When we talk about skin care on bh, we often think of different ingredients to treat various skin concerns. After all, wrinkles and acne don’t appear to have all that much in common. But what if one ingredient could address not only acne and wrinkles, but pigmentation, too?
In fact, there is one that can target all three disparate skin issues in one hit: retinol. Touted as a magical anti-ageing weapon, it’s one of the most powerful skincare multitaskers around. Here, we take a closer look at some of the things you should know about this wonder ingredient…
Retinol is a terrific skin care multitasker
Retinol cream works in three ways to treat wrinkles, acne and hyperpigmentation. “Due to its ability to assist in stimulating vital cells in the lower layer of the skin, retinol helps to encourage the natural production of hyaluronic acid,” explains Ultraceuticals Global Brand Ambassador Tracey Beeby. “This will aid in plumping lines and wrinkles from the inside out.”
Second, it increases cellular turnover, which can improve the texture of your skin. “It has been shown to increase the cellular renewal process, allowing for new skin cells to become visible, which results in a more luminous, refined surface skin texture,” says Tracey. “This process is also helpful with hyperpigmentation as it assists in bringing the damaged pigmented cells to the surface faster, to encourage the shedding of these cells.”
Finally, when it comes to retinol for acne, Tracey says, “One of the main contributing factors to acne is the build-up of skin cells within the follicle opening of the sebaceous (oil) gland. Retinol has been shown to control acne by regulating cell turnover, resulting in fewer breakouts and less congestion.”
It’s important to start with a mild form of retinol
Whenever you try a new skin care product, particularly one that’s active, there’s always a chance your skin may not tolerate it at first – and retinol is no different. The good news is redness and flakiness can be sidestepped by easing your skin into retinols using a mild version.
The new Ultraceuticals Ultra A Skin Perfecting range addresses this problem with three different strengths of retinol, including Ultra A Skin Perfecting Serum Mild at 0.2%, progressing to the Ultra A Skin Perfecting Serum at 0.4% and Ultra A Skin Perfecting Concentrate at 0.6%. “We do this to avoid irritation occurring and to allow the skin cells to gain tolerance to the retinol at a lower strength first, before progressing to a higher strength,” says Tracey. “If a high percentage of retinol is used on the skin, it is possible that some redness and flaking can occur.”
And if you’re pregnant, or trying to fall pregnant, it’s essential that you check with your doctor first, before using a product containing retinol.
Not all retinol is created equal
As well as the different strengths of retinol, different formulations all have their own specific qualities. While Ultraceuticals has always had retinol in its range, it’s recently been reformulated to use Ultra-Reti™ stabilising technology, which embeds the active ingredient in a soft wax that acts like a protective casing for the retinol particles. This has a couple of big advantages, helping the retinol to be delivered more efficiently into the skin as well as protecting this notoriously unstable particle. It also ensures the retinol lasts longer.
“Retinol itself is unstable so it can easily degrade and become completely inactive in a formulation very quickly,” says Tracey. “To stabilise it means we are protecting the molecule so that it is active when applied to the skin.”
In a nutshell? The longer retinol can last, the better the penetration and the more radiant your skin will appear. Yipee!
Ultraceuticals is available at David Jones. Click here to find your nearest store.
Have you used retinol? Which skin concerns were you addressing?