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Quick: tell me about retinol

QUICK tell me about retinol

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Sick of being promised the world by the latest and greatest skincare product? We hear ya, but there's one collagen-boosting, anti-aging gem we're happy to hype: retinol.

It belongs to the retinoid family, and is a derivative of vitamin A. Retinoid products come in varying strengths, making some so hardcore that they can only be prescribed by a pro. Retinol is one of the most common retinoids found in over the counter or direct-to-consumer skincare products.

There has been a lot of research done on retinol, so there is heaps of evidence to support its benefits. If increased skin cell turnover and minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles isn’t enough, retinol can also smooth out your skin, boost plumpness and elasticity, and helps tackle pesky problems such as hyperpigmentation and acne. What can’t it do?

Be warned babes - there's a little thing called ‘too much of a good thing’. If your initial approach is to go hard or go home, thinking you'll wake up feeling like a goddess, think again. Redness, dryness and flakiness are all side effects when retinol is first introduced to skin. Our advice? Start in the slow lane, and build up when your skin can handle the heat.

Since it is a powerful ingredient that works beneath the skin’s surface, you’ll need to be patient while you wait for visible results. Most retinol products will take around three to six months for their effects to be noticeable.

So, are you an instant pay-off or long-game kind of person? If you’re up for the challenge of using retinol consistently and can accept some temporary skin glitches, you’ll soon reap the reward: radiant, plump and resilient skin that looks like you’ve had eight full hours of sleep (even though you definitely haven’t).

Pour Les Rebelles loves: Medik8 Crystal Retinal-6

This night-time treatment is formulated with retinal (you read that right, not retinol). The key ingredient here, 0.06% of encapsulated retinaldehyde, coverts to its most absorbable form quicker than retinol. To your skin, this means faster product absorption, less skin irritation and optimum efficacy.

PLR loves Medik8 Crystal Retinal 6

Article image credit @cameliafarhoodi