What is Retinol and Do I Need To Use It?

Have You Heard The Buzz About Retinol? Martin & Phelps Beauty Salon in Cheltenham Investigates Exactly What Retinol is...

Most of us have heard the buzz about retinol, but do we really understand what it is and how it can be used to improve the condition of our skin?  The skin specialists at our Cheltenham beauty salon look into retinol to explain how this 'miracle product' can be used to help fight the signs of ageing. 

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What Is Retinol & What Does it Do?

Retinol is a form of vitamin A which can be added into skin care serums and moisturisers to boost the amount of fibrin and collagen your body produces, helping you to look younger. Adding retinol to your daily skin care routine you can help to reduce skin pigmentation, reduce fine lines & wrinkles and improve your skin's texture. Retinol has fantastic smoothing properties for your skin.

What Are the Common Forms of Retinol?

  • Retinyl palmitate - the least potent retinoid that can be found in over-the-counter products
  • Retinaldehyde - a slightly stronger retinoid found in over-the-counter products
  • Retinol - the strongest of the retinoids found in over-the-counter products
  • Tretinoin - prescription only and helpful for those with acne and light acne scarring
  • Tazarotene - prescription only retinoid commonly sold in two concentrations (0.05% and 0.1%) and helpful for acne, psoriasis, sun-damaged skin.

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Which Retinol Products Should I Use On My Skin?

Some dermatologists may prescribe a strong form of retinol - tretinoin - to help clear acne. Retinol can help to reduce the overproduction of sebum, which is often associated with acne symptoms, whilst also reducing the appearance of acne scarring. 

Numerous scientific studies suggest that over-the-counter products containing retinol can also make a difference to your skin.

At Martin & Phelps Beauty Salon in Cheltenham, we use and recommend the Environ range of products.  Take, for example, Environ Focus Care Youth+, which is a concentrated facial cream with pure retinol designed to improve an uneven skin tone, open pores and reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles. The range is formulated to reduce the appearance of skin damage and abnormalities.

Talk to one of our skin specialists about our Environ brightening facials

Will Using Retinol Make My Skin Peel?

Your first step when considering using a retinol-based product is to talk to one of our Martin & Phelps skin specialists. Our experts can assess the condition of your skin and give advice regarding any concerns you may have, before recommending the appropriate product or course of treatment. 

It's important to make sure you know the strength of the retinol solution that you’re using, as well as finding out if the solution is right for your skin. If you are new to using retinol products or you use a concentration that is too high for your skin type, you may find that they cause irritation, redness or flakiness to your skin. Too high a concentration can also cause your skin to become dry. If you buy an over-the-counter retinol product, please make sure it comes in a sealed, airtight container.

The last thing you want is to damage your skin - so please book in at Martin & Phelps Beauty Salon in Cheltenham for a consultation at today so that we can help you.

When Should I Start Using Retinol?

It's difficult to say when you should consider using retinol in your skincare routine.  It really does depend on why you want to use it. Your skin can become sun-damaged at any stage in your life so if your skin is starting to show the signs of ageing or pigmentation, now might be the time to start using retinol-based products. 

If you suffer from acne then your skin may benefit from skin-renewing ingredients like retinol, although you should speak to your GP. 

We would recommend that you speak to a Martin & Phelps skin specialist if you are concerned about using retinol products for your skin. 

Should You Use Retinol Products at Night?

If you are using a 1% or 1%+ retinol, it is best to use this at night time when your skin will not be exposed to the sun. Retinol is incredibly effective for skin renewal and fresh skin can be more sensitive to the sun. If you do use retinol in the morning we would recommend that you use a Factor 50 SPF sunscreen afterwards to minimise the risk of damage to your skin.  

Should I Protect My Skin From the Sun After Using Retinol-Based Products?

Yes. As skin specialists we know the importance of protecting your skin from sun damage on a daily basis. We would recommend using a strong SPF sunscreen, all year round, particularly if you are using products containing retinol.  

What are AHAs?

If you've heard of retinol, the chances are that you've also heard of AHAs - also known as Alpha Hydroxy Acids. Retinol works at a cellular level, whereas AHAs work at the very top of the skin, so they work very well when teamed together. In effect, the AHA clears the debris from the surface of your skin so that the retinol can penetrate the layers of the skin below the surface. 

However, if your skin is sensitive, please be aware that you may experience redness, irritation or flaky skin when using retinol or a combination product containing retinol, AHAs or BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids) such as glycolic or salicylic acids.  

Book A Complimentary Skin Consultation at Martin & Phelps Beauty Salon in Cheltenham

We really do want to help you with your skin issues so please book in for a complimentary skin consultation by calling us on 01242 523 568 today. We are happy to help.