Retinol creams, your skin’s new best friend
Four reasons why you simply must try a retinoid-based formulation.
Face it, every time you buy a new skin cream you take a leap of faith that it’s actually going to deliver. Well, the wait and watch is now officially over. There’s ample dermatologically certified proof that retinoids—vitamin A derivatives—actually work, offering multiple skin benefits from boosting cell turnover and acne control to fading fine lines and improving elasticity.
For long a darling of celebrities, retinoid creams are now making waves as the go to for the well-informed and discerning girl around town. In fact, what started as an effective anti-acne remedy in the ’70s has now transformed into a gold standard age defying ingredient that’s making its way into a host skin care creams and serums.
But what is retinol?
It’s a weaker, over-the-counter version of tretinoin, a prescription vitamin A derivative that works marvelously to reverse sun damage and signs of aging. Nykaa skin care expert Dr. Dhimant Goleria says “Tretinoin has several anti-ageing benefits. It’s proven to even out the skin tone, improves texture and tighten pores.
It has an anti-ageing effect because it decreases the appearance of fine lines, stimulates blood flow and boosts collagen levels.” With so many skin priming benefits why does retinoid still have a scary rep? Its earlier avatar, tretinoin was much harsher on skin because it caused excessive skin dryness and irritation, but newer versions like Vichy LiftActiv Retinol Ha Total Wrinkle Renovating Procedure Care – SPF18and Lakme Youth Infinity Skin Firming Day Crème are choc-a-bloc with skin benefits and definitely worth a try.
Reason one: I haven’t tried it before
Dr. Goleria says retinoid based creams are excellent for unclogging pores and speeding up cell turnover in as little as four weeks to reveal, fresh, clearer skin. “Tretinoin can be harsh but Retinol is much milder and better tolerated by most.
The results may not be as dramatic and the only precaution is adequate sun protection to protect the delicate new skin,” he says. He says synthetic retinols are a big no-no because they are very harsh on skin. Meanwhile plant based retinols remove dead cells and boost collagen synthesis without damaging the skin’s delicate and protective lipid barrier. It’s a good idea to start with a night potion like H2O+ Sea Results Deep Sleep Recovery Serum and gauge the results for yourself.
Reason two: You don’t need to consult a specialist
Forget tedious trips to the skin specialist for prescription products to tackle different skin concerns from the occasional acne breakouts to the beginnings of pigmentation.
Here’s an all-encompassing over-the-counter product that yields impressive results, reating everything from fine lines to patchy skin in one smooth application. Check out products like Lakme Youth Infinity Skin Firming Day Crème. The only caveat; give the transformation three months because it takes that long for retinol to convert to retinoid acid, the key active ingredient
Reason three: Retinoid will not make your skin sun-sensitive
Dr. Goleria says this is one of the biggest myths surrounding retinol creams. “You skin would be equally sensitive to sun after you use a facial scrub,” he points out. You have two options.
Either use a retinol based cream like Vichy LiftActiv Retinol Ha Eyes at bed time or use Lakme Youth Infinity Skin Firming Day Crème that’s specially formulated for day use and top up with sunscreen for added protection. Nykaa recommends broad spectrum sunscreens like Vichy Capital Soleil Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch and Lakme Sun Expert Fairness + UV Lotion SPF 50 PA+++. It’s also a good idea to start using a retinoid cream in the summer when humidity levels are high so that your skin doesn’t feel over-dry when the retinol effect kicks in.
Reason four: Your skin won’t get worse before it gets better
The new gen retinoid creams like Lakme Youth Infinity Skin Firming Serum will cause mild dryness and flaking but nothing that a little dab of makeup can’t hide.
To ease your skin’s transition, Dr Goleria recommends using a retinoid-based cream every alternate or third night till you’re comfortable using it every night. Rule of thumb: wash and pat dry your face ten minutes before applying the formula. A pea sized blob is enough to spread all over. If your skin feels taut, use a mild moisturizer like Olay Moisturizing Cream Normal over it.
When should I not use a retinoid cream?
Doctors stress that pregnant and breastfeeding women should stay away from all vitamin A derivatives including retinoid creams, sunscreens and serums because of the link to fetal abnormalities. Using it in combination with Benzoyl Peroxide and Alpha Hydroxy Acids can deactivate the formulation. Needless to say, women with ultrasensitive skin that peels or reddens excessively should also stop using a retinoid formula.