains 0.5% pure retinol and is formulated specifically. The unique combination of retinol and other ingredients boosts the cell turnover, revealing clear, healthier skin. You’ll notice with continued use that this evening retinol treatment works to give you a clear, smooth complexion.

We love the PCA Skin Intensive Clarity Retinol because not only does it work to fight breakouts, but you still get the anti-ageing benefits from using the Vitamin A serum. The 0.5% pure retinol promotes even skin tone and the plumping of fine lines and wrinkles. Just like the Age Refining Retinol, the intensive clarity treatment is best applied at nighttime after cleansing and prior to using your moisturiser.

If you are looking for the perfect partner to either the Clarity or Age Refining  Retinol Serums by PCA Skin, the Perfecting Neck & Décolleté works wonders for the neck and chest areas. Again with retinol and antioxidants, this neck and chest repair corrective cream is designed to target loss of elasticity and fine lines in these areas.