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  • Vanessa

Retinols the wonder molecule!

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

Retinols are a group of compounds that are to sum it up in a single word REVOLUTIONARY. Retinol was developed in the ’70s to clear severe acne, and after a few years, it was discovered that it also greatly reduces wrinkles.

What Are The Key Benefits of Retinols?

As we have discussed, it is effective at

  • Clearing up severe and stubborn acne,

  • Proven to minimize wrinkles

  • Hyperpigmentation.

Retinoids also increase the number of blood vessels in your skin which results in making your skin glow!

How does Retinols work?

Retinols work by increasing the speed in which your skin cells replace themselves. With this increase in cell turnover, our skin doesn't have time to dry out and it is less affected by damage, it also keeps our pores clearer thus why it is so effective at treating acne, wrinkles, and skin discolouration.

Retinols also increase the production of collagen. This thickens the inside of the skin which fills in the wrinkles, giving us younger skin that is nicely pressed against the tissue.

Who Can Use Retinols?

Retinols can be used by all skin types, it is recommended to begin retinoids in your mid 20’s.

However, there is no maximum age to start. The retinoid family is very powerful, and it means that not all products suit your skin. Due to the nature of how they work, if you suffer from rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis you should be careful the percentage of retinol you are using. Retinoids vary in percentages with over the counter retinol being lower percentages and effectiveness and moving up through to professional-grade retinol where certified aestheticians can advise you on which and how to use. Retinols of higher percentages and concentrations are prescribed by a doctor.

How to use Retinols?

When applying professional-grade and prescribed retinol, it’s very important to talk to the professionals on hand about how often to apply. When beginning the application, due to its powerful effects it is important to apply it once a week, to begin with, and then increase over a month or two.

Do not apply directly after washing your face (especially when using higher percentages) as this may cause irritation because damp skin allows the retinol to penetrate too deep into your skin tissue. It is also best to apply at night because retinol will start to breakdown when exposed to sunlight which loses its potency if you are not protecting your skin properly with sunscreen. Retinols also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. So make sure to add an SPF to your morning skincare routine, and apply throughout the day.

Over the counter retinol vs professional strength

When purchasing retinol products from a professional at a spa, dermatologist or by prescription, your skin will be evaluated. The great thing about seeing a professional regularly is that they can tell if you are getting the effects that you should be getting with the products you are using.

If you are spending your hard-earned cash on a product, you want to get your monies worth!

When purchasing these products at the drug store you have less ability to understand what the other ingredients are doing, and if it’s working for your skin. If it’s not working as effectively if it all, there is no point in using a product that will not provide you without any visible benefits. Whereas going to a professional they can make sure you are getting results and they can regularly evaluate your skin and recommend a higher percentage as necessary.

Microencapsulated retinol also changes the way retinol is delivered into our cells. Because of its moisturizing layer, it allows it to pass through the layers of skin in a gentle fashion without causing irritation.

The effects from over the counter retinol will also be significantly less no matter how much time you used the product. The percentage of fillers in these just do not allow for significant results because the retinol is too diluted to make the kind of changes to your skin that you’ll be expecting.

Our Choice in Retinol Products

Here at Viva Aesthetics, we strive in bringing you only the best quality professional products that are on the market today and we offer 0.5% & 1%. These options allow us to offer those with sensitive skin a great product for regular use, and those that want to significantly increase their results for their desired outcomes.

  • Age Reversal Eye Complex

  • Overnight Retinol Repair

  • Overnight Retinol Repair 1%

How to Care for Your Retinol?

Retinol is very reactive to the sun and quickly breaks down with the exposure of sunlight. It is best to purchase a retinol product that comes in a tube, as this will have the least amount of retinol exposed to the outside. Some companies like Dermalogica also microencapsulate their retinol which further protects it from breaking down.


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